Hey, everyone! This week I'm reviewing a great book I just read. I'm definitely going to check out more of this author's work, so you're sure to hear about her again in the future. 😁
There may be some spoilers as I try to give an accurate picture of the book.
(The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.)
Author: Kara Swanson
Series: This is the first in a duology called "Heirs of Neverland".
Targeted Age Range: 14+
Synopsis: Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real--since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire's desperate search points to London... and a boy who shouldn't exist.
Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.
The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan--and herself.
Language: A few mentions of cursing. "Heck", "dang", "blooming", various forms of "blast"and "Cor" are regularly used. There are a couple instances of name-calling.
Violence: There are several fight scenes, mentions of blood/injuries/death, and non-detailed mentions of parental abuse. It's mentioned that, filled with hopelessness, Claire jumped out of a two-story building a few years back. A main part of the story deals with a boy being kidnapped.
Romance/Sexual Stuff: Claire and Peter feel drawn to each other and struggle to figure out their feelings. A few instances of noticing. Near the middle of the story there is a semi-detailed kiss. Peter's various romantic interests are mentioned.
Magic: As the story is based on J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, there is quite a bit of magic. Many of the creatures and elements mentioned in the original Neverland are also in this book (pixies, pixie dust, sirens).
References: The story mentions modern-day brands, like Little Debbies and Circle Ks, as well as different, famous landmarks in London. Once there is a reference to Disney's Peter Pan and Tangled.
Other Issues: Peter lies about his identity to Claire, worried about her reaction if she knows the truth. Another character also lies about who he really is.
My Age Range: I think kids aged 14 and up would enjoy this book the most.
Read Aloud: I think this would be better read alone.
My Opinion: I decided to pick up this book due to the many members of the Young Writers Workshop program recommending it, as well as the author's talking about it. I don't read much young adult fiction, because of the content issues that most mainstream YA stories have, but this story turned out completely different from what I was expecting.
While Dust doesn't shy away from the dark spots in the original Peter Pan tale, like the gold pixie dust that flows from Claire's hands, it bathes the story in welcome, redeeming light. Through Claire's fearless example, the book inspires us to illuminate the shadows in our own lives, providing us a load of thought-provoking quotes to help us fight. As well as the hopeful message itself, the story was very well written, with an enticing plot, flawed, relatable characters, and polished, vivid description that often left me breathless with wonder.
If you're looking for new, creative fairytale remakes, a new perspective on the world around us, or just a book worth your time, I think Dust would be a perfect choice.
-Dust is a story of dual perspectives. Which point of view did you like hearing the most? Why?
-For a while Claire saw her ability to create pixie dust as a curse. In your opinion, what memories in her life caused this? What does being with Peter and Tiger Lily show her about her power and herself?
-What is Tiger Lily to Peter? What does Tiger Lily become to Claire? What's your opinion Tiger Lily and how she shapes the story?
-Originally, Peter introduces himself to Claire as Ben. Why do you think he did this? Do you agree or disagree with his decision? What were some of the challenges he faced in balancing these two identities?
-Read a copy of Peter Pan and compare and contrast the story with Dust. What did the author keep that was originally in the story? What did she change or add?
-When I post this review, Dust's sequel, Shadow, will be coming out in July 2021. After reading, what do you think will happen in the next book and why?
Thanks for joining me for my review of Dust! I was so thrilled to be able to review this book. I'm also excited to announce that I'll be posting an interview with the author soon, so stay tuned for that.
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Thanks for stopping by, and join me next week for another post!