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ARC Review of Neverland by Shari Arnold

neverland--shari-arnold--20150402

Author: Shari Arnold
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Release: Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Create Space
Source: Net Galley from Author

A copy of this book was received in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect the review in any way.

About the Book –

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 elusive 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?

Will Livy lose herself to Neverland or will she find what she’s been searching for?

Release Date April 7, 2015

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My Recommendation –

This book is accurate in its portrayal of grief and bold in its 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! This books view is heavily focused on death, not something a lot of people want to dwell on for fun.  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.

The Pearls –

I would like to say when I started this book I did not associate the author’s name with a book that I just got done reading that I absolutely loved. So when I started the book and figured out this is the same author that wrote Kate Triumph. I was ecstatic. I really enjoyed that book and so I settled into what I was sure was going to be a fun engaging experience.

In the first few chapters of the book, my heart was just wrenched and rendered. I was blindsided by the heaviness.

The book is about a family’s loss of a young child from the POV of the older sister Livy. It was hauntingly beautiful with imagery and metaphors. Arnold did an amazing job of painting sorrow with words and setting. It was incredible… but I was already having a day that I felt like crying and this book provoked that even more. I was sad!

The sorrow did not last long. It felt like the sun came over the clouds and brought water to a dehydrated soul when the mysterious Meyer shows up. He helps Livy get on the road to recovering from her loss yet there’s something he’s not telling Livy.

In the End… well I hope you know me well enough by now that I wouldn’t take that away from you.

This a beautiful book with amazing characterization and setting which you should expect from Shari Arnold. All the story elements are masterfully orchestrated into a drama that will resonate in your soul long after you’ve finished the book.

I found myself highlighting quotes left and right like the one in the meme above. There are so many quotable gems to be found in this read. It was a hauntingly beautiful book.

The Nitty Gritty –

This book was well written and well done with the exception of a couple minor errors. Nothing that the untrained eye would notice.

My biggest problem with this book is the personification of death. I have major belief conflicts with the ideas presented in this book. First and foremost I completely reject the idea of a sympathetic death character. Death has a sting. Death is not nice. My personal opinion, death is a punishment, a severing of life. Any attempt to soften that with an empathetic character is a delusion.It’s a lie. I can’t get over that.

I appreciate and respect that people have different views and we have free will and (if in America) the freedom of speech. This world is a better place because people share their ideas.

It’s rare that people are bold to share their views on death and after-life. So I want to be clear that I commend the author for sharing what she felt the story needed to say. She did it well. I just happen to disagree. I thank you for sharing. It made me contemplate my stance very carefully before writing this review.

~Jessica

About the Author –

author-about--shari-arnold--20150402

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.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Ginny April 7, 2015, 1:18 pm

    Beautiful review. I’m curious about her take on death and the afterlife. It’s always interesting to read other views about the inevitable.

    • Jessica April 9, 2015, 3:50 pm

      Yeah… Like I said it’s a bold expression that I feel few dare to explore. So Kudos to her for that…

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