Monday, April 4, 2011

Fairies and The Quest for Neverland by Gail Carson Levine

I adore Gail Carson Levine and have since I first saw Ella Enchanted. That movie was so great that I had to read the book. I loved the book (one of those situations where I loved both equally). I went on to read more books by her and discovered her fairy tales. She has re-written some fairy tales and they are great. I originally thought the Fairy books were similar to those but soon discovered they were not. I was a little disappointed because I had an expectation and I am not sure I would have picked up this book if I had known. All in all, I enjoyed it.
Now I have been purposely vague because I want to explain what the Fairy books are. This particular series is based on the Disney Fairies from the Tinkerbell movies. I can understand the popularity of the Peter Pan offshoot but I am more of a purist. I don't necessarily like it. I can't explain why and I can't explain exactly what it is I don't like. I just tend to avoid such things.
Fairies and the Quest for Neverland was a great book. Gwendolyn is the great great (maybe more) granddaughter of Wendy. Every generation a girl is selected to take Wendy's place in Neverland for a short period of time and Gwendolyn can not wait for it to be her turn. She waits for years, dreaming about the fairies that live there. When her time comes, she spends her time with the fairies instead of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. While there, Kyto, the dragon, escapes from his cage and Gwendolyn helps the fairies capture him before he destroys Neverland.
There were some things I really liked about this story but it had a few things I didn't like. I understand it's a fairy tale and it's a juvenile book but I thought the capturing of Kyto was too thrown together. There was a lot of waiting for Peter Pan in the beginning that could have been skipped to give more time to the ending. I, also, found Gwendolyn's obsession with the fairies a little unnerving - she didn't seem to be interested in anything else but the fairies. She, also, had a lot of personality issues. Maybe I am being picky. It wasn't my favorite Gail Carson Levine book and won't be a series I pick up again but I think for young girls who love the Disney Fairies this will be a great series. Disney certainly has some great books coming out and I think that anything that gets a kid reading is worth getting into their hands.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it sounds like they take too many liberties with the original stories by Barrie.

You might want to try these two books. They're both about Peter Pan, but they are very different from the 'others' out there.

First, one that has been written by a self-proclaimed purist who derived the continuation story from actual notes of Sir J.M. Barrie. He had plans for more and they (as well as other writings and musings of Barrie on Pan) have been included. It's very cool. Click!

And then there's this one, which is a grand 'What if?' adventure charting a new course for it all. Yes, it does veer, but it always stays anchored in the essence and core themes of Barrie. It's written with a command and respect of his world and characters - it just tells of a different outcome. But be warned - this one is NOT for the kids! Click!

Hope you like these!