Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Stars Above

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5) by Marissa Meyer
Published February 2, 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Format: Hardcover; 369 pages
Science-Fiction/Fantasy/Young Adult Romance
Also By This Author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, and Heartless
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Stars Above was the book I really wanted to read last year but was unfortunately unable to do so; therefore, it was my first priority in 2017! I think it ended up being a great way to start off the year, and sci-fi/fantasy novels always seem to me to be appropriate winter reading. I enjoyed reading all of the short stories, but here are the four that made the biggest impression on me:

The Queen’s Army was probably my favorite short story in the book. It was definitely the creepiest, because it showed graphic insight into Wolf’s transformation and training to become one of Levana’s biologically altered soldiers. Wolf is one of the most mysterious and interesting characters in the Lunar Chronicles series, so I really enjoyed reading his “origin story” and understanding more about where he came from.

Continuing the same themes of creepy yet intriguing, Winter’s prequel story, The Princess and the Guard also helped me respect and appreciate Winter more than I already had. This short story is similar to Queen Levana’s prequel, Fairest, only The Princess and the Guard was much more enjoyable to me than Fairest was. It was easier to sympathize with Winter and I really enjoyed learning more about her friendship with Jacin.

Something Old, Something New was a really fun story, and technically it’s the epilogue of the entire series. All of the other stories take place before the start of Cinder, but Something Old, Something New is set a year after the end of Winter. It’s a warm and light-hearted story and the best part is that we get to see all eight of our characters together to celebrate a wedding (whose wedding? You’ll have to read it and see–no spoilers here!). I loved the way it ends the series on a heartfelt note.

My other favorite story in this book was The Little Android, which is only slightly connected to the rest of the series in the fact that it takes place in The Lunar Chronicles universe and we get a glimpse of one of the characters from the main books. Other than that it is a completely new retelling of the classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid, and it’s my favorite type of story: tragic and bittersweet! (Yes, I’m a masochist).

“I will accept any amount of monsters my mind wants to give me, but I will not become a monster myself.”

Read This Book If…

…you love The Lunar Chronicles series.
…you enjoy short stories.
…you’re a fan of prequels and epilogues.
…you have a hard time letting go of your favorite characters.

“Politeness, it turned out, was almost as effective when you wanted someone to do something for you. And kindness went further toward lasting admiration than any amount of mind control.”

Final Musings

If you’ve already read all or part of The Lunar Chronicles series, Stars Above is a great book to add to your list, as well. You can even read the individual stories in between Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter. Here’s the breakdown of where all the novels take place on The Lunar Chronicles timeline:

Cinder (#1)
Glitches (#0.5)
The Little Android (#0.6)
The Mechanic (#0.7)
Scarlet (#2)
The Queen’s Army (#2.5)
The Keeper (#2.6)
Cress (#3)
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky (#3.1)
After Sunshine Passes By (#3.2)
Fairest (#3.5)
Winter (#4)
The Princess and The Guard (#4.1)
Something Old, Something New (#4.5)

Just make sure you save Something Old, Something New for last!

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol.jpg

To bitter, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas is just another day. But all that changes when the ghost of his long-dead business partner appears, warning Scrooge to change his ways before it’s too late.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Published December 19, 1843 by Chapman & Hall
Format: Kindle e-book; 73 pages
Classics
Also By This Author: Great ExpectationsLittle DorritA Tale of Two Cities
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Thoughts

This is me attempting to catch up on book reviews from last year…

Last month I finally, for the first time ever, read A Christmas Carol. I amazed even myself by waiting that long to read it. Of course I knew the story; I’ve seen enough movie versions and even that one Boy Meets World episode that re-imagines Mr. Feeny as the Ghost of Christmas Future. But I had never read it! I had it in my mind that I could only read A Christmas Carol when it was actually Christmastime, and each December I would be so overwhelmed with holiday preparations or finishing reading challenges that I’d keep putting the Charles Dickens story aside for another year.

Well, 2016 was finally that year and I’m not at all surprised to say that I truly enjoyed A Christmas Carol and I can see why it will forever be a holiday classic and one of Charles Dickens’s most beloved works.

As expected, the Ghost of Christmas Present creeped me out, the idea of Tiny Tim passing away made me cry, and the renewed and re-inspired Ebenezer Scrooge buying the prize turkey and sending it in a cab to Bob Crachit’s house, all the while chuckling and probably confounding the poor messenger boy, made me chuckle as well.

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

Read This Book If…

…you wish it were Christmas all year long.
…you enjoy shorter, novella-length books.
…you want to rediscover a classic.
…you’ve never read Dickens before and are looking to ease your way into his works.

Final Musings

I’ve heard that there are some wonderfully done audiobook versions of  A Christmas Carol, including one by Neil Gaiman. Maybe this December I’ll listen to one of those narrations while wrapping Christmas presents :)

In Another Life by Julie Christine Johnson (Review & Giveaway!)

In Another Life

Historian Lia Carrer has finally returned to southern France, determined to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. But instead of finding solace in the region’s quiet hills and medieval ruins, she falls in love with Raoul, a man whose very existence challenges everything she knows about life–and about her husband’s death. As Raoul reveals the story of his past to Lia, she becomes entangled in the echoes of an ancient murder, resulting in a haunting and suspenseful journey that reminds Lia that the dead may not be as far from us as we think.

Steeped in the rich history and romantic landscape of rural France, In Another Life is a story of love that conquers time and the lost loves that haunt us all.

In Another Life by Julie Christine Johnson
Published February 2, 2016 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Format: e-book from Netgalley for review; 368 pages
Also By This Author: The Crows of Beara
Goodreads Amazon Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Ahh this book made me miss living in France! I loved the description of French culture, architecture, and history. If you enjoy historical fiction, this is a great book to curl up with (France itself is just so full of history). I was also surprised at how suspenseful In Another Life is. There were several times I told myself, “One more chapter…” and ended up staying awake an extra hour because I had to know what happened next.

In Another Life is several different genres all tied together: historical fiction, romance, suspense, and fantasy (time travel!). For that reason I think Johnson has penned a book that can be enjoyed by a variety of different readers. There is also a heartbreaking tone to the novel that I really appreciated. I always feel more connected to books that have sad or bittersweet themes to them. I love feeling those deep emotions that don’t go away after I’ve finished a novel.

Read This Book If…

…you enjoy historical fiction.
…you love France, or you love reading books where the setting’s culture is very prominent.
…you’re in the mood for a heartbreaking read.
…you’re looking for a book that has a bit of everything.

Final Musings

I read In Another Life as part of a book tour for France Book Tours. I miss living in France and being immersed in French culture, so I was happy to pick up this book and imagine myself adventuring in Southeastern France (In Another Life takes place not far from Carcassonne. I haven’t been there myself but my husband has and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to go one day).

Below you will find an excerpt and a giveaway for this debut book by Julie Christine Johnson! Enjoy :)

Excerpt

A three-quarter moon lit the long room and pulled her toward the far end, where a long table sat before a wall of windows. Feeling weightless with fatigue, Lia thought she might float through the windows to the terrace and the Cesse River canyon beyond. But her bleached reflection halted at the glass.

Angles defined her body where there once had been curves. Shadows pressed against her ribs, the hollows of her cheeks, and her sunken eyes. She touched her belly and the sharp point of a hip. She was bone and muscle, hard and flat. Grief had eaten away the lush curves of her breasts and the sweet rise of her belly that Gabriel had loved to caress.

Her body shimmering white against the cold glass, Lia saw how tightly she held herself, as if hardening her muscles would somehow steel her heart from pain. Eighteen months since she’d had an appetite. Eighteen months of going through the motions. She’d drifted through a life that had no rails to grasp for balance.

She backed away from the glass with a curse of surprise but stopped as something white flashed just beyond the window. In the space between heartbeats, she saw the face of a man. Moonlight revealed fierce dark eyes and the etched planes of cheekbones. A seeping black streak marred the left side of his face, running from his temple down his cheek to the corner of his mouth. The palm of a hand came into view, reaching toward her. Her own hands flew up and smacked the glass as adrenaline, warm and electric, seared the weariness from her bones.

A screech ripped through the air, and the vision reassembled itself into something other than human. On the bough of an umbrella pine that clung to the side of the cliff perched a raptor. The breeze lifted the feathers of the bird’s underbelly, and the moon bleached them white. His brown head tilted, and his amber eyes lit on Lia’s naked form. Keeping her movements small, she looked around for something to cover herself. A chenille throw sat folded on a low, upholstered chair in the near corner. She edged toward the chair, her eyes on the bird outside, and clutched the blanket.

With the throw draped over her shoulders like a cloak, Lia turned the lock, pressed down the handle of the French door, and slipped onto the terrace attached to the stone face of the house.

“What brought you here?” she whispered to the eagle as it watched her from his perch on the swaying bough.

In reply, he shifted his weight and showed Lia the profile of his fierce head and hooked beak. Then he spread his wings, and she gasped at the span of feathers, bone, and sinew that measured six feet from tip to tip. He launched from the tree, the whoosh of his wings more a sensation than a sound, and was swallowed by the night.

Leaning over the iron railing, she peered into the black depths below. The river whispered and the wind answered as it swept through the scrub, but the moonlight revealed only vague shapes. She slipped inside the door and locked it behind her.

“Lia, you need to sleep,” she said to the empty room.

~

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In Another Life- Julie Christine Johnson

Photo by Al Bergstein

Julie Christine Johnson is the author of the novels In Another Life
(February 2016, Sourcebooks Landmark) and The Crows of Beara (September 2017, Ashland Creek Press).
Her short stories and essays have appeared in several journals, including Emerge Literary Journal, Mud Season Review; Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim; Cobalt, the anthologies Stories for Sendai; Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers; and Three Minus One: Stories of Love and Loss and featured on the flash fiction podcast, No Extra Words.
She holds undergraduate degrees in French and Psychology and a Master’s in International Affairs.
A runner, hiker, and wine geek, Julie makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington state with her husband.
In Another Life is her first novel.

***

Visit Julie’s website and blog
Follow Julie Christine Johnson on Twitter | on Facebook
Sign up to receive her Newsletter.

***

Global giveaway open to US residents only:
5 participants will each win a print copy of this book.

Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
for more chances to win

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER
TO READ REVIEWS, EXCERPT, INTERVIEW, GUEST-POST

In Another Life Banner

A Grimm Curse (Grimm Tales #3) by Janna Jennings

A Grimm Curse

Long before Andi woke up in a world that was not her own, her grandmother, Cynthia was entangled in the palace’s circle of glitter and privilege. Explore the dramatic history of Elorium in this standalone prequel to the Grimm Tales series.

Lady Wellington’s obsessive quest to thrust a crown on one of her daughters’ head at any cost has ensnared Cynthia in a scheme that has her sidestepping the arrogant Prince Wilhelm who is determined to make her his bride. With a twist that could only transpire in a fairy tale, Cynthia rescues her own prince, Remington Landry III—cursed by a spiteful witch into the form of a frog.

In the search for a willing princess to lift Remi’s curse, things do not go as planned. The frog-prince disappears, leaving Cynthia wondering at the state of their friendship. Without Remi, Cynthia finds herself a pawn of the ruler of Elorium and imprisoned by his henchman, Prince Wilhelm, who won’t take no for an answer. Cynthia’s life in Elorium is upended as revelations of who she is and the truth about their world comes to light in this stunningly reimagined fairy tale.

A Grimm Curse by Janna Jennings
Published November 17, 2015 by Patchwork Press
Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
Format: e-book from Netgalley for review; 174 pages
Also By This Author: A Grimm LegacyGrimm Memories
Goodreads Amazon Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

I really like Janna Jennings’s Grimm Tales series. The world building is intriguing and the fairytale aspect is fun and exciting. A Grimm Curse is a prequel to A Grimm Legacy, and it follows Cynthia, who is the grandmother of one of the characters from later in the series. Cynthia was a lot like Cinderella, but a lot of her story also resembled The Princess and the Frog.

Even though this book is part of a series, it could be read as a standalone. It’s been about a year and a half since I read the original series, so I had forgotten some of the details about Elorium, but that only made me want to reread A Grimm Legacy and Grimm Memories!

I do wish there had been some deeper character development in this book. Although I really enjoyed Cynthia and Remi, I found myself questioning the motivations of some of the secondary characters. Prince Wilhelm started out charming and amiable when we first see him but in his next scene he’s suddenly a jerk, to put it mildly, and Princess Marcella started off rather snobby and disinterested but by the end she was helping Cynthia and Remi and we never really got to see a plausible explanation.

But despite my few issues with the holes in the character development, this was a fun addition to the world of Elorium and I’m really glad Janna Jennings gave us this prequel to her Grimm Tales series!

Read This Book If…

…you like fairytales and fairytale retellings!
…you want an adventure book that’s also a quick read.
…you enjoy intriguing and magical world building.
…you’re looking for a new series to start.

“What’s waiting for me on the other side?” Cynthia asked, her voice lower than a whisper.
Her mother smiled, leaned over and gave her a ghostly kiss on the forehead. “Freedom.”

Final Musings

If you enjoy retellings, especially fairytales, the Grimm Tales series might be enjoyable for you! It’s a Young Adult series, but I feel the writing is appropriate for Middle Grade, too. I really liked the characters, especially Remi, and I can’t remember if he shows up later on in the series (another reason why I want to reread A Grimm Legacy and Grimm Memories). The way his storyline ended surprised me, and I was sad about that twist in my expectations, but it’s also nice when books don’t follow my predictions :)

Soulprint by Megan Miranda

soulprint

Most people agree it’s better not to find out who you once were. And if you do find out, it’s best to keep that knowledge to yourself. Because while the soul has no memory, the world does, and that is usually enough.

Soulprint by Megan Miranda
Published Feb 3, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Format: e-book from Netgalley; 368 pages
Also By This Author: Fracture, Hysteria
                                                            Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website

                                                            My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Synopsis:

With the science of soul-fingerprinting a reality, Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned for the crimes her past-self committed. In an attempt to clear her name, Alina unintentionally trades one prison for another when she escapes, aided by a group of teens whose intentions and motivations are a mystery to her. As she gets to know one of the boys, sparks fly, and Alina believes she may finally be able to trust someone. But when she uncovers clues left behind from her past life that only she can decipher, secrets begin to unravel. Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat the past.

Thoughts:

Alina is a 17 year-old girl who is being “contained” on a guarded island for her own protection (or for punishment). Why is she being contained? Because in a past-life, Alina’s soul belonged to a fugitive named June Callahan. The science behind “soulprinting” is that when a person dies, their soul is essentially reincarnated into a newborn, who grows up to lead his or her own life but studies showed that they would exhibit similar tendencies. Throughout the course of the novel, Alina is trying desperately to prove to the world that she is not June, but unfortunately for her, the more she tries to break away from June, the more she starts to understand and sympathize with her.

Soulprint is one of those stories that stays inside your brain for a few days after you finish reading it, and I think that’s because the world that Megan Miranda creates is not far-fetched. The idea behind categorizing people has been around for ages; sometimes it’s used to protect others (for example, identifying people as sex offenders and making that database public), but it has also been used to control and annihilate people (in the case of the Holocaust). In Soulprint, people are defined by who their soul belonged to in a past life. Officially, this is meant to be private knowledge. Only an individual can find out who they used to be. But since this is a dystopian novel, you already know that there is something much bigger going on here. In the novel, June Callahan became a fugitive after she publicly called out people for being criminals in their past lives. And at the start of the novel, Alina Chase is paying the consequences…but are they hers–or June’s–to pay?

Read This Book If…

…you’re intrigued by sci-fi/fantasy stories, especially if they deal with ethical issues.
…you’re a fan of dystopian themes in literature.
…you’ve ever been curious about genetic memories or other similar sci-fi motifs.
…you’re looking for a book that fits into multiple genres like science fiction, fantasy, young adult, suspense, and romance.

“Yes, I wanted out,” I say, my voice firm and practiced. “I always wanted out. Because I was being held, inhumanely and unconstitutionally.” The speech I’d come up with last year pours out of me. “Because my soul is my own, and the world is punishing me for something that no longer exists. The world is the only one with a memory. Not my soul. June is dead. I am the only one here. I am Alina Chase.”

Final Musings:

Soulprint captivates you from the very first page. There is a constant suspense looming that something huge is about to happen, and the characters have solid motivations that anyone can identify with: greed, love, guilt, innocence. I found myself having a hard time putting this book down, and for anyone who enjoys intriguing sci-fi/fantasy novels, I would recommend Soulprint to you in a heartbeat!

My soul was not meant to be in a cage. Not then, and not now.

The Messenger by Pamela DuMond

themessenger

“Madeline, I do not care where you are from–the future, the past, a star in the sky. I will love you here, now. I do not care what people think. I will love you in the past. I will love you in the future. I will love you, forever, Madeline.”

The Messenger by Pamela DuMond
Published April 20, 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Young Adult/Fantasy/Historical Romance
Format: e-book; 257 pages
Also By This Author: The Story of You and Me, Annie Graceland Mystery series
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Madeline’s meant to fall in love with Samuel in every lifetime. But she meets him for the first time when she accidentally time travels into the past—hundreds years before she’s even born!

Their relationship is forbidden—Samuel’s half Native, Madeline’s white. Every rendezvous they share must be secret. Each moment they spend together tempts the odds that they’ll be discovered and brutally punished. But their love is fated—they musk risk all.

Danger intensifies when Madeline learns she’s in the past not only to fall in love, but also to claim her birth right as a Messenger—a soul who can slip through time’s fabric at will.

Deadly Hunters, dark-souled time travelers, crave Madeline’s powers and seek to seduce or kill her. Can Madeline find her way back to the future in time to save herself and Samuel?

 Thoughts

I really enjoy time traveling books! I just wish I read more of them. The Messenger combines my interest in time-travel with historical fiction, and I really love that combination because there is always that major predicament: is the main character going to stay in the past or will he/she chose to return to their present day? I will not spoil Madeline’s decision, but I will tell you that the book had me in total suspense until the very last paragraph.

The majority of Madeline’s time travelling adventure revolves around Samuel, a Native American with a soft heart and healer’s hands. As Madeline discovers more about her inexplicable trip to the past, she begins to feel a pull towards Samuel that even three hundred years of history cannot deter.

But Madeline’s time-traveling abilities open up so many questions regarding her past and her family. And Madeline isn’t the only one with these fantastical abilities–the longer she stays in Colonial America, the more she realizes that her abilities are so much greater than herself.

Read This Book If…:

…you love time-traveling stories!
…you have a guilty pleasure for historical romances.
…diverse stories involving race and racism resonate with you.
…you enjoy books that leave you hanging in suspense until the very last page.

Final Musings:

I thoroughly enjoyed The Messenger! There were several times when I could not put this book down. I was worried when I couldn’t find any announcements on a sequel, but I just found out that book 2, The Assassin, will be published early next year! Can’t wait :)

“Come Away, Come Away!”: J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan

Peter-Pan-To-Neverland1

Artwork by Nicholas Jackson

“You just think of lovely wonderful thoughts,” Peter explained, “and they lift you up in the air.”


“After the first production I had to add something to the play at the request of the parents…about no one being able to fly until the fairy dust had been blown on him; so many children having gone home and tried it from their beds and needed surgical attention.” – J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan (originally Peter and Wendy) by J.M. Barrie
Published Oct. 11, 1911 by Hodder & Stoughton
Children’s/Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Annotated hardcover; 182 pages
Also By This Author: The Little White Bird, Peter Pan (play), The Admirable Crichton
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

Peter Pan, the book based on J.M. Barrie’s famous play, is filled with unforgettable characters: Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up; the fairy, Tinker Bell; the evil pirate, Captain Hook; and the three children–Wendy, John, and Michael–who fly off with Peter Pan to Neverland, where they meet Indians and pirates and a crocodile that ticks. 

(This review is spoiler free)

Thoughts:

What is there left to be said about the story of Peter Pan, the Darling children, and Neverland? I feel as if this beautiful story about children who don’t want to grow up has been analyzed, digested, and adapted more times than anyone can count, but clearly there is a reason for that: Peter Pan is an enduring masterpiece. So instead of analyzing it, I just want to share a few of the things that struck me the most while reading this book.

Firstly, I checked out my library’s copy of The Annotated Peter Pan, and I’m really tempted to buy a copy for myself. It has so much information about J.M. Barrie, the early productions of the play, hundreds of footnotes (which is where I found that quote from Barrie about the fairy dust), and some chapters on Peter Pan adaptations, spin-offs, and productions.

The Introduction by Editor Maria Tatar included this similarity between Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which echoed my own feelings while reading the novel:

[Dorothy], Huck, and Peter have won us over with their love of adventure, their streaks of poetry, their wide-eyed and wise innocence, and their deep appreciation of what it means to be alive. They all refuse to grow up and tarnish their sense of wonder and openness to new experiences.

Reading this book as an adult, I noticed myself trying to rationalize things or figure out a logical solution to the characters’ conflicts, but when I tried to see Peter Pan and the world of Neverland through the eyes of the Darling children, I began to feel inspired and light-hearted again. This is the exact reason why I enjoy reading children’s and YA literature. Of course every genre deals with serious subject matter, I am not disputing that, but I particularly love reading tales from the POV of a child or adolescent; experiencing situations from the eyes of a younger person has always been eye-opening to me.

Another aspect of the novel that made a big impression on me was Barrie’s style of writing. His sense of humor is both subtle and cheeky, and it’s most concentrated in his descriptions of the characters. One of my favorite examples of this is from a passage about Peter Pan’s imagination:

The difference between him and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe, while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing. This sometimes troubled them, as when they had to make-believe that they had had their dinners.

And another one about Captain Hook being temporarily overcome by softness:

There was a break in his voice, as if for a moment he recalled innocent days when–but he brushed away his weakness with his hook.

Speaking of the characters, every film adaptation I have seen of Peter Pan has done an excellent job at keeping the characters pure to their original depictions. I grew up watching both Hook and Disney’s animated version of Peter Pan, and I was easily able to resonate each of the film characters with their print versions. Captain Hook seemed both hauntingly intimidating and ironically frightful while Tinkerbell was as mischievous as ever.

I loved how the last chapter concluded everything nicely for our characters, although in such a short and intense way that it definitely brought tears to my eyes. This is one of those books that stays with you a while after you finish the last page; you’ll reflect on things in a bittersweet or inspirational way.

Read This Book If…:

…you have an active imagination
…you’re always up for an adventure!
…you’re not ready to grow up (or you have grown up, and you wish you hadn’t)
…you need to refresh your sense of wonder and embrace the unexpected

Final Musings:

I dearly loved this book, in a different way than I probably would have if I had read it as a child. The themes that resonated with me the most weren’t about the pirates or the fairies, but about living for the moment, staying curious and interested, and always being ready to face the unexpected (as impossible as that sounds). And this wonderful story reminded me that sometimes we have to pause and take a look at the things around us, to reflect on where we are and how we got there.

Odd things happen to all of us on our way through life without our noticing for a time that they have happened.