Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that should absolutely be put at the top of your TBR pile. Recommended books will vary across genre and age category and include shiny new books, older books you may have missed, and some classics I suggest finally getting around to. Make space for another pile of books on your floor because here we go!
Today’s pick is a very dark take on Peter Pan that makes a perfect October read.
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
Wendy Darling lives in a small coastal town in Oregon at the edge of the woods. She is terrified of the woods and with good reason. At the start of the book it is her 18th birthday and around five years since she was found alone in the woods. Six months prior to that she and her two younger brothers had gone missing and only she turned back up. She remembers nothing, except that the woods terrify her.
On her 18th birthday another child went missing. Any time a child goes missing in the town, the cops want to interrogate Wendy, who clearly already has a lot of trauma. This recent abduction makes two kids currently missing (aside from her brothers lost years ago).
Wendy’s best friend Jordan is a constant support in her life and the only one that Wendy can share things with. Lately, Wendy has been unintentionally drawing things. For example, if she has a pen in her hand to make a list or sign a receipt or take notes she suddenly spaces out and when she gets her attention back, she sees that she has drawn a tree. A big, gnarly tree that she doesn’t recognize. Or that she has drawn a boy. The same boy, each time. An imaginary boy who ends up being Peter Pan.
Peter shows up, which is already a problem because he’s not supposed to be real and asks Wendy to once again help him find and reattach his shadow. The shadow has grown beyond only mischievous and is straight up evil. Peter believes the shadow has to do with the missing children.
This book is incredibly creepy and really, really good. Content warnings for child abduction and violence against children including gun violence.
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That’s it for now, book-lovers!
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