Title: The Wendy Project
Author: Melissa Jane Osborne
Illustrator: Veronica Fish
Publisher: Super Genius
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Plot Synopses (provided by publisher): 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?
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Overall: This is a great story that keeps the reader guessing about what’s real and what’s in Wendy’s head throughout the entire book, and even the end manages to be somewhat ambiguous.
Main themes/tropes: fantasy vs. reality, art as therapy, guilt, death in the family
Plot: This plot really keeps the reader guessing what’s going to happen next. I hate predictable, so this was a breath of fresh air. Wendy’s guilt and pain are deep and well-articulated, and her interactions with her peers (and her parents) are believable.
Characters: All of the main characters are fully fleshed out and sympathetic in their own ways, even Eben who is kind of a thoughtless ass (much like peter Pan 1.0, of course.)
Art: The use of color to denote fantastical elements is really effective, and the splashes of color across each page draw the eye and are (as they are supposed to be) the focal points of the story. I love Wendy’s face and how expressive it is.