Shari Arnold, author
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?
Arnold (Kate Triumph) works Peter Pan’s realm of perpetual innocence into the story of a grieving 17-year-old. After Livy’s younger sister, Jenna, dies from leukemia, the teenager continues to visit Jenna’s Seattle children’s hospital, reading to the other children. There, Livy meets the spritely and mysterious Meyer, who leads a ragtag group on adventures like taking over a broken-down amusement park, and eventually comes perilously close to her own demise after undergoing a bone marrow transplant to save a friend. Arnold’s take on Neverland is less a reimagining than an homage that borrows elements from Barrie’s original, including a Captain Hook–esque figure who is more a pragmatic adult than a villain. Livy often speaks of her love for her sister, but readers don’t always get a strong sense of that bond (when Livy granted a limited, magical opportunity to see Jenna again, Livy chooses to spend many of those precious few hours on a romantic entanglement). Despite a third act that ties things up too neatly, Arnold makes confident use of her story’s fantasy elements to create a moving story about overcoming loss. Ages 12–up. (BookLife)