Reading

Review: Peter Darling by Austin Chant

4/5 Stars

I have always adored Peter Pan stories. Growing up, Hook was one of my all-time favorite movies (it still is). So when I saw Silvia’s review of this little gem, I just had to get my hands on it. Peter Darling by Austin Chant is an enchanting, heart-wrenching, and delightful read. It was something my anxious little heart needed right about now.

Here is the blurb for those who aren’t familiar with the premise:

Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

This was the first book I’ve ever read with a trans character. I feel guilty for even saying it, haha. But it’s true. And I loved it. To me, this entire book was about Peter coming to terms with his own sexuality in the context of Neverland and his lifelong battle with James Hook.

The Characters

I just want to bundle Peter up and tell him, “I’ll be your family!” He was precious and daring and saucy and everything you’d expect a mostly-grown-up Pan to be.

James Hook was dashing and sexy and everything a good pirate ought to be. He was also tender, sweet, kind, and understanding.

There are other characters, Tinker Bell of course and the Lost Boys. There were also two additional characters called Ernest and Samuel who played intriguing roles in the overall story (but I won’t give their places away).

The Setting

Neverland has always been a fascinating place to me. As a child, I often wanted to run away to Neverland where you could be carefree and worry-less. I still do even as an adult! So, it was thoroughly enjoyable to see how Neverland bent and shaped itself to Peter’s shifting moods and will. The fae and mermaids were present along with a sense of overarching magic about the place. It was all beautifully rendered and described by Chant.

The Romance

Okay. Seriously, you guys. This was such a sweet love story. It was fluffy and soft and all the wonderful things that you want in a good romance. There were also no truly explicit scenes, which makes this appropriate for older teens in my opinion. Hook and Pan, and later Peter and James, were adorable together and I have absolutely nothing negative to say about them. At all. Ever.


Why 4/5 stars rather than 5? I WISH IT HAD BEEN LONGER!!!! I wish there had been more in depth explanations of both of their backstories. I wish that we could have seen the potential for conflict that might arise from Peter returning from Neverland and finding his body changed (of course, I would want this to be dealt with in a very sensitive manner). Either way, this book was fantastic and I am so glad I picked it up after Silvia’s recommendation!!

Go and check it out for yourself!

SPOILERY QUOTE BELOW.

Favorite Quotes:

“Recognition tugged again at the back of Hook’s mind, but he couldn’t place this man anywhere in his memories, and he thought he would’ve kept a record of that smile.”

 

“Peter wet his lips with his tongue. ‘This is is. You’re mine.’

‘Am I?’ Hook asked, as Peter drew back his sword. ‘Or are you mine?'”

 

“Haven’t you ever noticed that the sun comes out when he smiles?” the queen said. “It’s another thing he wished for when he was a boy.”

James laughed raggedly. “And all I wished for was a pirate crew.”

“He is a far bolder storyteller than you.”

My favorite quote of all, however, is the very very last line in the book. And you’ll just have to read it to find out!

Reading

T5W: Top 5 Underrated Books

I am really excited for this week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic! Not sure what T5W is? Check out the Goodreads group for more information.

This week, we’re discussing underrated reads that really deserve more love than they got. I’m counting books less than or just right above 4 / 5 stars in my list. Without further gilding the lily, here we go!

Give some love to those books that aren’t as widely talked about. Those hidden gems. Those books that maybe used to be popular but people have forgotten about and they still deserve some love.

The Other Guy by Cary Attwell

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Some say that the main character is cowardly, and maybe he is in some measure, but I found him to be delightfully honest, real, insecure like many of us, and riddled with flaws that made him seem more human to me. I loved Emory. I loved Nate. I loved Linnea. I loved these characters and the relationship that blossomed for Emory and Nate after their unlikely meeting in Thailand. Great fun read. Will look forward to more from this author.

 

The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan

I have always enjoyed Tan’s books and this one was no exception. Winnie and Helen’s story will haunt you with its beauty and make you ponder the hard life so many have led. It has been a LONG time since I read this book, so I don’t have a ton to say about it now, but as with all of Tan’s books, it left a lasting emotional impression.

 

The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley

I remember reading this book when I was in middle school. It looked interesting, so I picked it up and literally did not put it down until I had finished it. I read it in one day while sitting on a float in the pool. 🙂 I have read it two or three more times since then. GREAT book. There was such an air of mystery and beauty about this book. Even though it was clearly written for a younger audience, you can’t help but love it as an adult.

 

Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara

This book right here changed my middle schooler life. I adored this book and literally searched for it for years before I finally found it at Powell’s online bookstore in college. It was such a beautiful tale of light and dark essence and how they are not always what they seem. I will love Chihaya FOREVER. That is all.

 

Scarlet and White Wolf by Kirby Crow

This book was an enchanting introduction to the world crow has built around the protagonists, Scarlet and Liall. Scarlet was instantly likeable to me. Sassy and yet unsure of himself. Liall was a swaggering type with charm and assertiveness that contrasted with Scarlet’s character. Their slow-building relationship was a breath of fresh air in a genre that often throws characters together too quickly. It’s clear that Crow put in a TON of background world building. The world felt rich with a variety of languages, religions, and cultures all jampacked together in one continent. I look forward to uncovering more about this place in subsequent books. I really enjoyed Kirby’s lyrical prose. It gave the book some of the “old style” feel. I really enjoyed the book and had a hard time putting it down. Looking forward to the next one! (Purchased it right after I read this one.)

 

What are your top 5 underrated reads? Do you have a number one out of those 5? I’d love to hear about it!

Reading

Book Review: Deep Magic by Gillian St. Kevern

I’ve already read 17 books in January (most of which have been novels!) I think this is hands down the most I’ve ever read in one month. Seeing if I can break 20 before the month is over.

My 17th book for January was Deep Magic by Gillian St. Kevern. I try to review every book I read on Goodreads, but don’t always share those reviews on my blog. But this book definitely needed a blog and GR review.

4 Stars

 

If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be whimsical.

I instantly fell in love with the wild landscape of Wales and the quaint small town our protagonist Oliver Evans inhabits.

Oliver is a wanderer–plagued by an insatiable Longing for home. When his grandmother passes away, he inherits her cottage up on a set of cliffs overlooking the sea. So many memories in this place haunt him and he is drawn into the history of his own life while searching for a long lost friend named Myrhydion.

As the story progresses, we are pulled into a world of cunning magic and mythology about sea dwelling creatures called morgen. I was utterly fascinated by it all.

Olly and Myrhydion’s relationship was so sweet and yet still full of fun. The only reason I knocked off a star for this book was because of the sensual scenes. In my opinion they did absolutely nothing for the story and though they were short, they still drew me out of the overall sweet and epic tone of the story.

If you are looking for a book about mermen or selkies, I would highly recommend this one. Though the morgen are different from the previously named mythical creatures, you get a similar feel.

I am very much looking forward to book 2, Morgen’s Curse.