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Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

This book was fantastic. It was absolutely, positively amazing, and if you’re not reading this (and you’re not currently reading a fabulous book), pick it up, turn to the first page, and start reading.

Peter and the Starcatchers is the first book in a series of books, which follow Peter Pan before he meets Wendy. It opens with how Peter came to Neverland, and how he became who he is. In a humor-filled and somewhat sassy book, we learn how Peter came to be able to fly, how mermaids came to exist, how Black Stache (or as he is now known: Captain Hook) came to loose his hand, and much more about Peter’s first journey and the start of the famous Neverland. If you love Peter Pan, and any version of the story, whether it was a book, a movie, or a play, you’re more than likely going to enjoy this as well.

I actually saw the play form of this book before I read the book, so I already knew most of the plot twists. (The play, by the way, is just as fantastic and definitely worth seeing. It’s not Wicked standards of greatness, but it definitely has its own charm and can hold its worth in the humor department; I spent more than half the play laughing, and it was fairly good, plot-wise.). I was, however, fairly surprised when the book came up with its own plot points, and its own sense of humor (especially the relationship between Smee and Captain Black Stache, which I found hilarious), and at some points diverged from the play completely. I liked the book’s version of events a lot more than I liked the play’s version, but at the same time was able to appreciate both.

Before I started reading it, I thought this book was written for adults. Mostly, because when I went to see the play, it was called Peter and the Starcatchers: A Grownup’s Prequel to Peter Pan, and I thought that it was written specifically with adults in mind. That being said, I found that children would enjoy the story just as much as the grownups would. And the book is not that much different. When I first started reading, I thought that I was reading a kid’s book; it has aspects of children’s novels, and I could see how someone younger would like reading it. The first reason for this is that the main characters (like Peter and Molly), were children (we never find out how hold they actually are, but they’re young enough to be called children in the book). The second, it would be perfectly normal for kids to read this. They wouldn’t get all of the jokes, and so it wouldn’t be as funny to them, but there weren’t enough of them to call this a strictly adult book. There also wasn’t anything that children (presumably who are reading) haven’t read before. There are pirates, mermaids, flying boys and girls, animals, “savages” (which I loved because they were VERY non-stereotypical), treasure, magic…I couldn’t find one thing in this book that a child has not already read in a book, or seen in a movie; there wasn’t even any bad language. The worst that the language gets is Black Stache saying, “Idjit” instead of idiot. At the same time, I found it enjoyable, and I believe that adults would enjoy it as well. Like I said, it has its own charm, and it is very witty and funny.

To sum it all up (in case you didn’t want to read this post): read this book. It’s very humorous, its a quick read, and you’ll definitely enjoy it, especially if you liked Peter Pan (in whatever medium you viewed it, whether that was the movie, the book, or the play). Its good for any age (except maybe two year olds or younger), and you will be absorbed in its pages from page one. Also, if you enjoy it, or if you decided not to read it, but have gotten curious about it, then go see the play. It’s equally as enjoyable, although different, and also good for all ages (except maybe two year olds or younger. I really don’t think they’d enjoy it as much.).

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