Saturday, 20 August 2016

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell Review

This is a spoiler free review!

Written by Lisa Maxwell
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Pages: 342
Source: Library
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?


I loved this book so much. It took a little while to get into it but then I ended up really loving it. This is another Peter Pan retelling and I love Peter Pan retellings with all my heart. In this one though, Hook was the good guy and Pan was the bad guy. But trust me, Pan makes one hot bad guy. Like, I was swooning so much during this book. I highly recommend this. I also got some OUAT vibes from this one. Like Rowan is so Killian Jones. And Pan is so evil Pan from OUAT.


One of my favorite covers of the year. I love the use of green lettering at the top to spell out the title. And I also like how there is just a ship on the cover, in the ocean. The cover is pretty simple and not cluttered so it is nice to look at. Aesthetically pleasing, is what you'd say.


The world-building comes to us slowly but that is how I like it. Especially with this book. I like how we get to know about the character's pasts and Neverland's past, slowly. We also hear things from each character so you don't really know who's tale is real and who is making some of the stuff up.

Then there are the characters.


"Even if I believe we're in some sort of magical otherworld,' I say, 'even if I accept that much, you expect me to believe I'm stuck in some kind of fairy tale?"

I adored Gwen. She was hilarious and strong until the end. I was so proud of her for some of the things she did. And she was so strong to have to put up with all that she did. She is both mentally and a physically strong character. She doesn't back down from challenges and is very persistant. I really enjoyed reading about her even if she wasn't my favorite character. She was a great replacement for Wendy Darling.

credit goes to original maker


"'Aye, they do.' His dark eyes glitter as he leans in close. 'Let me be the first to welcome you to Neverland.'"

Rowan was such a swoonworthy character. He is the Captain Hook character except he isn't the bad guy. The Captain is young, being only a couple years older than Gwen but he has hardened and plays the part of a roguish pirate, deliciously well. The Captain has this serious charm to him which is practically seductive but not in a manipulative way. His words, as well as Pan's just ooze charm. And that walk the plank scene with Gwen. Ugh. Swoon.

gif credit goes to original maker


"Listen to Neverland, Gwendolyn. Can you feel it calling to you?"

Peter Pan is not the guy you remember. The one with the cute green outfit and cap, the one with the cute smile. No, this Peter Pan is dark, seductive and cunning. He's not the good guy. He has tricks up his sleeve and you never know what he is going to do. But, I really liked his character because I always have a soft spot for Peter Pan no matter how bad he is.


Olivia and Gwen's friendship was nice, even though Olivia was brainwashed by Pan for most of the book. But at the end, you could tell that she really cared about Gwen. And oh the ending made me sob.


This was an amazing Peter Pan retelling, so naturally I loved the plot. I love how all the characters slid into their predecessor's roles so wonderfully. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and how different Neverland was. I also got some really big Once Upon a Time vibes. I love how Neverland is so dark now and how everyone has a secret backstory.


The romance was swoonworthy. There is not a love triangle. I repeat, there is not a love triangle. I was so happy when I found out, that I almost jumped for joy. For instance there is this one scene that was so good that I just have to put it here:

"Wishes,' I repeat stupidly.

'Aye. The desires of the heart. Though human desire is such a weak thing, Gwendolyn.' His lips are so close to me now, I swear I can feel the heat of them against my neck.

'It is?' I whisper, swallowing hard, forcing myself to hold completely still.

'It is,' he rasps, his voice as rough as the waves. 'Oh, it may burn and it may chafe, but it rarely devours a person. Not completely. In this world, though, desire is a bit more dangerous. In this world, lass, more often than not'-his lips do touch my neck then, softly, like a prayer--'it consumes,' he whispers against my skin.

I close my eyes, trying to block out his words, the heat of his body, the spice of the cloves on his breath, but it doesn't work. He is too close, too much for me to ignore."


It is written in first person so I really liked that. But I loved the writing. It was so easy to read and understand and it worked so well.

Final Thoughts:

If you are a fan of Peter Pan, go read this book. If you are a fan of ABC's Once Upon A Time, go read this book. And if you are a fan of Fantasy, go read this book. It is amazing, and so well written.

Quotes from the Book:

"Looks more like Luke Skywalker than Hook to me."

"I don't think she wants to be unhanded. Shall we ask her? Would you like me to unhand you, Gwendolyn?" 

"It's up to you, Gwendolyn," Pan coaxes. The warmth of his arms feels real and strangely secure. "I will not force you. I would never treat you like a prisoner."

"Well played, Rowan," Pan says with no little admiration. "It seems I've taught you well." 

"Ah, yes. The ever-protective Captain. So kind and caring to the boys under his protection." Pan's smile is terrible now. "Until, of course, he kills them. Jealous I beat you to it?" 

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns

picture credit goes to original taker


  1. Ooh, can't wait to read this book! It sounds really good and since I'm a fan of OUAT, I should enjoy it :)

  2. Ooohh, a Peter Pan retelling where Captain Hook and Pan are JUST look the ones from OUAT? I'm already swooning even though I haven't read it yet :'D Thank you for this review. I hope I can get my hands on this book someday. :)

    1. Ikr. They are so similar. And you really should read this someday :)

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