Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Peter and the Starcatchers

For any book lover, asking them to name their favorite book will typically lead to gasps and sighs as the reader tries their hardest to pick just one. It's nearly impossible and I find that often when faced with that type of question, I usually end up listing a bunch of books, "Well, this is my favorite children's book, but this was my favorite book as a child. Then again, I loved this book when I was a preteen so that's nearly my teen  years yet I was still a child so maybe this counts? But I love them both..." For all my struggle, there has always been a pretty consistent list of books that I have always loved. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie is one of those books. I have loved that book since I first read it and have always appreciated the story. Even now, I can't seem to shake it.

Peter and the Starcatchers, a book written during my life time but taking the tale of Peter Pan and giving us the "how he became the boy who never grew up," has always been on my radar. I mean, of course it is! I love all things Peter Pan (don't even get me started on the movie Finding Neverland, I still ugly cry when I watch it).

The book is an easy read and definitely appropriate for children. It's safe and doesn't dive too heavily into areas that could cause conflict for parents not wanting their children exposed to certain things. There's sword fighting and nasty pirates, people who hunt down the stuff that stars are made of and magic all around. It can be scary but generally speaking always results in something that is generally good. I could have easily read through this book in record time but I was still nursing a cold when I began it, so my lack of energy made for only short instances of reading. But, after I felt better, I sat down one evening and read the second half of the book after dinner and was finished by bedtime. 

Peter is a normal boy for the majority of this book. He's spunky, brave, and protective of his band of "mates" who are orphans just as he. We begin the book as Peter and his friends are about to board a ship to a distant land they know nothing about, a place where they will (it turns out) become servants for a villainous ruler. On the ship is a girl of a higher class, Molly, who seems to be hiding a secret that only piques Peter's interest.

Living in awful conditions and not being given any food, Peter sets out to find food but discovers Molly's secret and the magic that has been brought upon the ship. He isn't the only person looking to discover this magic though. A pirate ship is close behind, following their boat (the Neverland) with hope of getting the precious cargo.

So much happens from the middle of this book straight to the end. It's nothing but adventure, pirate fights, marooning on islands, being captured, being let go, trickery, mermaids and more magic. I loved it and it was such a quick read! Now I find I want more and can't wait for my chance to pick up the next book in the series.

By the end of the book, we're given an explanation of why Peter is the way he is. Through the entire tale I was wondering how it would come about and most of it seemed to make so much sense, but the pieces were yet to be connected. Then, it was all set into place. Peter became the boy who can fly, the boy that never grows up, and his friend Tinkerbelle entered the picture. I loved it. Without giving away the exact details of how this all came to be, I was so pleased by it. I was really curious and somewhat worried that it would be ridiculous and just tossed into the storyline, but all along they were leading up to it. Ah, it's so good!

I want to go on for ages talking about this book but I feel like too much discussion would just give away the secrets. From how mermaids are formed to the creation of fairies, it's all in the book and so pleasurable to read. Also, there's a lot of artwork that's so perfectly childish yet beautifully done. All my praise for this book!

Last Week's Review: The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Next Week's Review: Blankets by Craig Thompson

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