Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dual Review: Peter Darling + When Did 30 Become A Big Deal?

Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: 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.

Review: At 164 pages, Peter Darling is between a novella and a novel for me. While I would have loved to have more of the story - since I really loved it - I do think it works at its length since Peter Pan and Captain Hook have a lot of history already.

What I absolutely adore about this retelling is that Peter Pan is actually Wendy Darling. In Wendy's world, he knows he is a boy, but in the time he lives in, nobody else understands. He goes to Neverland as a child and loves it, since he's now in the body of a boy - newly named Peter Pan. He goes back home for ten years but in Peter Darling, he is back and determined to live the rest of his life in Neverland and as Peter.

Peter is still a fierce character in Chant's version. He likes to fight and wants to go after the pirates, especially Captain Hook, even though the Lost Boys have a new leader and are currently living in peace. The eventual relationship between Peter and Hook is done well, without moving too fast. Like I said before, they have a lot of history already, and in Peter Darling, there is a moment where they are trapped together, allowing them to get to see other sides of each other instead of the caricatures they saw each other as: Peter as the troublesome boy and Hook as the villainous pirate. The relationship between these two reveals that Peter is not only transgender, but he's also gay, which adds even more diversity to the book.

Despite thinking the length works, I would have loved to have more of the story as it's quickly become a favorite of mine. In fact, I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads! There is one physical moment but it's nothing terribly graphic, so if that's something that normally deters you from certain books, don't let it keep you from reading this one! Neverland is fully imagined and I loved the side characters - from the Lost Boys to the mermaids to the fairies, including Tink! This is one for Peter Pan fans and for those that don't know the original story well!

Interested? I'm an Amazon Affiliate, so any purchase gets me a small percent. Check out the book here!

When Did 30 Become A Big Deal? by Alessandra Ebulu

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official SummarySanmi wakes up on the morning of his thirtieth birthday to alarming news: his best friend Bidemi reminding him of the pact they’d made when they were seven that they would marry each other should they still be single when they turn thirty. He brushes it off as a joke, but then Bidemi, whom he always thought was straight, begins to court him…

Review: When it comes to LGBT+ fiction, I really love the whole friends to lovers trope. When Did 30 Become A Big Deal? is a short novel that focuses on just that. Sanmi has just turned thirty and his best friend for 20 years, Bidemi, reminds him of the pact they made as kids. If neither of them were married by age 30, they would marry each other. Sanmi assumes Bidemi is messing with him, since he's never got the inkling that Bidemi is gay. But Bidemi is completely serious and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that Sanmi sees him in a new light.

One of the things that I LOVED about this book is that it's set in Nigeria, so being out and open about homosexuality isn't safe. It's also exciting to read a book set in a different country, especially one I don't think I've ever read about. Sanmi and Bidemi are great friends and it was fun seeing the two of them grow closer in a new way. This isn't a gay-for-you novel, though I don't always mind those, in case you are worried about that particular trope.

There were a variety of side characters that really added to the story, like Sanmi's other best friend from work and both of the boy's parents. All of them are pretty supportive about Sanmi's sexuality and they don't seem to mind the idea of Sanmi settling down with his best friend.

This was a short and sweet novel, with some added humor, which is always a plus!

Interested? Check it out on Amazon here (I'm an affiliate: I get a small percent of any sale)


Christy LoveOfBooks said...

Oh, how interesting! This is the first I've seen a twist like that on Peter Pan.

Karen Alderman said...

I didn't realize Peter Darling was a novella. I've been seeing it everywhere but I'm so overwhelmed by books right now I didn't want to add another but I can do novella length!

And When Did 30....sounds adorable! I need them both lol

Karen @For What It's Worth

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

Sounds really interesting. Wendy is actually Peter Pan? That is original. I will have to consider this one.

Suzanne at The Bookish Libra said...

Peter Darling sounds like a fascinating twist on the traditional tale. That cover is beautiful too!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Peter Darling sounds interesting!

The Bibliophile Babe said...

Peter Darling is definitely a fresh twist!

Carrie said...

This is such a unique twist on a book!


Tanya Atkinson said...

What an interesting take on Peter Pan. Pan as Wendy and then back to Pan. And a relationship with Hook. So interesting! And When Did 30 sounds so cute!

Greg said...

I like the idea that the Lost Boys have grown up and everything is different. It all sounds really good. I've always wanted to see the mermaids used more too since I have a merfolk thing. :)

Nice to hear that When Did 30 is good also.

Farrah Fong said...

I love fairytale spinoffs! I'm going to need to look into finding that so I can read it! :]

Jennifer Humphries said...

How have I never heard about the Peter Darling book?! I need to read that one. Thanks for sharing your review. I am glad you liked it!