The Lost Girl

Show of hands: who loves Peter Pan?

I’m sure you all know by now that Peter Pan is my favorite ever. I mean, I cried when I met him.

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of different Peter Pan re-tellings such as Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum and Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I also recently read the original story, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.

All this talk about Peter Pan has inspired me to write my own re-telling of the story.

I began writing when I was 10-years-old. I wrote Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan fiction. I haven’t written any fan fiction in a long time, but I think it will be fun to get back into it.

For April’s Camp NaNoWriMo session, I will be writing The Lost Girl.

Unlike most other re-tellings I’ve read, I’m adding a new character into the mix. This story is basically asking, “What happened after Wendy?” But there will be a new character to give Peter and the Lost Boys a run for their money.

I’m not very good at writing summaries, but this is what I came up with so far:

When Grace hears a beautiful melody in the distance, she curiously wanders into the forest. Before she knows it, she’s in too deep and becomes lost.

She meets a gang who call themselves The Lost Boys along with their fearless leader, Peter Pan.

At first, Grace thinks it’s fun to be one of the boys. She loves the idea of never having to grow up, never having any responsibilities. Soon she quickly forgets about wanting to go home and decides living in Neverland is exactly what she wants.

But she soon realizes that living in Neverland isn’t just fun and games–it’s about survival. Dangers face Grace in ever corner of the forest as well as deadly pirates searching for the Lost Boys.

Grace has already gone too deep into the forest. She’s already forgotten most of her family and friends. She has no choice but to stay in Neverland and fight for her survival, protect herself and her new family.

Because once you’re lost, you can never leave Neverland.

I hope that summary does the story justice.

If you’re interested in learning more about The Lost Girl and following my progress on writing the story, you can do so at my Camper Profile.

What are you writing for Camp NaNo?

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Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

peter pan book review rachel poli

Title: Peter Pan
Author: J.M. Barrie
Genre: Literary Classic
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie. A mischievous boy who can fly and never grows up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang, the Lost Boys, interacting with mermaids, Native Americans, fairies, pirates, and occasionally ordinary children from the world outside of Neverland. In addition to two distinct works by Barrie, the character has been featured in a variety of media and merchandise, both adapting and expanding on Barrie’s works.

My Review (may contain spoilers):

Peter Pan was always my favorite growing up. I loved the idea of a silly boy never growing up in a magical place such as Neverland–and he can fly. How cool is that?

Of course I grew up only knowing the cartoon Disney movie version. I never really knew the original story.

I’ve always wanted to read the original and it wasn’t too long ago that I was at my local bookstore and the book caught my eye. I bought it on a whim because it was calling to me. I read it in a day, being such a short tale.

As I read the story, I realized that the Disney movie wasn’t too far off the money with the old classic. I knew Disney made the story “lighter” and more kid-friendly. The original certainly was darker. For example, when Wendy is flying through the air and Tinkerbell tells the Lost Boys to shoot down the “Wendy Bird,” they don’t miss in the book. They actually strike her with an arrow.

However, being a darker story is really the only main difference between the book and movie. I was surprised just how well the Disney movie remained true to the original story.

Jane, Wendy’s daughter, was even mentioned in the book. The ending was bittersweet, but it was a happy ending.

I loved reading the original story of where my fictional boyfriend came from. It was a short, easy read. The language was also easy to understand despite the time period.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“To die will be an awfully big adventure.” –J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Check out my Goodreads to see what I’ll be reading next!

Have a book recommendation for me? Check out my Book Review Policy.

Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum

Never Never

Title: Never Never
Author: Brianna R. Shrum
Genre: Fairy-tale retelling
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.

When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child – at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does.

And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.

This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.

Except one.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

Peter Pan is my absolute favorite Disney character ever. In this re-telling of the story, James Hook is the main character whereas Peter is more of the villain.

Hook is brought to Neverland by Peter with the intent on only staying for a little while. When Hook realizes that Neverland is not for him and that he wants to go home, Peter refuses to bring him back to London.

Hook is thus stuck in Neverland as a Lost Boy, but his longing for home and hatred for Peter grows causing him to grow up. Peter bans him once Hook is grown, but he still can’t leave Neverland.

Hook becomes Captain Hook of the Spanish Main and seeks revenge on Peter, hoping to kill him.

The book was well-written and told a great story with interesting twists.

With Hook as the protagonist and technically the “hero” you would think it would end in his favor happily. The ending was bittersweet. I can see how some people would think Peter won, but I can also see how some people would think Hook won. I’ll leave it at that so I don’t spoil too much. But it would be a great topic for a book club, is all I’m saying.

There were a few things in the novel that I wanted more of, though. For example, Peter had his flute and it’s revealed that no one touches it but him. It’s special to Peter because it was given to him by his mother. Hook steals it at one point, but Peter gets it back (very easily, may I add). We never hear anything more about the flute. To be honest, I thought it was brought up because I thought we would get to know Peter a little bit more. We would get to know his mother, maybe about the life he lives before Neverland, but that never happened.

Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Another crow, haunting and soft, and James steeled his nerves, preparing his mind to murder a child.” –Brianna R. Shrum, Never Never

Be sure to check out my Goodreads to see what I’ll be reading next!

Reality Checks In

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Yesterday we arrived home around 1:30 in the afternoon. It was good timing. But, when I say “home” I mean my cousins’ house. Kris and I waited there for two hours for our uncle to pick us home on his way home from work to bring us home. After traffic we didn’t get back to our own home until about 4:30. It was a long day and I was tired, needless to say.

When we walked into the house we were greeted warmly by our mother and father and our dog Chip was ecstatic. Hunter pretended he didn’t care, but he kept going through our luggage and meowing at us. He’s been following me around this morning. Raph came right out of her box house when she saw me, which made me feel good. Mikey… well, he’s a fish. He came to the front of his tank, but he was most likely just swimming or looking for food.

After discussing the trip with my parents and showing them photos and souvenirs we bought them, I sat on the couch for a few hours before turning in early. I slept well, but I had to get up early this morning because I have to babysit soon. Why I agreed to babysit the day after my Disney vacation is beyond me. Kris was smart and took today off from work pretending she was just getting home today. I should have done that.

So I woke up at about 7:30 this morning. I rolled out of bed trying not to squish Chip in the process and then proceeded to make a small tent with my blankets. When Chip has the bed to herself, she likes to be under the covers. So, when I have to ditch her in the morning I try to make her a fort of some kind. Sometimes she stays, sometimes she doesn’t. It’s been over an hour now and she’s still sleeping under there.

I went down to the kitchen, made myself a cup of coffee, took out a pea from the freezer to feed Mikey (he got sick a few weeks ago so I have to feed him peas now), went into my office, opened the blinds and one of the windows, turned on my computer, fed Mikey, woke Raph up and took her out of her tank, and then I sat down at my computer to blog, surf the web, sip at my coffee, etc.

While waiting for my computer to finish loading, I felt as though I had never left. The routine I just described is the same thing I do every single morning. It’s going to continue to be that way because work starts in a week and a half. The only difference will be that I’ll be waking up about an hour earlier to do it all.

School starts a week from today, work starts a week from Monday, and Sunday school starts on a Sunday in September (I’m the director now and I have no idea when the first day is going to be… great, huh?). Not to mention I have to babysit today, tomorrow, and Friday. My cousins start back to school a week from Thursday and I have to get them ready because I have to drive one of them on my way to work. I also have to find time to write in all of this, as well.

I write better in the morning, but I have to be at work by eight. I have to drive my cousin to school which means I have to leave a little earlier than usual. If I want to write in the morning then I’m going to have to wake up at four in which case I would have to go to bed at about seven or eight. I’ll probably end up writing at night or in the afternoon after work, but then I’ll be tired from the day and then when am I going to get my homework done?

Listen to me ramble on. It truly is like I never left. I’m immediately back to my old routine that has never changed and I’m back to my old ways of thinking… or worrying.

One thing I failed to mention was the fact that I’m sipping my coffee out of the brand new mug I bought myself in Disney. It has the picture of Peter Pan on it and it says “Never grow up.” This reminds me that I did in fact go on vacation and that it wasn’t just a dream. I did get my break from reality, even though it doesn’t seem like it. My break lasted 11 days (granted four were spent in the car…) and through that my biggest and only concern was that I wanted to meet Peter Pan. And I did.

So, yes I do have a lot on my plate. I have a lot to think about and to worry about (even though I worry over nothing most of the time). The summer will be officially over sooner rather than later. It’s sad, but it was the same amount of time I get every summer. It just went by too fast, which is always how it goes.

I turn 21 in less than a week, so unfortunately for Peter Pan (and myself), I’m growing up. I never wanted to grow up (and I still don’t), but age is but a number and considering the fact that I cried after I met Peter Pan, I’m going to say I’m still a kid at heart and that is one thing I hope will never change.

I hate homework, but I’m excited for my classes this upcoming semester. Depending on the professors, I should have a good experience with school this time around. I’m starting a new job in a place I love surrounded by awesome people. While the kids can drive me nuts, they’re great as well and I enjoy their company. Directing the Sunday school will be a challenge, but it’s something I always wanted to do ever since I myself was in Sunday school. I may not be ready, but I’m willing to get through it. I’ll be writing every moment I can now that I told myself what I wanted to accomplish with my writing for the next few months.

So, I guess if it’s something you love and you want it, growing up isn’t all that bad. But, as I stated earlier, my mentality is growing up, but not my heart. I guess you really can have the best of both worlds.

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Going Home

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Today l’m leaving this beautiful place. I was lucky to stay seven full days this time whereas last time we only stayed five full days. Yet, l still feel as though we didn’t have nearly enough time.

I filled up my autograph book. There were still a few characters l wanted to see, but we saw and met a lot; a lot more than our last visit to Disney. Plus we got all the princesses (except Pocahontas). So, in that sense l guess there’s not much else to do.

I bought a lot of stuff for myself. I got a mug and a tumbler cup. The mug is of course Peter Pan and the tumbler is Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney together which is really cute.

Other than that l got a pack of three Tinkerbell notebooks and four novels. Yep. Books, notebooks, and cups. My three favorite things.

I have to hop in the car soon. I’ll be home tomorrow afternoon. Then l have to babysit for the rest of the week, school starts next week, work starts the week after that, and sunday school will start up again one of those sundays.

Back to reality.

My Hero

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Today was an emotional day. I met Peter Pan.

I stood there staring and smiling at him like Dopey from Snow White. I was shaking and he pointed it out to me.

I was so star struck that l barely even spoke to him. I said one thing: he asked if he could draw on my face and l said, “go for it” because l was too amazed l was standing next to him.

After he signed my book and we took pictures, l bawled my eyes out. From excitement of course, but it was totally embarrassing.

Two years ago l went to Disney and never met him. I was disappointed, but we couldn’t find him. To say the least l was ecstatic this time. Kris and l practically stalked him to make sure we could meet him.

For being in Disney, l really did have a wish come true.

(Also, a very happy birthday to the wonderful Herminia! I think l just figured out what the 22 in her name means. ;-))