The Possibilities Are Endless

finalcover (3)              Olivia Vetrano’s Neverland is about an intelligent young girl who, wracked by the scars of tragedy, retreats into an irresistible world of both fantasy and self-destruction.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

It is a world Hayley inexplicably finds comfortable, and neither a devoted boyfriend nor a best friend who knows her all too well seems to be capable of pulling her away from life on a precipice.

While on the subject of the inexplicable, it’s a word that describes my attraction to this novel. A Young Adult novel about a troubled young woman is not the type of literature toward which I normally gravitate.

The following is an astonishingly strained comparison: If I can relate to Neverland, Hayley Winter can be saved.

I loved it. It made me, a 57-year-old Southern male, relate to a young girl’s trauma and delusion. Perhaps I saw in her the childlike majesty that leads her similarly remarkable love interest, Chace Chevalier, to stick with her when most in his shoes would retreat honorably, write her off, and save himself.

Chace is an extraordinary character. So is Mia, the best friend with a grasp on reality that Hayley lacks. So is the dead older sister, Deirdre, who lives on in Hayley’s concept of reality.

A lingering issue: Who’s to say Hayley’s vision is poor? It’s masochistic. It’s selfish, as Mia notes relentlessly. It’s cowardly. Hayley has retreated into a comfort level of irrationality. Her pain and experience make it ultimately believable to the reader.

Ms. Vetrano’s exuberant literary vision makes the reader think when he or she is tempted merely to scoff. Many novels entertain. Neverland isn’t just good; it’s good for you.

              Examine Neverland, by Olivia Vetrano, here:

              Please take a look at my own new novel, Crazy of Natural Causes, here:


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