I can’t speak for everyone, but Peter Pan might just be the most significant movie of my childhood. For the select group of people who agree, I think that it’s safe to say that it’s a story that grows with you. While some may think that I am referring to the plot line of how creativity and overall happiness die as we grow older, I’m actually talking about how it made me realize at a young age that I have a type for tall, dark, and handsome villains with a serious need for therapy.
If whoever is reading this also has that problem, then I would definitely recommend “Hooked” by Emily McIntire. Now, to be clear, before page one, there happens to be a lengthy warning and disclaimer page to ward off any hopes and dreams for a happy ending, along with a couple of other warnings that were bad enough to be redirected to her website. With that said, this only made me want to read it even more, especially since I have been craving something a little more gruesome than whatever Barnes and Noble was passing off in the Dark Romance section. So to be clear, I was expecting a 2016 Wattpad level oddity. Whether I got what I wanted or not, I’d definitely just add it to your “to be read” list anyway.
Hooked is a modern twist on the story of Peter Pan, where Captain Hook is the owner of a nightclub along with a couple of other nefarious job titles, Wendy is the daughter of sketchy millionaire businessman and airline owner Peter Pan, and pixie dust is the drug of choice that runs rampant through the streets. Wendy, canonically referred to as Pan’s little shadow, has been stuck within the cold empty rooms of her father’s mansion, working as a coffee barista only for the chance of basic human interaction. Hook, James’s code name, spends his days collecting rent in exchange for protection, selling pixie dust, and waiting for the perfect moment to exact his revenge on Peter Pan. He had waited decades for that moment, never knowing when a situation would arise where he would finally have the upper hand. Then one day, Wendy decides to take up her friend’s offer and go to the bar just down the street from the coffee shop, The Jolly Roger. Ring a bell, anyone? The story unfolds from there, and boy, does it unfold.
This was the type of book that you have to read in a corner of a room, or just in a room alone. The faces of pure “HUH?” that you will most definitely make will easily catch the attention of anyone around you. And since this is a book that is best kept to yourself, save yourself the embarrassment. I say this out of experience since I was the genius who was reading this book on a plane, next to a nosy old lady and a preteen with extremely magnified glasses.
Would I say that it’s a life-changing read? No. The characters were oh-so predictable and the plot probably mimics one of Netflix’s generic originals. If I had to describe it, I think it’s safe to compare it to a Dunkin Breakfast Wrap. It was satisfying and got the job done. The first bite hit the spot, but something was missing. It just needed a bit more spice, but not in the way that Book Tok intends. In other words, because of the intense disclaimer page, I was hoping for a serious kick to the face. I wanted to be shocked at the absurdity, and I definitely didn’t want to guess the ending by the time I reached the middle. Which I did. As someone who’s read many books with horrible endings, I’d say this one ends on a pretty safe note. So if the disclaimer list scared you off, I would personally like to say that you have nothing to worry about.
Unless I’m a sociopath, I think the rumors surrounding “Hooked” were a bit intense for what was actually about to go down. But for a fun, speedy read, I think “Hooked” is definitely the perfect book to pull you out of your reading funk. Read at your own peril.