Friday, March 20, 2015

Review: Neverland Academy Daelynn Quinn

Neverland Academy

By Daelynn Quinn

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Daphne Werring knows trouble. She's had her fair share of it back in Atlanta, but now that her parents have moved her and her brothers to rural Georgia (more like royal Bored-ga), nothing has changed. A chance encounter with a not-so-ordinary boy leads her to run away on an adventure beyond any she's ever known. From secret underground tunnels to tales of abuse and imprisonment at the Neverland Academy for boys, Daphne, her new friend, Finn, and his band of 'lost' boys embark on a quest to bring the horrific truths to light and to stop the wrongdoings before the headmaster runs them out . . . or worse.

Extended Description:
It was the worst day of Daphne’s life. Not only had her parents moved her from Atlanta to the middle of nowhere, but her boyfriend broke up with her in the middle of a crowded club and her parents grounded her for a month for sneaking out and stealing the BMW. All in one night! If she were back home in Atlanta it would be no problem. She could always find ways of getting around her punishments. But this was rural Georgia. And there was nowhere to go but woods and farmland. That is, until Finn showed up at her window.

Finn was the invincible mascot of Neverland Academy where Daphne’s brothers attended. For the five years since he’d been expelled from the all-boys boarding school, he lived in the old slave tunnels under the former antebellum plantation home. He and his band of outcast boys lived for pulling pranks on the school’s professors, and especially the headmaster, Byron Trappe, who had a personal vendetta against Finn.

Daphne grew to love life under the academy. But there was one problem. She was falling for Finn. Hard. She knew he didn’t want a relationship or anything that resembled growing up. But when the wall she built between them begins to crumble before her eyes, will she stay at the academy and face impending heartbreak? Or will she leave her heart behind and escape the dangers of criminal life, including a perilous encounter with the vengeful headmaster?

Genres: Young Adult Retelling

Publication Date: October 3, 2014

Pages: 419

Series: N/A

My Rating: 1 star

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Peter Pan. A boarding school. PETER PAN. You have no idea how very excited I was to read this book. Sadly, the writing didn't hold up to my expectations; this retelling paled drastically in comparison to the original novel.

I didn't like Daphne. I had a hard time relating to her issues. Oh, you can't see your 22-year-old deadbeat boyfriend. Boo hoo. I feel so sorry for you. 

Not only that, her personality was not fleshed out at all. I was told the type of person she was, but I was never shown--and the little that was shown of her didn't really fit what the book described her as. 

Finn may have sounded pretty cute at first, but it became clear to me that there is no way in heck that I would want him as my boyfriend; he's one of those guys that refuse to grow up. He wants to stay like a kid and live in the tunnels under a boarding school and pull pranks forever; have fun finding that attractive when the guy's forty-five. He's rather clueless, but to be fair, the original Peter Pan was too so I didn't hold that against him too much. 

Headmaster Trappe was so one-dimensional as a villain. He didn't live up to the true evilness that was Captain Hook; instead, he seemed to be a cheap imitation. From the very start, he sneers and makes cheap threats to lock his niece Belle up in the 'discipline room', but it feels more like "cheesy villain who ties the heroine to the railroad tracks in a black and white movie" then "pure psychopath pirate (or, in this case, headmaster) who kills for sport". 

So were Daphne's parents; while they were seriously awful people, but the way they were painted, I could never actually hate them because I was too busy rolling my eyes at the things they said. Her parents tell her, "if it weren't for your mother's and my careers, we would have let you rot in juvie years ago. When are you ever going to learn to grow up?" at one point. That is absolutely awful, but the way it was delivered in the story made it seem over the top and cartoonish. 

The writing was poor and unrealistic. At one point, one the characters is stabbed in the stomach, and--no joke--a few paragraphs later is fighting like nothing ever happened to him. The characters overreact to things a lot. They're overdramatic. It's just very soap opera-ish in general. The dialogue also felt very stiff and unnatural; many times, the thought "no one talks like this" ran through my head. 

And the plot; it had so much potential, but it died so quickly. The writing, the characters, and just how cheesy it came off as totally killed the plot. This could have been so great, but I just didn't like it because, like most of the book, I couldn't take it seriously. It just wasn't written well enough for me to really get into it. 

Neverland Academy took one of my favorite books of all time and turned it into a story that I really disliked. Not something I would think of recommending; there are a lot of other awesome Peter Pan retellings out there for those who want to get more of this story, and I'm afraid this is not one of them. 


  1. That gif though xD I haven't read this book, but I like the sound of the premise though - wonderful review x <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

    1. Haha I know, Jack looks so done. XD It was a pretty good premise, though I wasn't a fan of how it was executed. Thanks Benish! :)

  2. I nominated you for the versatile blogger award! :) You can see my post here:
    (shame you didn't like this book by the way, I decided not to add it to my tbr, though I will be reading some Peter Pan retellings in the future I'm sure)

    1. Wow, thanks Anna! I will try to get this up as soon as I can. :) Peter Pan retellings are (usually) so much fun, I hope you find some that you really like! :D


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