The physical book is gorgeous--just gorgeous. When you handle the clothbound hardback, it feels like a beautiful old edition of a children's classic tThe physical book is gorgeous--just gorgeous. When you handle the clothbound hardback, it feels like a beautiful old edition of a children's classic that has been handed down for generations. Its handsomeness befits the author, the art director who designed some of Penguin Classics' most iconic modern editions.
The illustrations within are pretty, and I liked the quiet story of a fox searching for a star that has always been his companion. But I'm not entirely sure that the book ended on as strong/emphatic/touching a note as I was expecting, so....I think 3.5 stars for me. This seems to happen with many artists who try their hands at writing for the first time, that style/artwork overshadow story. And no matter how lovely the illustrations or jacket design, it's still story that is king.
But man, is this book beautiful. I'm not sorry to have purchased it, though I wish I'd loved it as much as I was expecting to....more
4.5 stars I've read some Peter Pan retellings I've enjoyed, and read/sampled a whole lot more I did not. What's been missing from all these other lite4.5 stars I've read some Peter Pan retellings I've enjoyed, and read/sampled a whole lot more I did not. What's been missing from all these other literary adaptations is what I found in UNHOOKED: a real sense of being snatched away from your bed and looking wide-eyed at Neverland. You feel the air on your face as you fly through a brilliant night sky; you gape in wonder at this new world throbbing beneath your palms, even as you aren't certain who you can trust; and most importantly, you understand the devastating poignancy of losing your memories, and therefore your sense of self. This book takes you there in a way I hadn't ever experienced before, and it does so with urgency, with passion, and with really beautiful, sensory-rich writing.
This isn't a perfect book--the opening chapters left me a bit disoriented (though 32 pages in, the tone is quickly set right with Gwendolyn's kidnapping), I have questions about various identities, and two key characters could have been developed a great deal more. But I loved the use of dark magic, and how Gwendolyn truly comes of age in this story, in ways that are both unexpected and satisfying. And I very much appreciated how the book touched upon issues of consent and loss, as well as the ideals of responsibility and sacrifice, between friends and compatriots as well as between mother and child.
Also, Tinkerbell is a bitch and Hook is unbelievably sexy, so I'm pretty in love with the book for those reasons alone. (view spoiler)[Seriously, I was originally just going to put SEXY. CAPTAIN. HOOK. on this prereview and leave it at that. (hide spoiler)]
A bit more of a review to come. This one deserved a more beautiful treatment for its cover than the stock photo it got, but the important thing is, the content transports you to a place that's not only beautiful and dangerous, but one that feels both familiar and new....more
This is a pleasant enough fable, but ultimately a rather slight one. While I liked the premise of the story (somewhat similar to another MG I read recThis is a pleasant enough fable, but ultimately a rather slight one. While I liked the premise of the story (somewhat similar to another MG I read recently), I wonder if the author, who is a well-respected writer of adult fiction trying her hand at children's for the first time, underestimates her audience a bit. There are few surprises here, whether in plot or characterization or emotion--and if a book doesn't thrill you or inspire you or move you, that's a rather sad state of affairs.
I did enjoy a few moments here and there, (view spoiler)[particularly at the end when it's revealed that the statue of her brother has hidden feathers, (hide spoiler)] but with this book's rather uncomplicated story and style, I think it's one probably best suited for reading with young children. (view spoiler)[I'm glad that something that happens towards the end that SHOULDN'T have happened was reversed, however. Enough of the "cure" tropes and troubling messaging. (hide spoiler)]
I read this one on audiobook, and the excellent narrator Jenna Lamia does her best to infuse Nightbird with wonder. But for me, the magic was really only in her interpretation, not necessarily in the story itself.
An audiobook was provided by the publisher for review....more
I'm setting this aside at 100 pages. It's fine, and in a different mindset and at a different, more patient point in my YA reading career I think I miI'm setting this aside at 100 pages. It's fine, and in a different mindset and at a different, more patient point in my YA reading career I think I might've been more into this. But this story and world and characters are not nearly as interesting or complex as they should be--even with a quieter (heh) heroine and less action-oriented plot. Not only soundless, but a bit colorless and lifeless as well, to be honest.
I do appreciate when authors try new things instead of cranking out the same stories all over again, and with anyone else this would probably be around 3 stars. But I know Richelle Mead is capable of so much more.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher....more
I liked this for the most part, though I didn't quite love it. It starts off feeling very middle grade, and then has moments of upper YA-ness, which iI liked this for the most part, though I didn't quite love it. It starts off feeling very middle grade, and then has moments of upper YA-ness, which is a bit disconcerting.
Still, reimagining Peter as beast isn't hard (it's very popular to pick on him these days!), and obviously every "villain" is the hero of his own story. This is an interesting take on Hook for sure.
Wendy isn't in this book very much, but she comes across much better than she does in TIGER LILY. Points just for that, heh.