Tag Archives: Peter Pan

On the Same Page: Peter and the Starcatchers | Peter Pan Retellings

For May, On the Same Page (Alyssa, Amy, and myself) read PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson as our book of choice. May was a busy month for all of us so we thought it might be nice to read a good middle grade — something fun but not overly heavy — and PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS ended up being our choice! I actually listened to it on audio thanks to the copy I downloaded from AudioFile’s yearly week of free audiobook downloads a year or two back. I was especially happy to listen to PETER on audio with Jim Dale doing the narration! It took me a bit to shake the feeling of Harry Potter since I had just finished a series re-read on audio and Jim Dale voices those as well, but I quickly got into the swing of things once the story started up!

For my On the Same Page post this month, I wanted to share some Peter Pan retellings! I’ve actually read quite a few even though Peter Pan isn’t really one of my favorite tales (or Disney movies haha). Somehow I end up reading a lot — maybe it’s just a popular adaptation? Whichever way you slice it, I wanted so share some good ones, some unique ones, and a personal favorite of mine!

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PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson | This was our selected book for this month and it was really a lot of fun! I don’t read a LOT of middle grade, but this was really cute and a great sort of prequel to Peter Pan and how it all began. I did feel like the beginning was a bit slow to pick up but I absolutely fell in love with the ending! (That’s where most of the parallels to the original story were.)
Peter Pan similarities: Main character Peter, orphan Lost Boys (though they’re not called this quite yet), pirates, island natives, magic dust, and more that I won’t divulge because discovering those at the end made the conclusion really special for me!

TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson | This was one of the first Peter Pan retellings I ever read and I absolutely ADORED it. I really need to re-read someday because it was just so wonderful and beautifully written. The book focuses more on Tiger Lily than Peter Pan (as you may have guessed from the title) and everything feels a bit more real somehow while still including that Peter Pan magic.
Peter Pan similarities: Main character Peter, Tiger Lily + community, Lost Boys, Tinkerbell + jealous Tinkerbell, Neverland, intrusion of Wendy

SECOND STAR by Alyssa B. Sheinmel | SECOND STAR is actually a contemporary retelling of Peter Pan which I was very interested in before picking it up. The story was interesting but I do admit that I had a bit of a hard time with this one. I felt like things were a bit TOO parallel considering it was a contemporary adaptation and I had hoped for a bit more original story. I’m not sure if I’d recommend the book since I struggled with it some but it was definitely an interesting way to adapt the fairy tale to a modern contemporary romance.
Peter Pan similarities: Main character Wendy, Peter character, John and Michael, “Lost Boys”, Tinkerbell (Bell), “Jas” (James Hook), “fairy dust”

ON MY TBR

              

HOOK’S REVENGE by Heidi Schulz | I still haven’t read HOOK’S REVENGE but I’ve heard so many good things about it! It’s another middle grade adaptation but this one is geared more towards Captain Hook instead of Peter Pan — and actually Hook’s daughter. It sounds just adorable and I really hope to read it sometime soon!

ALIAS HOOK by Lisa Jensen | ALIAS HOOK is an adult retelling once again focusing on Hook. I haven’t read it yet but it looks like it’s a story of redeeming Captain Hook’s besmirched good name. So Hook is good and Peter Pan is evil? Very interesting! I’ve been itching to read this one but it also looks like it’s had some mixed reviews so I’m not 100% sure about it quite yet.

HOOK & JILL by Andrea Jones | I believe HOOK & JILL is an adult romance! I’m not quite sure how that would go but I’m also kind of interested. For some reason I’m just drawn to the Peter Pan retellings and I always want to have a little more sympathy for Captain Hook. I’m not quite sure who Jill is…? But it makes me curious to find out!!

 Which of these Peter Pan retellings & adaptations have you read? What did you think? Are there any other adaptations worth noting that I missed?

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Thanks again for checking out this month’s feature for On the Same Page! We had a blast reading PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS and sharing our thoughts with you! And don’t forget to check out Amy & Alyssa’s posts today too!

Alyssa (Books Take You Places) // Amy (Tripping Over Books)

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

10 Things I Felt About This Book is a mini-review feature to give you a quick run-down of a book without those long, lengthy paragraphs. It’s designed to give you a concise impression without bogging you down and a way to keep reviews creative!

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley PearsonTitle: Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers #1) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson
Publishing Info: August 30, 2004 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Children's & Middle Grade, Fantasy, Retelling
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 15, 2015

    Don't even think of starting this book unless you're sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger.
Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan.

10 THINGS I FELT ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • CURIOUS. A Peter Pan adaptation? I’m in! Peter Pan actually isn’t one of my favorite fairy tales or Disney movies, but I really enjoy seeing how people have adapted it. PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS was a sort of prequel.
  • IMPATIENT. The beginning of the book was fairly slow for me. It was good enough but I felt like not a lot happened for a long time.
  • AMUSED. There are some really fun scenes with the pirates out on the water! I really liked seeing Smee and Black Stache’s interactions!
  • ANXIOUS. I wasn’t sure how “faithful” of an adaptation this book was so I kept trying to align the current story with what I knew of Peter Pan. It was both fruitful and pointless all at the same time. Not everything was a parallel but some of those things that didn’t line up turned out to be a good thing!
  • OLD. Not that the story was old but I felt old at times reading it. It’s really hit or miss with middle grade because sometimes I just fall right into the story and other times I feel like things are a bit too silly or unbelievable for me.
  • SENTIMENTAL. I do have fond memories of movies like Hook and the musical version of Peter Pan that carried me through my childhood. Maybe that’s why I enjoy adaptations so much! I wasn’t a huge fan of the Disney version but I keep seeking out other adaptations because they were some big parts of my childhood!
  • CONFUSED. I tried to line things up again! We see characters who are obviously a part of the Peter Pan we know (Peter Pan, Smee) but there are also characters who I don’t (or didn’t) understand (Molly, Black Stache). How does it all come together? Will I find out in future books? Or are they not supposed to be characters from the original Peter Pan? (Some do get explained a bit more towards the end.)
  • IMPRESSED. I really loved how the ending all came together! I actually think I wouldn’t have been as satisfied if the beginning and middle had both been direct retellings of Peter Pan. And again, I’m taking from the movie versions (I know, I know. I haven’t read the book so I can’t really tell you what else might have been there. I’m going off the pop culture knowledge here.) so most of the first half was all brand new to me. I really loved how all of the little things worked themselves out and everything was explained. It was really quite clever!
  • SATISFIED. Again, the ending was really, really great. It just left me feeling so happy and content.
  • INTERESTED. I THINK I want to read the second book in this series. I really didn’t love the first half and I think it would have been a bit hard if I hadn’t been listening on audio, but the way that it ended was really so perfect that I think I want to see where the next part of the story goes!

Have you read PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS? Or another Peter Pan adaptation? Which is your favorite?

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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BOOKS LIKE PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

RED PYRAMID     HARRY POTTER

Second Star – Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Second Star – Alyssa B. SheinmelTitle: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publishing Info: May 13, 2014 by Macmillan
Genres: Contemporary, Magical Realism, Retelling, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 9, 2014
Related Posts: The Stone Girl

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

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I’m just gonna come right out and say it… SECOND STAR was a very disappointing read for me. I’m not a huge fan of Peter Pan, but as with any retelling or adaptation, when it’s done well (for example, Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson and others non-Peter Pan related), I have the potential to fall in love with it. SECOND STAR was not that book for me.

The synopsis sounds exciting, right? Love, loss, lies, dark magic — the back cover even talks about magical realism which I was incredibly curious about and couldn’t wait to see how magical realism really came into play. The sad fact was that it didn’t. This is a contemporary retelling — which I don’t have a problem with at all, except for the fact that too many elements of the original story, which is obviously a fantasy, were forced to squeeze into the plot of a contemporary novel. It’s just too hard to make a contemporary retelling so parallel to that of the original fantasy and fairy tale. Let me explain…

The book starts off with Wendy Darling graduating high school. She sees a mysterious boy out in the surf at night (“Pete”) and ends up immediately enthralled with him. Deciding to finally go off and try to find her missing brothers John and Michael (who were supposedly killed in a surfing accident but with little trace of them, Wendy had never believed it), Wendy travels from beach to beach looking for clues and ends up crossing paths with Pete in more ways than one. Enter Pete’s nemesis “Jas” (the Captain Hook character who I would have LOVED more “good to be bad” appeal from) and a love triangle between the three.
Okay, that I can do. But I had some major issues with the book and how things were forced to fit in. First: I could have loved the Wendy-Peter-Hook love triangle. I wanted her to choose between the innocent and the corrupt, but the switch from guy to guy happened way too quickly and I didn’t really feel a genuine connection to either one. I also wanted much more dark side from Jas. He IS the nemesis after all, but turns out just to be a good guy who is perceived as bad when he’s just taken a few wrong turns in life. I guess that’s entirely possible as a contemporary adaptation spin on Peter Pan, but I think I was hoping for a more Machiavellian Hook than unfortunate circumstances.
Second: I hated the drug story arc. What? Drugs, you say? Yes. Drug use in books doesn’t really bother me — I’m not always a fan of it, but it doesn’t usually bother me — but what I didn’t like about it in SECOND STAR was the way it was used and how forced it felt. The popular drug among the surfers is…. “fairy dust”. I felt like the drugs existed solely in the the story to incorporate fairy dust in there somehow and I could have done without all of it. There could have been some other backstory to create the rivalry between Pete and Jas (rival gator farms? I could have totally loved a more comedic retelling like that…) and not used a weird drug plot.
Third: The most interesting thing about this book to me was the mysterious disappearance of Wendy’s twin brothers Michael and John. Wendy never believed that they had died in a surfing accident and so she sets out to find out what really happened to them. The book starts out with this giant mystery and while Wendy really is looking for answers the whole time, the reader gets virtually no clues the entire book until closer towards the end. When I first saw that a mystery was being introduced, I was hoping it would follow a more mysterious path, but it really just felt like a constant back and forth between Wendy and the love triangle, and Wendy and her stubbornness to find her brothers. I felt like she was constantly going back and forth — obsessed with this or obsessed with that — and I just didn’t like her character much at all.

I was hoping for a lot more as the book progressed because I felt like the beginning half was going fairly slowly and when Wendy finally started picking up big clues about her brothers, I was ready to jump back into the mystery. The ending, however, was entirely a let down. It was confusing, it was unclear, and it was very disappointing. I’m not sure if this is where the “magical realism” was supposed to come into play…? Honestly, there was no magic in this book. I mean, that’s fine — it’s a contemporary retelling so really, it shouldn’t have magic, but it was advertised in more than one place so I just had expectations that it would show up.

Really, SECOND STAR just didn’t work for me. I didn’t enjoy the plot, I felt like too many aspects of Peter Pan were forced into the book and in other places that not enough of Peter Pan was present. Retellings are a tricky business and it’s really hard to get a perfect amount of original story and adaptation, but SECOND STAR just didn’t mesh well for me. I was also not a fan of the characters at all and I felt like they could have been so much more developed. Their personalities didn’t shine, no one stood out, and the back stories seemed weak or convenient. The upside was that it was a quick read and the mystery of Michael and John kept me interested although I was ultimately disappointed with how pretty much even story arc resolved.

view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Wendy Darling // Character Obsessions: Finding her brothers, learning how to surf, running away, boys.
Wendy was just so “blah” for me. I felt like her character didn’t have a lot of depth. She was stubborn, didn’t listen to anyone, and only had two things on her mind (well, three, I guess): Finding her brothers and Pete/Jas. Her emotions and her decisions were all over the place and she just wasn’t a very compelling main character to read about.
Jas // Character Obsessions: Fairy dust, money, surfing, Wendy.
Jas was the Captain Hook character and he could have just been so much more BAD. I would have loved to see a Machiavellian Jas, hell-bent on destroying Pete and using Wendy or a bitter, broken Jas or… anything dark and twisty. Jas was a softie. He may have been Pete’s rival but when it came down to it, he was just an old softie who made a few bad decisions and ended up in a tight spot. Meh. Disappointing.
Belle // Character Obsessions: Surfing, Pete, hanging with the boys.
Belle was the Tinkerbell character in the book and… actually, I guess she was fairly spot on! I guess as far as the movie goes, she had the right amount of jealousy, but honestly as I was reading, it felt like too much. I got annoyed with how jealous and protective she was and it got old pretty fast. She was, however, the only character who seemed to stand out to me in terms of personality. She knew what she wanted, she was happy where she was in life, and she had a fuller backstory than most seemed to have.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Genre-switched adaptations. I was so curious to see a fairy tale reimagined as a contemporary! I’m always interested to see what authors keep and what they change. It didn’t quite work out for me in this case, but I think it’s incredibly interesting and I’m always looking for more!
Left Me Wanting More: Development. Everything seemed so unfinished. The characters felt undeveloped, the plot felt thrown together, the ending seemed totally anticlimactic. It just wasn’t working for me at all.

Addiction Rating
Skip it

I really hoped to find another great Peter Pan retelling but SECOND STAR just didn’t do it for me. I’m always interested to see retellings take on in a different genre so I was so curious about a contemporary adaptation, but it just didn’t work for me. Maybe a little bit of Rufio could have sweetened the deal…?

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SECOND STAR

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Tiger Lily       Cruel Beauty

Tiger Lily – Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily – Jodi Lynn AndersonTitle: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publishing Info: July 3, 2012 by HarperCollins
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 29, 2012

    Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .
    Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
    Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
    With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

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Wow. Simply put, wow. I haven’t felt so many things from a book in a long time, and if I hadn’t seen the reviews from my friends and fellow bloggers, I never would have expected it to come from Tiger Lily. Peter Pan was never one of my favorite fairy tales. I had nothing against it, but I was much more captivated by several other Disney movies. I never expected to be quite so wowed by the story of one of the supporting characters, and one I had never been interested in.

I absolutely loved how natural the book felt. I was totally immersed in Tiger Lily’s tribe, the Sky Eaters, and their ways of life. Everything seemed to perfect, harmonic, and peaceful. Tiger Lily was quite the opposite of what I expected her to be too. In Peter Pan, I kind of figured her for a brat (Tink too, for that matter) and here we see a very strong girl yet also made strong from being an outcast in her own tribe. Maybe that’s why she ended up falling for Peter.

Peter’s story is more or less what we know from the Disney version, except that everything on Neverland (with the exception of the mermaids and faeries) is more realistic and less magical – and that’s something I really enjoyed about the story. I felt like it was a real story and I felt much more connected to it because of that realism.

Then the story takes a much more series turn — and one I never expected or even expected to be so moved by once we were led there — as we follow Phillip and how he beings to seriously affect the Sky Eaters and their core beliefs and ways of life. I was incredibly moved by Tik Tok, which was something I didn’t expect either. Like Tiger Lily, he has his eccentricities, although they are quite different than hers (he’s quite feminine, down to long hair and wearing dresses – yes, cross dressing. It’s true), and — mild spoiler alert — the tribe just never really cares or questions it… until Phillip arrives, preaching about God and the English ways and the way things are supposed  to be. I was quite shocked and found myself deeply troubled by the almost mob mentality that quickly came over the tribe and felt so saddened by it. I don’t want to give things away, but it was quite a surprising topic and I was very surprised at how involved I felt in it.

Then we have the romance between Peter and Tiger Lily. And Tink. And Wendy. Oh the stubbornness, the heartbreak, the conflict. It was all beautifullly and elegantly narrated and I found myself fully engrossed in this book.

My review really doesn’t do it justice at all. I’d really recommend you just go out and read it for yourself! I understand all of the reviews I’ve seen out there now and after finishing, I only want to do two things: First, go back and read other people’s reviews. Let me tell you that you can’t fully appreciate them until you’ve read the book. And second, go buy my own copy of the book. This one was a library copy and usually I’m happy just reading and returning to the library, but this one I want to keep this one with me — and maybe gently loan it out to other people so they can share in this magical story as well!

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Tiger Lily: Wow, just so different than what I expected of her. She was strong, yet vulnerable in a way that no one else could ever know except for Tink. Her relationship with Peter Pan made me nervous because I was scared that right from the start it was destined to fail. I absolutely loved her courage, her bravado, her strength, and her way of life. It was such a joy to hear this side of the story.
Tinkerbell: A fantastic narrator for this story. It was so much better having Tink narrate because we got to see everything that was going on and then some. Tinkerbell being a faerie lets us flit about Neverland but still be connected to the story in a different way than a simple third person narrative would. Also we have a bit of her own story woven in to add that extra bit of oomph to the plot.
Peter Pan: Pretty much what I expected of Peter and it was quite interesting to see how his relationship differed between “all of his women”: Tiger Lily, Wendy, even Tinkerbell. It’s like things were so simplistic with Peter that even he didn’t know what he wanted or what he thought half of the time. It made for quite an interesting angle of the character connections.
Reginald Smee: Smee actually played quite a large role in the book – at least, a lot more than I thought he would. And quite the sinister side of his character instead of the typical lackey we think of him as.
Captain James Hook: Another interesting take on Capt Hook as well. He was much more… human, I guess. We got to see a little more of his backstory (and the “real” story behind the hook) and it really made him much more of a vivid character. I actually loved it!

QUOTES

Quotes taken from Goodreads.com — Criminey, I was way too involved in this book to stop and keep track.  

“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.”

“Sometimes love means not being able to bear seeing the one you love the way they are, when they’re not what you hoped for them.”

“You have to be careful who you meet. You can’t unmeet them.”

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BUY IT

Wow, this book was just soooo good. I’m so impressed, I’m so in love, and I’m so going to recommend this one forever.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE TIGER LILY

CINDER     Cruel Beauty