Review: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Posted February 11, 2016 in Review / 17 Comments

Review: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell


by Lisa Maxwell
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

Bad Boy Fantasy


Unhooked feels like the little story that could.  I had absolutely no expectations going into this story, especially with a synopsis so “vaguely” perfect.   I almost hate to admit this but I was just about to put this book aside for another book but fellow blogger Nick quickly steered me away from that course.  Phew!  Turns out, this story completely captivated me once I got into it.

We meet Gwendolyn (Gwen) and her mom as they move, yet again, to a new city and new home.  This time Gwen has her best friend, Olivia, with her to help Gwen settle into her new home for the first two weeks.  But moving isn’t something new for Gwen.  She’s had to do this her entire life, moving every few years whenever her eccentric and paranoid mother got a new job painting for a new sponsor.  Gwen is getting older and is pretty much over all the moving.  But she also doesn’t want to abandon her mother, who is always talking about monsters lurking in the dark and other nonsense.

It’s not too far in to the book that the story takes a wicked turn and everything changes.  It was at that point in the story that you could not separate me from my Kindle.  I had to read, read, and read some more to get quickly to the end.  I was just so interested!  The story is an intricately woven study of good versus evil.  It’s looking into your gut and knowing when to trust your instincts or to believe the outward appearance of the actions of others.

Yeah, it’s a pretty badass tale.

Even more badass is the character of “The Captain”.  He’s dark, furious, and oh so mysterious.  He is easily my favorite character of the story.  I will not spoil anything by explaining further why.

And that’s the thing,  I can’t go into too many details about the characters because if I do, it’ll ruin the story, sorry!  Just take my word that they are all developed and utilized beautifully in the story.

I’m kind of bummed this is a stand alone for only one reason and that is because of the imaginative and wonderful visual imagery that Ms. Maxwell wrote into her world building.  When she wrote about the faceless dark creatures, I could easily picture them as I read.  I thought the prose that she began each chapter with complimented the story and it put the final star on my five star review.

This was just one of those stories that went everywhere and then at the end came all together perfectly.

Damn, that final reveal…


About Lisa Maxwell

Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest, Gathering Deep, and Unhooked. When she's not writing books, she's an English professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.



About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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17 responses to “Review: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

    • If you find it – grab it. This one is dark and has surprises. That’s why I was so vague. I’d put it on your wishlist 😀

  1. Yay we’re review twins today! I’m glad you listened to me and pushed through the book because it turned out so great for you! 😀 I loved the characters too, especially that mysterious Captain and that other character that I loved to hate. I was really invested in this story. The author did a really good job with it!
    Lovely review, Kristin!! 🙂
    Nick recently posted…15 Incoherent Thoughts I Had While Reading Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

    • See, where you were more thorough, I kept mine very vague b/c like you, I didn’t really read the synopsis either and I just loved the book that way, too!! YAY for not reading synopsis’!!!!! And I have no clue how to plural synopsis – I am not looking that one up 😛

    • It was on Edelweiss – maybe it’s still there for you??? This was just so dark and creepy and not at all what you think is going is going on type of book (tee, hee!!)

    • Ya know, if you find you want to read a book about duplicitous dark fae, this is your book!!! DARK, it is dark, my friend 😀 Not even a really happy HEA (shhhhhhhhhh)

    • It’s got nasty fae!! I forgot to mention that in my review… does that pique your interest more?? I wonder it’s a female or male narrator??? Hmmmmmm….

    • If you didn’t like the last one, you might like this one b/c… well, do you like nasty fae? That’s all I’ll say… 😉