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Darling

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A teen girl finds herself lost on a dangerous adventure in this YA thriller by the acclaimed author of The Wicker King and The Weight of the Stars—reimagining Peter Pan for today’s world. On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town. Wendy thinks t A teen girl finds herself lost on a dangerous adventure in this YA thriller by the acclaimed author of The Wicker King and The Weight of the Stars—reimagining Peter Pan for today’s world. On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town. Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too? Acclaimed author K. Ancrum has re-envisioned Peter Pan with a central twist that will send all your previous memories of J. M. Barrie’s classic permanently off to Neverland. An Imprint Book


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A teen girl finds herself lost on a dangerous adventure in this YA thriller by the acclaimed author of The Wicker King and The Weight of the Stars—reimagining Peter Pan for today’s world. On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town. Wendy thinks t A teen girl finds herself lost on a dangerous adventure in this YA thriller by the acclaimed author of The Wicker King and The Weight of the Stars—reimagining Peter Pan for today’s world. On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town. Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too? Acclaimed author K. Ancrum has re-envisioned Peter Pan with a central twist that will send all your previous memories of J. M. Barrie’s classic permanently off to Neverland. An Imprint Book

30 review for Darling

  1. 5 out of 5

    chai ♡

    the words "queer Peter Pan retelling by K. Ancrum " gave me a better dopamine rush than hard drugs ever could the words "queer Peter Pan retelling by K. Ancrum " gave me a better dopamine rush than hard drugs ever could

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    K. Ancrum is truly just a once in a lifetime author. Her prose and craft are so unique and so smart and every book by her feels like something of magic. Darling is a modern day thriller reimagining of Peter Pan with a very diverse cast; our main character is Black and we have a very full cast of side characters side characters of color (Black, Korean, and Ojibwe), who are queer (lesbian rep, ace rep, bi rep, and a really beautiful Chicago drag scene moment that I could gush about forever), and d K. Ancrum is truly just a once in a lifetime author. Her prose and craft are so unique and so smart and every book by her feels like something of magic. Darling is a modern day thriller reimagining of Peter Pan with a very diverse cast; our main character is Black and we have a very full cast of side characters side characters of color (Black, Korean, and Ojibwe), who are queer (lesbian rep, ace rep, bi rep, and a really beautiful Chicago drag scene moment that I could gush about forever), and disabilities (hearing impairment & amputated hand). Wendy has recently moved to Chicago, but when moving into her new bedroom she realizes the window is broken and unable to stay closed. And this story is told over the course of one night when she leaves through the window with Peter Pan himself because of a promise of a party, but she soon realizes that Peter did not walk out of the pages of a fairytale. This is a very unsettling and uncomfortable story about the vulnerability of kids (especially bipoc queer kids) who feel like that don't have a place to belong. Every book by this author is truly a love letter to found families, but this book also explores the importance of safety and how hard it can be to recognize abuse, especially when it it can be disguised as kindness when you are longing to find a place to belong. Again, this can be a bit of a terrifying read at times, but you will be swept alongside Wendy, becoming more and more enthralled, discovering all the things, and wanting to protect all the lost kids. K. Ancrum is just an author that really means a lot to me, and I know her stories are touching and helping and healing so many kids who are able to find her words. She is such a bright light in this universe, and I'm forever thankful that I get the honor to read her books. Truly, once in a lifetime. Content and Trigger Warnings: death (off page), murder (off page), police brutality, child abuse, manipulation, abduction, child abandonment, explosions, grooming, blood depiction, brief mention of disordered eating, and anxiety depiction. Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch Buddy read with Maëlys! ❤

  3. 5 out of 5

    anna (½ of readsrainbow)

    rep: Black mc, Russian bi ace li, Black scs, lesbian sc, bi sc, mixed race (Irish & Ojibwe) bi sc, hard of hearing sc, Ojibwe bi sc, Ojibwe sc, Korean-American sc tw: violence, guns, blood, off page murder rtc but Y'ALL ARE NOT READY LMAO i have never been this stressed out by reading a book in my life rep: Black mc, Russian bi ace li, Black scs, lesbian sc, bi sc, mixed race (Irish & Ojibwe) bi sc, hard of hearing sc, Ojibwe bi sc, Ojibwe sc, Korean-American sc tw: violence, guns, blood, off page murder rtc but Y'ALL ARE NOT READY LMAO i have never been this stressed out by reading a book in my life

  4. 4 out of 5

    may ➹

    wow what a book!!! Kayla Ancrum genuinely does not know how to miss!!!! rtc // buddy read with a dummy wow what a book!!! Kayla Ancrum genuinely does not know how to miss!!!! rtc // buddy read with a dummy

  5. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    This book exists to give us the dark, and wickedly entrancing Peter Pan retelling we deserve. It's mostly set over one night where a sheltered and naive Wendy is caught up in the captivating whirlwind of an adventure with the impish and addictive Peter, who promises her a party, except everything in the night goes wrong. Including her realisation on who Peter is. The whole book is magnetic, addictive, and will spin you on a glittering hurricane of an adventure with a sinister undercurrent at its This book exists to give us the dark, and wickedly entrancing Peter Pan retelling we deserve. It's mostly set over one night where a sheltered and naive Wendy is caught up in the captivating whirlwind of an adventure with the impish and addictive Peter, who promises her a party, except everything in the night goes wrong. Including her realisation on who Peter is. The whole book is magnetic, addictive, and will spin you on a glittering hurricane of an adventure with a sinister undercurrent at its core. (Longer review to come when my preorder arrives!) note: I see people mentioning this is a queer Peter Pan retelling and yes there are so many queer side characters to adore but Wendy is straight (as far as I know).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aiden Thomas

    DARLING is the Peter Pan retelling with the diverse cast and queer representation of your dreams. K. Ancrum takes the original Peter Pan story and puts it in a chokehold in this dark, wickedly twisted, edge-of-your-seat reimagining. Told over the course of one night, DARLING showcases Ancrum’s talents for spinning stories that sweep up in a world of adventure and danger with an undercurrent of magic.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fadwa (Word Wonders)

    this book fucked me the fuck up and I have so many thoughts. RTC

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    DNF @ 55%. Sad that I didn't love this as much as I was hoping to. Review maybe to come! DNF @ 55%. Sad that I didn't love this as much as I was hoping to. Review maybe to come!

  9. 4 out of 5

    julianna ➹

    hey uh shoutout to k ancrum for singlehandedly reviving my love of reading!!!!! ----- the first page of the book: [talking about how canonically, peter pan would murder the lost boys if they "grew up" too much] me: thank you for destroying my childhood. have a great day // buddy read with the mango queen. NEVER forget their official title hey uh shoutout to k ancrum for singlehandedly reviving my love of reading!!!!! ----- the first page of the book: [talking about how canonically, peter pan would murder the lost boys if they "grew up" too much] me: thank you for destroying my childhood. have a great day // buddy read with the mango queen. NEVER forget their official title

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    As a child, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella didn't stand a chance with me. I was a Peter Pan kind of girl, obsessed with the movie, with children who never grew up and who could fly with magic dust.🧚‍♀️ Darling is a darker and refreshing retelling, with a wicked twisted. That said, I think it left a lot to be desired in terms of depth. Maybe because it all happened in one night?🤷‍♀️ As a child, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella didn't stand a chance with me. I was a Peter Pan kind of girl, obsessed with the movie, with children who never grew up and who could fly with magic dust.🧚‍♀️ Darling is a darker and refreshing retelling, with a wicked twisted. That said, I think it left a lot to be desired in terms of depth. Maybe because it all happened in one night?🤷‍♀️

  11. 5 out of 5

    Storiesandcoffee

    I've always known the literary version of Peter Pan is all kinds of F'ed up, and the Disney version is a romanticized fairytale about a man-boy who never wants to grow up. Darling explores the F'ed up version, and boy, is it dark and unsettling. No spoilers here, but please don't go into this thinking you're going to feel nostalgic, revisiting one of your favorite childhood movies. YOU WON'T. If anything, this may ruin your fond memories of the boy in green tights. mmmmkay? What I loved: The queer I've always known the literary version of Peter Pan is all kinds of F'ed up, and the Disney version is a romanticized fairytale about a man-boy who never wants to grow up. Darling explores the F'ed up version, and boy, is it dark and unsettling. No spoilers here, but please don't go into this thinking you're going to feel nostalgic, revisiting one of your favorite childhood movies. YOU WON'T. If anything, this may ruin your fond memories of the boy in green tights. mmmmkay? What I loved: The queer rep, the atmosphere, the fact that Tinkerbell and Wendy don't have some petty girl drama over an undeserving male. The writing is fantastic, and this book is totally binge-worthy. What I didn't love: There are so. many. characters. in Darling, and at times it was overwhelming. I spent way too much time flipping back to figure out who was who. With any book, when I struggle to keep track of characters, it definitely affects my overall enjoyment. (also, I had to suspend disbelief once or twice, but I do that often with thrillers, so that didn't bother me too much.) A solid 4 🌟 YA thriller. Big thanks to the publisher for a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maëlys

    hello i'm absolutely obsessed alreadyi am thoroughly obsessed & K. Ancrum is truly a writer like no other <3 Youtube ☆ Twitter Buddy read with Melanie ♡ hello i'm absolutely obsessed alreadyi am thoroughly obsessed & K. Ancrum is truly a writer like no other <3 Youtube ☆ Twitter Buddy read with Melanie ♡

  13. 4 out of 5

    katie ❀

    thank you k ancrum for twisting my childhood dreams into something so cruel i can’t even recognize it anymore :’) // but this was good, short rtc!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Yes PLEASE

  15. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    Me: *excited but concerned about how Indigenous characters will be used* @KaylaAncrum on Twitter: "Things DARLING will NOT include: 1. Unchallenged Romanticization of Peter w/no consequences for his Behaviour. 2. Anti-Indigenous Racism. You know what I'm talking about 3. Girls Competing for Peter's Romantic Attention. (we are done with that, ladies)" Me: OH SWEET BABY JESUS YES @KaylaAncrum on Twitter: "Things DARLING will Include: 1. Bi tinkerbelle BI TINKERBELLE 2. "Nick and Norah's Infinite Police Pr Me: *excited but concerned about how Indigenous characters will be used* @KaylaAncrum on Twitter: "Things DARLING will NOT include: 1. Unchallenged Romanticization of Peter w/no consequences for his Behaviour. 2. Anti-Indigenous Racism. You know what I'm talking about 3. Girls Competing for Peter's Romantic Attention. (we are done with that, ladies)" Me: OH SWEET BABY JESUS YES @KaylaAncrum on Twitter: "Things DARLING will Include: 1. Bi tinkerbelle BI TINKERBELLE 2. "Nick and Norah's Infinite Police Procedural" 3. Crime 4. Drag Queens 5. Chicago's Public Transit System 6. Kayla's Signature™ Comedic Stylings Me: oh yes. Oh fuck yes.

  16. 5 out of 5

    solanne

    I’m gonna be real with y’all, I heard the words “K. Ancrum” and “queer retelling of Peter Pan”, blacked out, and woke up with this on my tbr shelf

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shawna :)

    Thank you to YallWest and NetGalley for allowing me to review an eArc of this book. I received this book for free from a YallWest giveaway and received the book via NetGalley. This in no way effects my opinions on this book. CW// (view spoiler)[ violence (hide spoiler)] Darling is a fun and thrilling Peter Pan retelling that tends to align more with the original Peter Pan book than the child versions of the story that are shown in movies. I read Peter Pan for the first time for a class last yea Thank you to YallWest and NetGalley for allowing me to review an eArc of this book. I received this book for free from a YallWest giveaway and received the book via NetGalley. This in no way effects my opinions on this book. CW// (view spoiler)[ violence (hide spoiler)] Darling is a fun and thrilling Peter Pan retelling that tends to align more with the original Peter Pan book than the child versions of the story that are shown in movies. I read Peter Pan for the first time for a class last year and it was somewhat disturbing how Disney made everything so kid friendly when there was clearly much darker themes and topics present in the original story. I’m so relieved to read a Peter Pan retelling that actually represents the book better. Granted it’s different because it takes place in Chicago in the current times, but I appreciated how the characters were so reminiscent of the books characters, especially Peter. It’s clear that the author put a lot of research into this book. This book is filled with so much diversity that it makes my heart happy. There’s characters of all different ethnicities, including characters who are Ojibwe which I don’t see often in young adult books. There’s strong lesbian characters and most importantly to me, there’s an asexual character. As someone who’s asexual, I can’t even put into words how happy it made me to be reading about an ace character in a retelling of one of my favorite stories. Thank you so much to the author for striving to include so much representation in your book. The ace character also defies typical ideas of what an asexual person should be and I’m so grateful for that. I knew I would like the book based on its synopsis, but I was surprised by how much I fell in love with the story and the characters. There were a lot of characters introduced all at once and at first it was hard to keep track of them all, but as the story went on it became easier and I wanted to know even more about each character’s backstory. This book comes out on June 22nd, so I highly recommend that everyone preorders this book or at least add it to your want to read list. Trust me that it will not disappoint you.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    okay, but why is this the first result when i google "darling k ancrum" in all seriousness, this sounds like the perfect retelling + urban fantasy mashup | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram okay, but why is this the first result when i google "darling k ancrum" in all seriousness, this sounds like the perfect retelling + urban fantasy mashup | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mara YA Mood Reader

    Oh. My. Freaking. Heck! Modern day Peter Pan and the Lost Boys slumming it in underground subway tunnels? Oh oh oh these lost boys better be really bad boys!! I. Need. This. Now. *screams in faerie dust* PS. Love you K. Ancrum

  20. 5 out of 5

    ash | novelly rooted

    the rest of the year is cancelled

  21. 5 out of 5

    Moony Eliver

    GET IN MY KINDLE

  22. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I'll happily devour anything Kayla writes. ♥ I'll happily devour anything Kayla writes. ♥

  23. 5 out of 5

    dipper

    you GUYS!!! we know that k ancrum is my favorite author, and we know that peter pan retellings are my favorite things to read. so obviously i loved this, and it lived up to the hype i had set in my mind of it being one of my most anticipated books of the year. if you know the original text really well it’s very cool to read bc there are a lot of parallel scenes that you can draw upon. there is also queer rep, punk tink, drag queens!!! and a great message that always comes with k ancrums stories.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Romie

    *takes heart out of my chest* thank you Kayla for this retelling. here, have this little gift has a token of my affection:))))))))

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sheena

    I refuse to believe K. Ancrum wrote this. I’ve come to the conclusion that I love the concept of retellings but I don’t like them, they just come off a little lame. Another disappointment. Great representation though... but that's it. I refuse to believe K. Ancrum wrote this. I’ve come to the conclusion that I love the concept of retellings but I don’t like them, they just come off a little lame. Another disappointment. Great representation though... but that's it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sana

    K. ANCRUM OUT HERE LIKE PETER PAN AND CHICAGO NIGHTLIFE AND GAY AND YES

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    If K. Ancrum writes something you know I'm going to read it as soon as I possibly can! I'm bummed to say I didn't enjoy this novel as much as I was hoping. I appreciated how Ancrum decided to write a Peter Pan retelling showing the readers the dark sides of this famous story, but in the end I found myself quite detached from it all. The book definitely requires the reader's suspension of disbelief on multiple occasions and this is probably one of the things that didn't work for me. Moreover, I wo If K. Ancrum writes something you know I'm going to read it as soon as I possibly can! I'm bummed to say I didn't enjoy this novel as much as I was hoping. I appreciated how Ancrum decided to write a Peter Pan retelling showing the readers the dark sides of this famous story, but in the end I found myself quite detached from it all. The book definitely requires the reader's suspension of disbelief on multiple occasions and this is probably one of the things that didn't work for me. Moreover, I would have liked to know more about the mai character, Wendy. I feel like we only got a few glimpses of her personality but it definitely wasn't enough in my opinion. If you're into retellings this might be the book for you!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This was incredible. K Ancrum can literally do no wrong in my eyes, every single one of her stories is just incredible. I especially loved the characters and the friendship groups in this one, they were just absolutely incredible. I loved every second of this (although beware, this is a fucked up book and honestly got pretty disturbing towards the end, so I would definitely be expecting some creepy shit to happen).

  29. 5 out of 5

    ♠ TABI⁷₈⁷ ♠

    gimme all the Neverland inspired stories and Peter Pan retellings, please

  30. 4 out of 5

    kelly ♥

    gay peter pan? I'M interested gay peter pan? I'M interested

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