By: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Here's the thing. I started this book maybe a year ago? I got about 50 pages in and put it down. It wasn't that I wasn't enjoying, I just wasn't that invested. I always intended to come back for it, because the premise still interested me and I really enjoyed the writing style.
So, flash forward to now. I've since learned that books I can't get invested to when reading in a physical form often work for me in audio book, because I don't have to sit there reading, I can move around while I listen. I decided to try that for this book, and by golly, did it work.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The storytelling is wonderful, the premise is interesting, and the characterization is great. Jodi Lynn Anderson knows how to craft a great story. Really, this book is great and now I understand why so many people praise the writing in this book.
Those things being said, I feel the book did lag in the middle, and the climax of action didn't feel like it was all that the book was leading up to. I felt like the suspense earlier in the book promised something that the climax scene just didn't fulfill. That seems to be an opinion only I hold, or at least, I haven't seen anyone else who felt that way, so I could be wrong. It just didn't do it for me, you know?
One of my favorite things was the narrator. It was such a unique and intriguing way to tell a story. Tinkerbell was a part of the story, but separate, too. She could give life to all of the characters' emotions, while also having her own. Sometimes it felt like third-person omniscient, but that's partly why I liked it. It was a way to let the reader into the story. Tink feels more like the reader than a character, which I thought was SO wonderful.
But the ending? THE ENDING. It was absolutely gorgeous. I mean, I was riding in the car with my mom listening through my headphones, just going about errands and such, and I almost started crying...in public. That's crazy to me, I never cry in public. That's how gorgeous the resolution of the book was for me. And the ending actually bumped up my star rating for this book by a whole star.
And the writing? THE WRITING. It was absolutely gorgeous. Look at some of the quotes I've included, LOOK AT THEM. They are beautiful, absolutely made of beauty.
This is one of the most interesting and most beautiful retellings I've ever read. Some parts of it fell a bit flat, but overall, I am so glad I picked it back up. And I think I read it at just the right time, too.
“For the girls with messy hair and thirsty hearts.”
“Still, the longer I was around her, the more I could see the colors of her mind and the recesses of her heart. There was a beast in there. But there was also a girl who was afraid of being a beast, and who wondered if other people had beasts in their hearts too.”
“As you may have guessed already, Peter had a soul that was always telling itself lies. When he was frightened, his soul told itself, "I'm not frightened." And when something mattered that he couldn't control, Peter's soul told itself, "it doesn't matter."
“Did you know I always thought you were braver than me? Did you ever guess that that was why I was so afraid? It wasn't that I only loved some of you. But I wondered if you could ever love more than some of me.
It doesn't happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all. I know young people look at me and think my youth seems so far away, but it's all around me, and you're all around me.
I like to think that nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand.
“I'm not myself," she offered, guiltily...
He smiled. "You can never say that. You're just a piece of yourself right now that you don't like.”
“I could never leave,' Pine Sap said.
'Why?' she asked.
Pine Sap shrugged, and gestured in the direction of the village. 'Because I think people must be the same everywhere. Only these people are my bones.”
“Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we're only what we've done and what we are going to do. But then I look at the things I've seen and done, and I become a long scrawly line of something important.”