Thursday, September 26, 2019

Audiobook Review: Lost Girl by Chanda Hahn

Title: Lost Girl
Author: Chanda Hahn
Publication Date: December 13, 2016
Publisher: Chanda Hahn
Pages: 328
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Wendy doesn't remember anything about Neverland—or the experiments done on her there as a child. Seven years later, all she wants is a normal life, but shape-shifting shadows plague her dreams and turn her life into a waking nightmare. When the shadows attack at a football game and a boy disappears right in front of her, she realizes these wraith-like shadows are real. They’re not just haunting—they’re hunting.

A mysterious boy named Peter, his foul-mouthed sidekick, and a band of misfit boys intervene before Wendy faces a similar fate. But can they trust Wendy enough to take her to Neverwood Academy and reveal all of their hidden secrets when she's hiding a secret of her own, or will the dreaded Red Skulls find her and drag her back to Neverland?

Lost Girl has been on my to-read list for years! I am a huge fan of Peter Pan retellings. Some of my favorite books are Pan retellings, in fact. I was so open to reading a new take on the story that I jumped at the chance when the audiobook popped up on my library app!

Wendy has been to Neverland and back and has been adopted by a loving family. She's plagued with nightmares and haunted by shadows and runs away when her parents try to send her to an inpatient clinic. Again. She ends up with the Lost Boys, trying to figure out if she belongs with them at all.

There are a lot of things I didn't love about Lost Girl, the first of which is that it really is not a Peter Pan retelling at all. This is a science fiction novel about a lab that experiments on children and what happens after they escape with characters named Peter, Wendy, Tink, etc. There are lots of nods to Peter Pan. For example, Peter plays Monopoly with the thimble piece, the kids have a "kiss" brand on their necks, and some of them have an ability called "Panning." But this isn't a retelling of Peter Pan in any way, shape, or form. It is a fun story, but I feel that calling it a Pan retelling is misleading.

My second issue is that, when a book is set in the real world as this one is, it needs to follow real world rules. Early on Wendy runs away from home rather than be sent to a clinic. She proceeds to live in a park and then get a job. She even uses the phone at her workplace to call home and her mom picks up. I don't know what universe they live in that a seventeen year old couldn't be found in this scenario.

This story was fine even if it wasn't perfect. If I'd gone into it planning to read an X-Men style sci-fi, I probably would have really enjoyed it! I'd definitely still recommend this if that's what you're looking for. But I went into this expecting a Peter Pan retelling and came out pretty disappointed.