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It’s been four months since seventeen-year-old Livy Cloud lost her younger sister, but she isn’t quite ready to move on with her life — not even close. She’d rather spend her time at the Seattle Children’s hospital, reading to the patients and holding onto memories of the sister who was everything to her and more.

But when she meets the mysterious and illusive Meyer she is drawn into a world of adventure, a world where questions abound.

Is she ready to live life without her sister? Or more importantly, is she brave enough to love again?

In this modern reimagining of Peter Pan, will Livy lose herself to Neverland or will she find what she’s been searching for?

358 pages, Paperback

First published April 7, 2015

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About the author

Shari Arnold

3 books305 followers
Shari Arnold grew up in California and Utah but now resides in Connecticut, with her husband and two kids, where she finds it difficult to trust a beach without waves. She writes Young Adult fiction because it's her favorite. And occasionally she takes photographs.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 103 reviews
Profile Image for Paula M.
547 reviews643 followers
September 10, 2015

"There are subtle truths buried in every make-believe.... You never know where you might find one.”

Oh WOW. This book broke me into pieces, honestly. But thank the book gods that it repaired me when the end came. This book is magical! It surprised me so much. Reading this book is like a roller coaster ride. What happens in a roller coaster ride? You get scared, some might cry in the middle, some gets frustrated they just want it to end but most importantly, when the ride ends, you're left with that adrenaline and that huge grin on your face. (Some puke I know, but don't worry it won't happen here) I finished NEVERLAND with happy tears in my eyes and then I re-read it all over again.

The story started a bit slow and usually, I tend to complain because I'm not a fan of slow paced plotlines. But in here, I feel like it was really necessary. We got to know more Livy. Her life, her parents, her grief. The way Shari Arnold described Livy's emotions, of her grief, was incredible. It feels like I'm the one who lost a sister and I'm the one grieving. It made me sad SO MUCH that I wanted nothing but to get away Livy in that situation. It was heartbreaking. And her parents was just the same. You really are not the same person when you lost someone you love. Livy was a main character to root for. It was so easy to understand and sympathize with her. She was authentic. Shari Arnold wrote fantastic characters. They are all not the same from the first time you read them because all of them underwent a tremendous growth.

Now MEYER, our Peter Pan in this tale was.. its really hard to describe my feelings towards him. He's so sexy but oh so frustrating too! I'm not his number one fan, but I'm not a hater either. I really didn't like his disappearing acts at the first part in the story. But then again, he is Peter Pan. He has secrets. And he's always ready for an adventure!

"It’s time for an adventure,” is all he says. He’s sitting next to me, our legs brushing against each other each time the bus turns a corner. “Are you up for a little adventure, Livy?"

The word building was really believable. Something that will convince you that what you're reading can be real. The explanations of Neverland.. Meyer.. the flying.. the magic, it was solid. I believe Shari Arnold's terrific writing helped too. I fell hard! Not too purple prose, but not super simple either. It's perfect. It fits the story, the magical atmosphere was there and it transports you. I have nothing but praise.

So. It is obvious that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this retelling. Whether you're a PeterPan fan or not. Shari Arnold weaved a magical retelling that J.M. Barrie will approve of. Be charmed by Meyer and join Livy's adventure towards acceptance, moving on and into love!

You can also read my review in HERE.
Profile Image for Jeannette.
650 reviews139 followers
May 21, 2015
Read on the WondrousBooks blog.

So, so amazing! Honestly, this is a truly beautiful and heartbreaking little novel. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this gem, and really, it was a stumble. I had promised myself to lay off of NetGalley, because exams are coming, but there this lovely cover was and I hit the Request button before I could stop myself. And I'm so glad I did it!

Neverland is a novel which I would have a hard time trying to explain to you. Whichever method of explanation I choose, I would be oversimplifying. There is magic in this book, but it's not a book about magic, there is love, but it's not a romance, there is cancer, but it's not a cancer book, there is drama, but it's not a tragedy.

In just 358 pages Shari Arnold manages to create such an intricate and beautiful world. She does have the help of one Mr J.M. Barrie, author of the not-so-beloved-by-me Peter Pan, but that's not really the point of Neverland. It's not a Peter Pan rip-off and Peter Pan is not the center of attention.

Neverland is actually a coming-of-age novel, a book about loss and the life which continues flowing after death, it's a book about letting go, but it's also a book about being happy.

I'm afraid that I cannot do Neverland the justice it deserves. It's such a touching and imaginative piece of literature.

"There's this feeling I get sometimes, that I'm displaced, like I've fallen and no one has noticed yet. If I stay real still they'll avoid me, put up pylons around me like I'm a large pothole in the ground. Yes. That's what I am. I'm a pothole. And until someone comes along and fixes me, I am dangerous. I am broken. I am not a part of this life and yet I'm still here."

This is Livy at the beginning of Neverland. She has recently lost her little sister to leukemia and her entire family is broken by that loss. Livy is such an admirable person, after the death of Jenna, instead of staying angry and aggressive, she spends a part of every day reading to the other little kids at Jenna's hospital. Her way of mourning is by letting a little bit of happiness and light into the lives of the other children with the same unfortunate diagnosis.

That's how she meets Meyer.

"The thing is, I believe him. I believe he could fly if he wanted to, because in the matter of a few hours he's made me feel weightless. So incredibly light that at any moment I could lift off. And that's really all you need to fly, isn't it?"

The reason this book is not getting the 5-star treatment is because I absolutely loved and was in awe by the fact that in the first half of the book you can feel the magic, it's right there at the tips of your fingers, and yet it's not there. In the second part of the book magic surfaced on its own and less attention was paid to the characters, which made me a bit detached and sad that this balance that I so liked was ruined.

There was a connection/comparison that I couldn't help but make, though. In case you've read and remember The Brothers Lionheart, you are going to get a certain sense of deja vu. I remember the same feeling in that book as well, at first I was amazed by the unconditional love between the brothers, and then when they changed realities, their personalities changed as well. It's not one hundred percent the same thing, but I did feel the similarities were there.

Nevertheless, Neverland is beautiful! It's just beautiful. Just read it. Seriously. I don't feel like I can explain full well how touching it is.
Profile Image for Heena Rathore Pardeshi.
Author 1 book252 followers
December 28, 2015
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

"Odd things happen to all of us on our way through life without our noticing for a time that they have happened."
- J.M. Barrie, Peter and Wendy

Neverland is a fairytale retelling of Peterpan and as far as I'm concerned this is the best book I've read so far in the fantasy genre. It has a dreamlike imagery which will leave you craving and begging for more.
The pace of the story was perfect, not too fast, not too slow. I was able to not only read the story in front of me but was also able to live it forgetting everything around me.
This book is literally unputdownable and I love it so much that it has made its place at the top of my all-time favorites! I've already read it twice now and I'll be re-reading it again soon.

In one word it is:


I absolutely adore the lead characters of Livy and Meyer, so much so that I guess I'm in love with Meyer! The relationship between Livy and Meyer developed slowly and beautifully. The vulnerability of Livy added more depth to each and every aspect of the story.
I wanted to cry when Livy felt hurt and wanted to do a happy dance whenever she got a positive response from Meyer. I even blushed a dozen times while reading about Livy and Meyer's small interactions.


The beautiful budding romance between Livy and Meyer was nothing less than magical. It was slow and cute love that started as an odd friendship but developed into something more special. The thing that made their relationship so magical is the subtlety of feelings beautifully expressed by the author.


Shari Arnold's writing style is so simple that it flows smoothly throughout the book. I enjoyed reading this book mainly because of the uncomplicated writing style. I didn't just read this book, but I was really able to live it (and that's something.)

The book started beautifully with Livy reading Peter Pan for children in a hospital. How can anyone not get emotionally involved right from the start with this kind of a start! I was swept right off my feet from the very first page. And as the story progressed I lost myself completely in the beautiful world of Livy and Meyer.

Ahh... the ending. At first, I was like:


But then after a few minutes, I thought about it and realized that it was for the best and that the ending couldn't have been better. Yes, it wasn't a straight out happy one, but it was realistic and, more importantly, acceptable. After being swept off by this story I really dreaded to know the end, but the author, Shari Arnold, really surprised me with a well-balanced ending.

And then I was like:


Cover Art:
The cover art of this book is simply awesome. The colors are so pretty and subtle and the minimalistic design makes it a great cover.

The blurb is perfect and gives a fair idea of what to expect from the book. I picked it up from NetGalley after reading the blurb itself, so yeah, it totally worked for me, and I'm sure it'll definitely get anyone else's attention as well!

You can also read this review at The Reading Bud .
Profile Image for Kirsi.
325 reviews13 followers
February 2, 2022
For a reimagined version of Peter Pan (a story I personally detest) this one was actually quite tolerable, at times even touching. It deals heavily with the themes of losing a loved one and being unable to let go and move on with your own life. There's also a dash of romance here, which was probably my least favourite part of the story, but overall it was fine.

Meyer, the Pan-lookalike in this story, is still an ass, but he does have some redeeming qualities especially towards the end. James, aka Hook, was great and dominated every chapter he was in, even though I don't think he got half as much appreciation as he should have for what he was actually trying to accomplish. The main protagonist, Livy, felt like the weakest link to me. Her grief was believable enough, but by the time she figured out what was actually going on and what her options were, her endlessssss indecision and whining frustrated me immeasurably. Still, the characters and the story were mostly okay and enjoyable enough.

One thing, though. If you're getting your book published, figure out the bloody difference between you're and your. Seriously! It drove me nuts to spot that kind of elementary-level errors - multiple ones - in this book, and I'm not even a native English speaker! For shame!
Profile Image for snowplum.
161 reviews27 followers
April 1, 2015
There is one piece of advice I would give to any aspiring writer: think of a book you would like to read, and write it. If you are a truly special writer, this will require that you be incredibly brave, because at some point you will question whether other people will understand your work, like it, respect it, or feel what you feel. You may suspect that some people will not like your story, and that some may even hate it or mock it because it is different. And you will have to believe in your story and the possibility that the right readers will find it, even if they didn't know they wanted it because it didn't exist before.

I suspect that Shari Arnold faced this challenge more than once in the process of writing her new novel Neverland. This astonishing book is being marketed as a YA novel, and I fear that that will be greatly to its detriment. The problem, from a practical standpoint, is that this book depicts a person looking at childhood and growing up, life and death, fairy tale hope and its counterpart in the real world with such an uncannily insightful, poignant, and honest perspective that it seems to be neither a typical adolescent nor adult perspective. And thus, I fear, it will struggle to find a broad readership who are able to embrace this story on its own unique terms.

The millions of adolescents reading most of the YA bestsellers I could name all want to grow up. They may or may not think it's fun to be teenagers, but they certainly aren't in a place of idealizing the innocence of childhood. They want to get on with falling in love and having the freedom that comes with college and beyond. Conversely, most adults, even those who are touched by the themes and characters of the original Peter Pan story, think of Peter Pan as someone appealing in theory, but not to be revered in reality. We're all supposed to want to grow up. After all, we have no choice, so emotionally it's preferable to find the good in it instead of eternally lamenting what is lost.

I think Shari Arnold has woven together several really lovely ideas into a deeply moving story... and I find myself struggling to think of a single person to whom I would recommend it without some qualification or hesitation. I think that some of the most intelligent and sensitive adults I know would be put off by the entire first part of the book -- it's a rather sad, stark portrait of a teenage girl whose younger sister died of leukemia, and she is consumed with grief and alienated from her parents, who are each solitary in their own sadness. For someone who has never experienced a comparable loss, this content might seem unrealistic, and it would certainly be depressing. (Speaking for myself as an only child, I can understand the depiction of the parents' grief, but I had a few moments of wondering whether Livy's grief over losing a sibling is actually what many teenagers would feel. I wouldn't say I didn't believe it, but I admit that I wondered a few times.) For the entire first part of the book, Livy is a main character who seems as though she wouldn't resonate for many teenagers -- both because they haven't experienced a loss like Livy's, and because they have no particular desire to attempt to empathize.

I, personally, wasn't utterly transfixed by the book until Part II, the trip into Neverland. But from then on, I was impressed, touched and moved... and I want very much to stand up and be counted as a member of the audience Ms. Arnold must have been hoping to find. I don't know how many of us there are. I'd sure like to meet more of us than I've met in my life, but I know I should count myself fortunate to have met the few I've found. I'd like to say that we're technically adults who never quite (or entirely) grow up, and we're intelligent and sensitive and open and value imagination to the highest degree. We still value wonder and innocence and beauty, and we think that writers like Shari Arnold are brave and special and deserve to be lauded, even if it's virtually impossible to figure out the right label to put on their books to find the readers who will appreciate them.

This book is a fairy tale. It is also a moving treatment of the subject of loss and grief. I think it would be very difficult to find someone who is currently dealing with a significant loss who is at exactly the right point to be ready for this story -- because to be ready for this story is to be ready to begin to move on. And frequently being in the process of moving on makes one not wish to have the most painful wounds re-opened while trying to fit reading a book in between working and eating and sleeping and trying to function.

As a literary work, Neverland is flawed, and doesn't really find its most impressive voice until Part II, which is over 50% of the way in. But once it got where it was going, nothing could have torn me away from this story. In the end, this novel is smart enough that I feel no need to critique it harshly for any technicalities of craft or prose, and so emotionally extraordinary that I wish I could do more to help it make its way to other readers who would love it... and maybe even some who need it.


I received a complimentary ARC of the book from NetGalley in return for an honest review... and I certainly hope you can tell that that is what I've given here.
Profile Image for Irene.
457 reviews111 followers
June 30, 2015
Book provided by Netgalley

• Livy is an extremely likeable character, I loved her from the very first page. It's so clear how much she misses her sister and just wants her to come back. At the same time she pretty much has to deal with the loss alone, because her parents are pretty much absent. She's being forced to act mature, because she's got no-one else. I really felt for her and I loved her so so much. The way she acts and the things she wants to do, they're so realistic and I've even been there myself.
I also loved the way she grew. It was like a the seasons, when suddenly everything comes to life again during spring. It was done in a very great way.

• I don't think I've ever highlighted so many quotes before. Some of them because they were beautiful, some of them because I could relate. The writing style was really good, it was right down my alley.

• I kind of have a soft spot for these kinds of books. I expected it to be good, but I wasn't prepared for it to be this good. I think it'll be a new favorite!

• I wasn't too fond of Meyer at first, but he grew on me and I ended up liking him. James I liked immediately, he was a great character. Livy's parents started out to be pretty annoying and I didn't understand them at all, but when the book ended, I liked them and I even came to understand why they acted like they did. It just took me a while to accept them.


Memorable quotes:
"And when my sister died, they stopped calling altogether. Maybe they figured I was too busy mourning to need a friend."

"That's what I am. I'm a pothole. And until someone comes along and fixes me, I am dangerous. I am broken. I am not a part of this life and yet I'm still here. I know I'm supposed to get over losing my sister. I know that's what everyone expects. I'm just not ready yet."

"You have a lot to learn about love, Livy. Love isn't selfish. It may be unkind and it will definitely humble you, but never will it demand what it can't give back."

"I hate this place sometimes. I hate that there is even a need for a children's hospital. There should be a rule universally accepted when it comes to kids, like an age restriction. Nothing and no one should harm a child during the time they are too young to fend for themselves. I get that life isn't fair. But it's far worse when you don't understand what is happening to you. When you're too young to even make sense of it. The death of a child goes beyong unfair. It feels like a punishment."

Profile Image for Tanya (Girl Plus Books).
973 reviews76 followers
April 14, 2016

Neverland is a sweet and charming Peter Pan retelling. Livy is struggling to accept the death of her younger sister Jenna four months ago. Her family has splintered with her mother focused on her political campaign and her father barely there at all, shut away in his study. Livy has become a fixture at the children's hospital, spending all her time reading to the kids. It's there she meets a charming but mysterious boy named Meyer. As Livy grows closer to Meyer, through one adventure after another, she is also spending time with her enigmatic new tutor. And Livy wonders if either of these new people in her life are what they seem.

Neverland had a whimsical feeling that you would expect from a Peter Pan retelling. While the first half had a slower pace, and Livy's dialogue sometimes felt too formal for a 17 year old girl, there was plenty to enjoy here. Livy was unselfish to a fault, trying desperately to save a child in order to make some sense of her own loss. It was easy to fall for Meyer's boyish charm while I was suspicious (and a little creeped out) by tutor James. Neverland, both the book and the place, was enchanting. Fans of retellings, particularly retellings with real emotion, will surely enjoy this one.

Note: Many thanks to Shari Arnold for providing me with a copy of Neverland for review.
Profile Image for Rissa.
1,386 reviews48 followers
August 9, 2018

The first 205 pages were slow and all over the place but page 206 foward was really good.
Obviously if I was taken to a place and they called it neverland i would be like yeah right where are we and thats what happened.

The first part of the book was gettig to know the characters and their personalities which would have been fine if the paragraphs flowed better together. We went from her little sister to truth or dare to do we have school on Thursday and I just needed more structure.

Once we made it neverland i really liked the chatacters and their bickering. The conversations throughout the entire thing was very raw and real for the most part which I appreciate. The characters were likeable and I love Neverland so I already wanted to love ‘Neverland’ going into it.

The writing was good (bit chopy) but easily read. And the story... it had the potential to be amazing but overall I liked it.
Profile Image for Batool.
57 reviews
February 9, 2017
You can read this review on my blog: https://batoolsbookfeels.wordpress.co...

I was a little wary of this book at first, because my experience with lesser known authors hasn’t been very good lately. I was so pleasantly surprised for several reasons, however, when I finally picked it up. One of the aspects of this book that I really did not anticipate was its emotional intensity. As someone who has a sister the same age as the protagonist’s sister, I could connect very strongly to her pain. Livy’s struggle to let go of her sister and begin the healing process made me tear up on several occasions because I could imagine myself in that same situation.

Even though this is a fantasy novel and it contains magic and other fantastical elements, its themes were not particularly light. At its most basic level, it was really a story about a girl who struggles to decide if she wants to go on with her life after the loss of someone she loves, or if she wants to lose herself in the darkness of grief. For those of you who are familiar with If I Stay, you can find some parallels in that novel and this one.

Meyer (the love interest and the “Peter Pan” of this story) pops into Livy’s life and attempts to show her that life can still be worth living even when it feels like you’ve lost a piece of yourself. To his surprise, though, it turns out that she has just as much to teach him about love and loss. For this reason I found their relationship to be beautiful. I did find Livy a little weird for trusting Meyer so easily in the beginning of the book when she knows almost nothing about him. However, I’m willing to overlook this, as an important idea present in this book is taking risks (and, ultimately, if the cost you pay for these risks is worth it).

One of my complaints about this book is that, at times, it can feel a little slow. On the other hand, I loved how you didn’t really know what was going to happen next. The adventures that Meyer takes Livy on are fun, and the combination of his energetic youthfulness and his wisdom and experience with pain makes him such a wonderfully complex character. Plus, it didn’t hurt that he has sparkling green eyes and an ever-present grin (a combination which I’m a huge sucker for).

While the story does drag on quite slowly in some parts, I found this novel to be emotional and powerful. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good stand-alone novel about grief and loss that doesn’t portray these themes in a particularly dreary or depressing way. Or, of course, anyone looking for a Peter Pan retelling.
Profile Image for Christina Marie.
411 reviews371 followers
May 4, 2015
**This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review**

Such a unique retelling/interpretation of a classic fairytale.

I had a great time reading this story and falling in love with the characters and the world. I am always iffy when it comes to retellings or re-interpretations of a well known story, but Shari Arnold did a great job.

This story follows the aftermath of Livy Cloud and her struggle to come to terms with her little sister's death. It's been a few months and she hasn't been able to get her life back on track. In order to cope and deal with her pain, she spends her time taking care of other sick kiddos, who were also close to her little sister.

In spending her time at the hospital, she meets a young boy by the name of Meyer, who introduces her to a world that she was unaware existed.

As I mentioned, I loved this story. I thought it was unique, fun, sad, sweet and all of the above. Shari made me feel quite a few things while reading this book.

There's a lot of pain thay Livy is dealing with and it's not only her. She has to deal with the pain that her parents are also going through. The character progression in the book, though frustration, was very well done. Livy annoyed me more times than she didn't, but it was pretty realistic -- emotion-wise.

The world within this book was very realistic in one way, but also very fantastical in another way. The adventure that Shari and these characters take the reader on is definitely a familiar one, because of the homage being paid, but it's also a brand new story because of how unique it is!

Overall, I think most people will have a fantastic time reading something like this. The fantasy is definitely real because of Livy and her emotional experience in dealing with coping and healing. But it's just a lovely story overall that I am glad that I read.

Shari really capture the spirit of Peter Pan.
Profile Image for Laurence R..
617 reviews87 followers
January 28, 2016
Actual rating: 2.5/5

Interesting idea, but it didn't live to my expectations.

I started to read this book really excited about its story, because I love books inspired of fairy tales. However, I quickly realized that there was something missing to it, at least to me, which made it feel like it wasn't professional. I know I got an ARC, but the fact is that the entire plot lacked professionalism, at least to me. I felt like I was back on Wattpad, reading books that could've been great, but that sadly weren't. It disappointed me a lot and made me less and less interested in the story.

I don't have much more to say about the story, because I feel like I didn't get much out of it. I will say that the concept is really nice and that there's nothing excessively bad to say about the characters, the writing or the plot, but the book simply didn't do it for me.

(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Profile Image for Marjolein (UrlPhantomhive).
2,360 reviews50 followers
May 7, 2017
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

With Neverland as the title, it is not a surprise this is a Peter Pan retelling. Livy lost her younger sister a couple of months ago and is struggling to give it a place. When she starts to meet several mysterious people, will she find peace?

I really don't know with this book. It was an easy and quick read, but I never felt invested in the story. While Livy does incredible good things for the children at the hospital, she never came to life and basically remained as much of a fantasy as Neverland. Because of that, I could put down the book easily, and had I not been reading it now for a challenge, it might have taken me awhile.

I quite liked the idea though, and parts were very interesting, but they didn't make up the bigger part of the book. The jury's still out on this one.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Kate.
178 reviews37 followers
February 6, 2017
Livy Cloud’s little sister Jenna died of cancer four months ago in Seattle Children’s Hospital. Ever since then, Livy spends most of her time there, reading stories to sick kids, hoping to make their stay there at least a little bit more bearable. She can’t bear the thought of any kid going through what Jenna had gone through, and hopes that by being there, she can at least help somewhat. Besides, it’s better than being at home, with her father who’s been locked up in his study since Jenna’s death and her mother whose sole focus is her Senate campaign. The children, especially Jenna’s best friend Jilly, love listening to Livy’s stories. However, they don’t seem to help Livy herself. She is unable to move on, to stop holding onto Jenna, to move past the denial and depression stages of grief. One day, she meets a mysterious teenage boy named Meyer in the reading room. He doesn’t answer any questions about himself – all he seems to want is for Livy to go on adventures with him and his mysterious friends all over town. Adventures are obviously the last thing on Livy’s mind, but little by little, she remembers how to have fun. Until a tragedy that was Meyer’s fault nearly takes away her best friend. Livy pushes him away and focuses her efforts on saving Jilly’s life – she is a match for a bone marrow translplant and if she couldn’t save Jenna, saving Jilly is the least she can do. However, her new tutor James H. makes her question things, encourages her to broaden her mind, reconsider many issues. Can Livy survive the operation and if not, what awaits her afterwards? Who is Meyer really and why does he seem to know James? And can Livy ever really move on from Jenna’s death and be happy again?

I was intrigued by the idea of a Peter Pan retelling taking place in a modern hospital, so that’s how “Neverland” made its way to my TBR almost a year ago. I did expect it to be quite an intense read – most loss of innocence stories are. What I didn’t expect it to be is an amazing tear-jerker that pulled me in right away. Nor did I expect to have such a hard time pausing when life got in the way.

Indeed, “Neverland” was both a sad and beautiful tale of family love, loss of innocence (like most of the Peter Pan retellings) and overcoming grief, and a mystery. The main mystery – for Livy, not for the reader – was Meyer. She is a girl from our world, and naturally she doesn’t believe in Peter Pan, Neverland, mermaids and all that magical stuff. There is little magic left in her life now that Jenna’s gone, so why is Meyer trying to convince her that it exists? Both Meyer and James are making her view Jenna’s passing in different lights, and yet they shed little light upon themseves. And whilst I realised whom they were supposed to represent pretty much right away (James Hook is not someone I’d ever miss), I was very intrigued by the direction the story was taking. Seemingly occurring in our world, it had touches of magical realism that were weaved into the contemporary setting by a skilled pen, as though they belonged here.

The characters and tropes are an integral part of “Neverland”. I have to admit, whilst I saw the glimpses of the seemingly intended love triangle, it didn’t bother me as much as it normally does. Nor did the insta-love between Livy and Meyer. I usually scoff at insta-love because most of the time, it is written in a very unbelieavable way, but I could see it happening to someone who’s gone through what Livy has gone through and I could certainly believe that she had fallen for Meyer. Another trope is loss of a young family member being a catalyst for character development. Jenna was a lot more than a plot device, but her death sets the events of “Neverland” in motion and thus serves as a prism for Livy’s character development. Livy has always been a good person, but it is through that prism that we see how selfless and loving she really is, and how, despite the devastating loss and the grim atmosphere of the hospital around her, she has retained a zest for life. Meyer was just a way to bring it back out – it’s always been there. Her romance with Meyer is important to the overall story, but it does not distract from the rest of the book, which is essentially Livy-centric. That’s not to say that the background characters are underdeveloped or boring. For example, the James Hook twist was definitely a new one and yet I could so see it.

You know that an author is talented when they write things that the reader believes and gets. “Neverland” is not Shari Arnold’s debut novel – it’s not even her first self-published novel. And reading it was an amazing experience. My rating is 8.5/10.

Profile Image for SincerelyMC.
66 reviews57 followers
May 29, 2015
Lets get real, right now, people. I ADORED THIS BOOK. Cancer themes and Peter Pan in the same book? An adventure to Neverland? All of your favorite characters from the Second Star to the Right? A twisty plot with magical realism and SO MANY REFERENCES TO J.M. BARRIE’S WORK, but with so many beautiful touches of originality?
I was sold, and I am still sold.
Excuse me if I can’t write a coherent review, but essentially my mind is off to Neverland.
Half of this book is set in our world, and we meet up with our protagonist, Livy Cloud (cause Wendy and Livy are close enough), as she’s telling stories to sick children in the hospital. Remember, darlings, the original Wendy Darling was always telling stories to Lost boys…this is just one prime example of how Ms. Arnold almost dissects every piece of J.M. Barrie’s original Peter Pan, making sure to add so many elements and references from the original story, while creating her own world. And the way she does this is masterful, and so, so, unique and precise.
Every detail is accounted for. Every character is woven into the story, and things in Neverland aren’t always as they seem. Adventures happen, whether Livy’s in Neverland or interacting with some of its inhabitants in our world. Specifically, one boy with glittering green eyes and the ability to fly.
“With the soft light of the Market falling upon his features he could be a lost soul who traveled here from another time period. Not just a boy who lives to play games.”

Meyer, our modern Peter Pan, meets Livy and learns of her story: Her sister has died of cancer, and Livy’s putting her life on hold because of the grief. Meyer challenges Livy to have fun and live her life as an adventure, and they begin to bond through all of these new experiences. However, Livy doesn’t know as much as she thinks she does about this boy.

“All around us people are safe behind their windows and doors, their nights centered around the television or a good book, while I stand here, on the roof, holding the hand of a boy who can fly.”

Eventually, they stumble upon Neverland. And Livy learns of truths that are both ugly and beautiful. She has a huge decision to make, and it was in that climactic moment of the novel that I got a few reminders of If I Stay. Since I’m a huge fan of Peter Pan in general, I was caught up in all of the plot twists the author spins, excited for her creative ending.

“This is it, Livy. Our last adventure.” He leans forehead down, resting against mine. “Won’t you take it with me?”

Take the adventure, guys. I invite you to join me in Neverland and re-awaken your dreams of Peter Pan. I’ve never read a book with such a complex perfection of magical realism and fantasy. Shari Arnold’s mind must be as wide as J.K. Rowling’s. Try as I might, I can’t even begin to sing the praises of how precise she is at taking every single detail from Peter Pan and creating a modern spin on it. I’m going to end this review with a nice and simple quote: “To read this book would be an awfully big adventure.”
Profile Image for Kayla.
984 reviews65 followers
July 3, 2015
I LOVE Peter Pan. Obsessively. I love the characters, I love Neverland--the whole shebang. What I also love is trying out retellings of the tale. Retold fairy tales are some of my favorite things to read, ever, and there are some great ones out there so I'm extremely excited that they continue to be published. Neverland is imperfect, but I think that some of the book's best qualities come through in its imperfections.

Livy was interesting. I thought that she was a sweet girl and liked her as soon as I realized why she spent so much time reading to the children at the hospital. Those kids need as much happiness in their lives as they can get and Livy is there to shine for them, as long as she can. She's struggling through life after her little sister died. Her parents are distant. And then there's a little spark of something when a boy--well, more than a boy--starts listening in to her stories. Enter Meyer, who was so perfectly Peter that sometimes I wanted to smack some sense into him. And Livy was Wendy, with her own twist. Because of all she's already experienced, she's much less . . . naive. She's willing to try new things with Meyer and invite some fun back into her life but stops whenever it might blend into danger.

Neverland will keep you hooked--even though the 'Captain Hook' of the story has both of his hands. The concept of who the villain might be in the novel continues to twist and change, which I thought was awesome. I never knew what was going to happen next because I didn't know what I needed to prepare myself for. Livy didn't know what she was getting herself into when she agreed to play Meyer's games and neither did I!

Another thing I absolutely loved was how some of the concepts of the story throw back to the original (non-Disney version) in a way that I know many people who know the story don't know exists. It was a pleasure for me to read about a modern take on it all, with a few twists along the way of course.

While this isn't my favorite story, I do think that I'll be recommending it. I'd love to go adventuring with Meyer someday--and maybe I will, when I read this book again.
Profile Image for Illa .
558 reviews17 followers
April 11, 2015
88I was given a ARC by NetGallery in exchange for a honest review**


I have to say I don't usually like books with fantasy in them, I usually run the other direction. I requested to read this book because the description reel me in, but it never occurred to me that it was going to go into that direction. But I have to say I don't regret reading it. I loved it, it was different than anything I normally read. It was so well written, I love all the characters even James.
The whole book revolves around Livy's never ending suffering from losing her sister. She couldn't accept it or let it go. Their closeness was beautiful and unique. She meets wonderful people along her journey, people who will make her see the world in a different way.

This book made me see the books and Peter pan movies I have read and seen so differently and I have to say I am never going to go back to seeing it the same way. It shocked me how this author changed all the dynamic of Peter Pans plot, her interpretation was just beautiful. I have to say it just blew my mind. I don't regret reading one bit. Call me a dreamer if you must, or unrealistic fool but I love seeing the world full with colors not just with darkness.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 3 books346 followers
July 30, 2015
My Recommendation -
This book is accurate in it's portrayal of grief and bold in it's portrayal of death and after-life. This was very personal for the author as expressed at the end of the book in her notes. For that I say awesome! Because the view of this book is very unique and not something everyone wants to dwell on, I will recommend this book sparingly. This book is not for everyone.
If you need a good cry... and want to dwell on the particulars of death and life beyond. Give it a shot. I will say through the sorrow and the pain the ending makes it worth sticking through.

In An Oyster Shell- First of All Wow... This was a super intense book. As I have seen in Shari Arnold's previous work Katie Triumph, she's a super talented writer and it showed in this book as well. So no disappointment there. If you are looking for a heart-warming easy read, this is not that book. This is heart-wrenching and thought provoking. Perfect read for a stormy melancholy day that makes you question life's big questions.

See a more detailed review at http://bit.ly/1MuKpkZ
Profile Image for Rachel Gunter.
279 reviews101 followers
July 6, 2015
I received a copy of Neverland from Netgally in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

Neverland is a unique Peter Pan retelling that I really enjoyed reading. Livy was a great main character, likeable and kind - especially with the kids in the hospital - and still suffering the loss of her little sister, Jenna. For me, Meyer wasn't quite as likeable. His behaviour at times was too childlike, and actually quite dangerous. He just didn't seem to care about what he doing at times. As the story went on I did like him more, but I never fully clicked with him.

I felt so sorry for Livy and her family, they were all dealing with their grief in odd ways, and it was clear they weren't dealing with it well at all. .
Profile Image for irene.
1,149 reviews31 followers
December 19, 2017
I loved everything related to Neverland and Meyer, but the book is boring at some parts. I wish I would have liked it more. It was kinda disappointing u.u

*Note: I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Amy Lou.
901 reviews24 followers
February 15, 2019
I am SO HAPPY I finally read this book!! It was so completely fantastic. I loved the Peter Pan retelling aspect (so whimsical) and the plot of this book is so touching and sad and ugh just amazing. I was completely obsessed with the writing, highly invested in the characters, and honestly sobbing by the end. It took me four years to actually read this book and it was so worth it. Love love loved it.
Profile Image for Kate Ashley.
67 reviews
April 2, 2015
Note: This book was given to me before its book release, as per requested in NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review

See the entire review in my blog Plethoric Thoughts

For some reason, Neverland reminds me of Alex Flinn's own modern takes on fairy tales (e.g, Beastly and Cloaked). But the difference is that while Flinn have stuck with the original stories and set them in a contemporary setting, Shari Arnold took few details from the original story and used them as inspirations and pieces to which her story was created. It tackles hugely on the process--or lack thereof--of losing someone you deeply love which is a breath of fresh air when all that's being building up on popular novels recently are characters who die.

I absolutely loved the characters. Livy narrates the story in such a crucially wonderful way, being this have-become-unfun person after the death of her sister and recalling precious moments she shared with Jenna. She and her family portrayed exquisitely the fragility and vulnerability of a person when he has lost someone dearly. Meyer held the illusory and mystery around him that I expect him to have. Then through the middle of the novel, this unexpected shade of helplessness surfaced and I felt deeply moved by it. The rest of the characters were likable and relatable too.
The story is divided into three parts of which I each loved in their own ways. The first part was light and introductory to everything else that will happen in the story. It sets the stage, foreshadowing upcoming events, and by the middle of it I've already deduced paths the story might take. Surprisingly, I didn't find that unappealing to continue reading. In fact, my interest for the story piqued higher.

The second part was my most favorite part of all. The underlying theme of the story, the one underneath all the romance and teen angst, became more prominent here as does the climactic events of the story. I love how the main characters have developed a sense of loneliness and desperation in this part. It was touching and it completely blew me away. The third and last part gave way to a very careful resolution to the story, bringing it to a close in a satisfying way.

I think that this novel would have held a more profound grip on its recurring theme if only it veered a wee bit away from the romance. In the end, I didn't feel as if Livy had come into any concrete decision herself.

Overall, I'm utterly amazed at how the story was intricately crafted. It was heart-warming and beautifully done. I recommend it to anyone who's up for a more modern and emotionally raw take on Peter Pan. I'm excited to read Shari Arnold's debut novel Kate Triumph and her succeeding novels.
Profile Image for Bree Garcia.
Author 2 books10 followers
April 12, 2015
To be honest, and I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of eye rolls here, I never really liked the Peter Pan stories. Of course, my first taste of Peter Pan was the Disney movie, and I hated Tinkerbell because she was kind of a witch and then Peter just takes kids from their homes and brings them back to Neverland, and that's kind of weird. When I watched the movie, I was terrified that Peter Pan would snatch me out of my bed and force me to this strange island with jerk mermaids, a ticking alligator, and a guy with a hook and a vendetta.

So to say that Peter Pan books are not my thing is an understatement. I have no idea what compelled me to request this book from NetGalley, but I'm sure glad I did. This is a reimagining of the Peter Pan tale, but with so many twists and modern updates that it's like a whole other story. Livy just lost her little sister to cancer, and now she reads to the kids in the cancer ward, as if this can relieve the guilt she feels about not being able to save her sister. Livy is sad, serious, and has lost almost everything from her former life. When she meets Meyer, however, he reteaches her that life is about being happy and having fun, and that she can still do those things without her sister.

I don't want to get into the last 20% of this book because it would be a massive spoiler, but let's just say that there's a Neverland here and it's amazing, if not terribly sad. There's also a Hook character, disguised as Livy's new tutor, but even he isn't what he seems. Shari Arnold did an amazing job using the tale that we all know, but turning it slightly on its head so that Neverland - and Peter Pan - will never be the same again. In a good way! I loved this book, mainly, I think, because of the sweetness o Livy and Meyer. I think I've been burned out on too many YA novels that have the characters fall in love immediately and jump into the sack, that never happens here. Even though you know the story and prepare yourself for the inevitable ending (it can't last, Peter has to go back to Neverland, he's too impulsive for this to be a long term thing), you slowly fall in love with Meyer, just like Livy does. For awhile, he's crazy and risky, and it's kind of a turn off. But then you see how wonderful he can be and what good things he's trying to do for Livy, and you're done for, just like Livy. I didn't even realize it until near the end that I wanted Meyer to stay forever. It sneaks up on you.
Profile Image for June.
31 reviews3 followers
December 18, 2016
I loved this book - I devoured it. I couldn't put it down and found myself speed reading to the end of the page, skipping ahead because I was dying to know what happened, and then I would force myself to go back and slowly read every single word because I didn't want the story to end.

To be fair, I love the story of Peter Pan and always have. This is really an incredible and enjoyable modern re-telling, with a twist. I loved and appreciated all the nods to J.M. Barrie, subtle and otherwise. All of the characters are very rich and developed, and of course I was completely sold on Meyer the second he was introduced. This story has so many facets that revolve and interlock with each other. It's a story about love and adventure, it's a story about illness and grief and soul crushing loss, it's a story about the confusing desire to hold on so tightly to innocence while still grasping at reality and truth. the flow of the story was really well crafted and excellently paced. I actually liked the division of the book - that the first part was based in reality and the second took place in Neverland - because it highlighted the contrast between the two worlds. Some critiques have complained that the story lagged in parts and that the excitement didn't pick up until halfway through the novel, once we get to Neverland. But I think that firmly basing us in reality first is what makes us appreciate Neverland all the more. Livy spends the first half of the book resisting Meyer's magical pull, denying that he's special, and when she finally gives in to the magic it's like we are jumping on the rollercoaster with her.

I am fairly satisfied with the ending, which is one concern I began to develop about halfway through the book. How will this story end? Will it be a cop-out, "it was all a dream" type of situation? Or what if the main character is actually just crazy? Especially with stories like this, with so many magical elements and the creation of a dream-like world, it's hard to reconcile in the end of what is real. I found myself surprisingly emotional at the final reveal. I think the author did a great job of rooting us back into a semi-reality, while still staying true to J.M. Barrie's belief that magic is all around us, everyday, just waiting for an invitation.
Profile Image for Katrina Waldman.
447 reviews23 followers
January 24, 2016
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Wow, what a find! From the moment I saw the cover and the title, I knew this was going to be the kind of book I should enjoy. I adore Fairy Tales as I'm sure it has become obvious by now, and the story of Peter Pan is no exception. And set in the Modern World? Perfect! I couldn't wait to see what this book had to offer and I was certainly not disappointed by what I found. If you are planning to read this book then to start with I recommend you bring tissues. There are some seriously heavy subjects and events covered in this story. I cried a few times while reading it. There is so much that makes it worth the tears though. The plot, to begin with, is really something special. There are adventures, there is magic, there is a lot of drama, but at the heart of it all this is a story about grief and accepting the loss of a loved one. It's soul shattering and uplifting in a way that a lot of books aren't and that's what I loved most about it! The characters are wonderful too. The names have been changed up but it's easy to spot the resemblances to J.M. Barrie's original story. Livy is a really likeable heroine, and I really found myself wanting her to find a way to overcome her struggles and find happiness. Meyer, our resident Peter Pan, is as bright and full of energy as you'd expect him to be. Kind and happy, yet frustratingly illusive and spontaneous. He made for a very good, intriguing character and I was really happy about his ending. I was also mostly intrigued by James Hale, Livy's new tutor. The obvious comparisons to Captain Hook were there, charming and a little dangerous. And yet, it was clear his role was not 'the bad guy' and I really liked that about Arnold's adaptation. Nothing was quite what it seemed in this world and she managed to take the story of Peter Pan and make it wholly original to me, new and exciting again. I shall certainly be looking out for more of her work!

For a full review, see here: http://chasedbymyimagination.blogspot...
Profile Image for rin .
18 reviews9 followers
October 9, 2015
Years ago, I would wonder what I was thinking when I thought about Peter Pan and Neverland. Now, I guess I can't express how much I love the classic tale. Neverland was one perfect retelling that kept my attention and made me re-live some memorable moments while building some new ones along the way.

When Livy loses her younger sister, she is sad and lost in her mourning. When reading to a group of patients (the classic tale of Neverland), she encounters a boy of whom she then learns to know of as Meyer. Turns out, there's more to the story then what she can see-and maybe more than she might believe in. Thrown into a momentary life of adventure, romance, and possibility, Livy must then make the most important decision of her life.

I love how Shari incorporated the original story of Peter Pan and Neverland into this story. It was very creative and very different.

Livy. She cares. I think that her spirit and her love for her sister just happen to be some of the best characteristics about her. When she loves too much, there's nothing holding her back, accept for maybe herself and the things that she has to give up to follow what she thinks is the right thing to do.

Meyer. Not your classic Peter Pan, boy who never wants to grow up. Thing is, Meyer is grown up. He's mysterious, slightly annoying and aggravating (but then again, when are they not?), but cute and giddy inducing.

Together. I died. Yes, I have officially been murdered by unstoppable feels and uncontrollable happiness. Why must they be so cute and so engaging at the same time?

I really loved reading about their romance. Que the giggles. I was about dancing on the inside and loving every single second of it (okay, maybe not every second). I wanted more and I wanted more of the more. This was one of those times when I wish their romance could have a sequel so I can continue my life while internally screaming and dancing around (I think I've said too much).

My love for Neverland and Peter Pan will never die as will my love for this book.
Profile Image for Nicole.
644 reviews4 followers
April 2, 2015
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Livy is still mourning the death of her little sister when she meets Meyer, a boy who reintroduces her to life in a way she never could have expected. But the closer she comes to finding her way back from the dark, the more people seem to think she is distracting herself rather than truly dealing with her sorrow, especially her tutor, James. I found this contemporary reimagining of Peter Pan utterly enchanting. It was a unique and compelling blend of whimsy and heartbreak. There was a depth to the themes that I didn't anticipate being paired with the lighthearted story of my childhood, but it was a nice way to revisit the both the charmer and the snake with a fresh perspective. Neverland is well paced to develop both the characters and the romantic relationship. Readers will be quite enamored with Meyer, the romantic interest, because he is such a mystery but such a breath of fresh air in Livy's life. His brand of healing is unexpected and magical. James, the antagonist, however is a different beast. His enigmatic gestures will leave readers questioning whether his interactions with Livy are warnings, distraction, or comfort. I still haven't decided. James wasn't the only thing that threw me a little off balance. I was so taken with the first part that I couldn't put it down, but I have to say I had a hard time transitioning into the second part of the book because I just couldn't accept what Meyer was selling. The third part returned me to even ground, and I was quite happy with the resolution. Overall, I adored this book, and I think other YA readers will as well, especially fans of fairy tale revisions. I'm adding this to my classroom library wishlist and I'm going to share it with my librarian. Language and situations are appropriate for grades 7+, but I think older readers will enjoy it just as much, if not more than younger readers.
Profile Image for Darnia.
769 reviews100 followers
July 6, 2016
3.5/5 stars for retelling of the most wonderful boy imagination could created!

I know this review would be biassed because of my (forever) platonic crush on Peter Pan. I love everything Shari Arnold said about Meyer, every single part of his appearance (his sparkling green eyes, his dark brown hair, even his dark jeans and dark green sweatshirt!). I also love this version of Neverland, . And since I a Peter-Wendy shipper, I'm glad that there was no fairy in this book (I think little tinkling fairy doesn't sound fit in low-fantasy YA genre). I almost can felt Livy's heart-beats everytime Meyer whispered in her ear.

The main story was anti-climax to me. I expected more action, but this book intended to be pure drama. And I think I didn't like the ending. Then I remember, I don't like any ending of Peter Pan's stories. I just want the story not to be over :)
I also didn't like how James represented here. In other hand, I like his performance with long black coat and beautiful ageless face (I'm sorry I have to imaginated him as Johny Deep's Willy Wonka :D).

For those who love a retelling stories, low-fantasy or simply love the story with a boy who can fly as the hero, this book is for you!

It was hard for me not to imagined this guy as Meyer

He's quite grow up as nowadays Peter, does he? :p

Thanks for NetGalley and CreateSpace for the copy of this book
Profile Image for Jennifer Scott.
200 reviews3 followers
April 23, 2015
I received a copy of this story from Net Galley. Yay books.

Spoilers possible ahead...

Oh, my. I'm slightly in love with this story. It made me cry! And I'm weird to where I rate books on whether it made me cry or not. For some reason I'm really into these reimagined Neverland tales, like I can't get enough of them. Seriously, I'm kind of weirding my self out about it...

Oh, well though.

This story start off with Livy reading to a group of kids, the story of Peter Pan. But this isn't a normal group of kids. This is a group of sick kids. Kids who may not have all that long to live. And Livy knows all about this, after all, her younger sister just passed away from being sick. Reading to them isn't much, but it's the best she can do. While she is reading, she notices a boy around her age watching her from the door. She doesn't know who he is, but she later finds out his name is Meyer.

Now Meyer's special. Like really special.

Meyer talks Livy into playing a game with him one night. A type of Truth or Dare. So she does. Though his dares are more for her to have fun and just live. She doesn't realize that he's making her happy, because she still wants to be sad because her sister died. She never got to say goodbye, so it messing with her.

Then part two got, well...weird. I guess it wasn't really weird considering what I read, but for the story to start out so normal...and for her to be in a coma and end up in Neverland...I wasn't expecting that.

I wasn't expecting the ending either. I mean...I love happy endings. The happier the better. And I'm happy Meyer choose what he did...but did he really have to loose all his memories of her?

Though, if he's been drawing her since he come to "her world", I guess he didn't really loose all of them. So much for those rules...
Profile Image for Courtney.
700 reviews4 followers
May 4, 2015
I thought this book was tons of fun. I've always enjoyed the book and movies of Peter Pan, so this modern day "version" of the story was awesome. From the beginning Livy wants nothing more than to save Jilly. The little girl is dying from cancer, a disease Livy couldn't save her beloved little sister, Jenna, from. Maybe if she can save Jilly (by being her bone marrow donor), then she can feel some sense of recovery from the loss. Maybe she will be able to move on a bit. Her parents don't think the time she spends with the kids in the cancer unit is healthy. On occasion, she catches sight of a mysterious boy listening in while she reads the group stories. When she bumps into him in the stairwell, he convinces her to join him on an adventure. When she is with Meyer, she feels alive. The adrenal rush and excitement she gets from the games he and his friends play bring a new sense of adventure to her boring and predictable life. At first she can't get enough, until one adventure goes too far. The sense of adventure is replaced with fear and distrust. Distancing herself from Meyer and focusing on Jilly becomes Livy's priority. When something goes wrong during the marrow extraction, Meyer whisks in and takes Livy to Neverland. She soon discovers that all the children in that magical land are dead. Meyer is the guardian of lost souls and the granter of their wishes. She must decide if she wants to stay in Neverland, where all her dreams can come true, or return to her world and deal with the loss and pain she already suffered from. I really enjoyed this adventure. I don't know what I would have chosen in Livy's situation. I loved the adaptation of Meyer as the Peter Pan character, especially the brief reference to JM Barrie and how the story of Peter Pan came to be. I love the way this book ended. It was fantastic!
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