I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.
Original Release Date:
July 18th 2017
Date I Read The Book:
My Star Rating:
16-year-old Wendy Davies crashes her car into a lake on a late summer night in New England with her two younger brothers in the backseat. When she wakes in the hospital, she is told that her youngest brother, Michael, is dead. Wendy — a once rational teenager – shocks her family by insisting that Michael is alive and in the custody of a mysterious flying boy. Placed in a new school, Wendy negotiates fantasy and reality as students and adults around her resemble characters from Neverland. Given a sketchbook by her therapist, Wendy starts to draw. But is The Wendy Project merely her safe space, or a portal between worlds?
Retellings are beyond popular – and I am a particular fan of them. Some involve the fantasy world colliding with the real world (as in Alice in Wonderland retellings where in she is psychotic – or at least perceived as psychotic). Peter Pan in particular is popular for retellings. It is also popular for theories – one prevalent one being that the lost boys are all dead and Peter is their guardian angel.
The Wendy Project plays into these ideas. We follow Wendy’s point of view through her journal/sketchbook after a devastating accident where-in her brother dies – though Wendy believes him alive, and that he has simply been taken away. We see her coping with this lose and these ideas – both her high school life and ideas of Neverland in her art, colors used to differentiate reality and fantasy, and we are generally left as unsure as Wendy is.
It is well written, and the artwork is gorgeous. I particularly liked the interspersing of Peter Pan quotes from JM Barrie.
My only issue is that its quite short – and so didn’t go into the depth that it had the potential to, and feels quite abrupt at the end.
But overall, I really enjoyed it.