Hello Fellow Readers,
It feels like summer is already gone in England. It’s been raining – of course – in London during the last couple of days. As much as I enjoy curling up with a book in bed, I also enjoy stretching up on a blanket under the shades of trees in the park.
I recently finished reading Lost Boy – which I devoured in three hours – by Christina Henry. I started thinking of all Peter Pan inspired retelling stories I’ve read so far, and I realised that I haven’t posted a nice book list in a while.
So here you go, a list of the best YA Retellings of our evergreen Peter Pan. Let’s start with my favourites:
Tiger Lily – Jodi Lynn Anderson
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.
My absolute favourite, this book is a gem and so underrated. It brilliantly explores delicate topics such as religion and domestic abuse. It was a bit slow but oh… so beautiful, it still hunts me. Check this book on Goodreads.
Not really YA but I can’t help but recommend this book:
Peter Darling – Austin Chant
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.
Because we all need a queer retelling of Peter Pan in our lives and this book is amazing and brilliantly written. Also, Austin Chant is an award-winning writer and his writing style will simply leave you in awe. Check this book on Goodreads.
and finally my latest discovery:
Lost Boy – Christina Henry
There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.
Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.
Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.
This book killed me! Massive book hangover. I read it in three hours, it was just soooo good and the ending was a shock. Prepare yourselves to meet an evil Peter Pan – almost a psychopathic version. And Christina Henry is just fantastic, whatever she writes. Check this book on Goodreads.
And then, we have:
Wendy Darling – Colleen Oakes
Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood bookseller’s son. But while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children’s nursery and—dazzled by this flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight on to morning, to Neverland, an intoxicating island of feral freedom.
As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boys’ paradise of turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and greed. As Peter’s grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who desires her, have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.
First published in 2015, Wendy Darling is another fantastic trilogy to add to your TBR. This is penned by the author of the Queen of Hearts Saga (another I-want-to-read trilogy!). Check this book on Goodreads.
Straight On Till Morning – Liz Braswell
What if Wendy first traveled to Neverland… with Captain Hook?
Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling’s life is not what she imagined it would be. The doldrums of an empty house after her brothers have gone to school, the dull parties where everyone thinks she talks too much, and the fact that her parents have decided to send her away to Ireland as a governess-it all makes her wish things could be different.
Wendy’s only real escape is in writing down tales of Never Land. After nearly meeting her hero, Peter Pan, four years earlier, she still holds on to the childhood hope that his magical home truly exists. She also holds on to his shadow.
So when an opportunity to travel to Never Land via pirate ship presents itself, Wendy makes a deal with the devil. But Never Land isn’t quite the place she imagined it would be. Unexpected dangers and strange foes pop up at every turn, and a little pixie named Tinker Bell seems less than willing to help.
But when Captain Hook reveals some rather permanent and evil plans for Never Land, it’s up to the two of them to save Peter Pan-and his world.
A more recent Peter Pan retelling. I think the premise of this book – Wendy travelling to Neverland with Captain Hook – is the perfect bait. If you like fairy tale retellings, you should totally check out Liz Braswell’s books – she has an Alice in Wonderland retelling coming out later this year. Check this book on Goodreads.
Unhooked – Lisa Maxwell
For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.
But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.
The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.
With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?
It’s my understanding that in this book Hook is the cool/handsome guy and Peter is the villain. Give it to me now!! This story comes from the brilliant mind of The Last Magician trilogy author. Check it out on Goodreads.
And to finish…
Never Never – Brianna R. Shrum
James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up. When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child – at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves.
A world where children are to never grow up. But grow up he does. And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate. This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan. Except one.
Finishing this list with Never Never, another fantasy retelling that you should not miss if you’re looking for great fairy tale retellings but maybe a little bit for a more mature audience. Check this out on Goodreads.
Any other books you want to add to this list? Have you read any of these??