Publish Date: October 11, 2011
School has only been out for one whole day, and Ashley can already tell her vacation is going to bore her to tears. With her friends out of town and her parents working nonstop, she finds herself alone and with nothing to do -- until one night she wakes up and discovers Peter Pan in her bedroom -- wrestling with his shadow.
Since his original adventure with the Darlings, Peter Pan has been bringing new "Wendy girls" to Neverland to take care of the Lost Boys. But Ashley's made of much tougher stuff than the Wendy girls before her -- she'd rather befriend the mermaids or fight Captain Hook and his pirate crew. Creating new adventures for her friends, Ashley is bringing change to Neverland...and not everyone is happy about it.
Always Neverland was a fun addition to the Peter Pan tale. I especially loved that Barton didn’t try to change the tale of Pan, but rather, added to it. Ashley is a descendant of Wendy so the original story did happen but Always Neverland is an entirely new adventure.
I adored Ashley. She’s young, but she proves her worth among the Lost Boys and Peter. She refuses to be like the other Wendy Girls just watching the Lost Boys and being a Mother. Plus, she won’t take a simple no from anyone. Peter says she can’t befriend a mermaid, but she tries anyway. The Lost Boys say she can’t fight, but she does it anyway. Seriously, I love this girl’s determination.
The Lost Boys are adorable (though they’d probably deny it and say they’re fearsome) and they all have different personalities. I would have loved to hang out with these boys when I was younger. They’re fun and always ready for an adventure. But of course, they all still have a soft spot that wants a mother.
Now, Pan is another story. I have to say he kind of got on my nerves. He was the cockiest little boy I’ve ever seen. I’ll admit, I’ve never read the original story, but I imagine he acted much the same in the original, but I can’t say I like it.
I loved all the adventures Ashley had. There were fights with pirates, mermaid befriendment, lion riding, food trees, Never bird riding, and so much more. I found myself sitting down to read only to look up and discover I’d already read 1/3 of the book!
The Nutshell: Always Neverland is a retelling/addition you don’t want to miss. There’s plenty of the old Peter Pan that you know and even more new adventures. If you still have even the tiniest amount of kid in you, then this book is for you.