Today I bring you a review of Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson! I received this book as part of the Southern Book Blogger’s Tiger Lily ARC Blog Tour, and this was my first time participating in a blog tour ever!
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell. Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
I can’t say it enough (I say it a lot on this blog!) but I absolutely adore fairy tales retold! Now, I have to be honest that I’m not and never was a huge fan of the Peter Pan story, but reading Tiger Lily has caused me to revisit my feelings for this tale. I was also a little hesitant because we all know that the romance between Peter Pan and Tiger Lily is pretty short-lived, but although my heart broke multiple times while reading it I really, really enjoyed this novel. (Also, look at that breathtaking cover! The colors are just lovely!)
First let me say that Anderson’s prose is gorgeous! Her descriptions of Neverland and it’s inhabitants is at times poetic and lends this story more romance and mystery. There is very little dialogue as the story is narrated through the eyes of a very loyal and observant Tinkerbell.
Every little detail Anderson gives us is like a puzzle piece that fits perfectly into the story you thought you already knew. Anderson fills in the gaps in the narrative that weren’t answered in the original tale in a way that just makes sense. The way the world of Neverland is imagined as an actual island somewhere in the Atlantic that you cannot find if you’re looking for it is incredibly creative and mythic. Also, having Tink as the narrator is such a fabulous idea and allows the reader to see multiple sides of the story that they wouldn’t have seen had the narrator been Peter or Tiger Lily or anyone else. Tink has the ability to go unnoticed so we see Tiger Lily’s life in the camp with her people and also the Lost Boys’ burrow when no one is watching them.
I never really understood the lure of Peter Pan (the character) before, but reading the story through a different narrator (not Wendy or her brothers) allowed me to see the appeal. Peter is such an excitingly flawed character. He is incredibly savage in a way that is both enticing and frightening. He is also not willing to accept reality, which is both refreshing and frustrating at the same time. There is this allure to him that I can only describe as the “bad-boy” pull. Tiger Lily knows that nothing good can come from knowing Peter, but in her fearlessness she is drawn to him none-the-less. Let me also say, I used to like Wendy. Now I don’t think I do. And that’s all I have to say about that – you’ll see!
Despite being a little slow to start, Tiger Lily is vivid, mysterious, beautiful and bittersweet all at once. There were times where I wanted to put the book down to have a break from the heart-break, but at the same time I couldn’t wait to read more. If you’re a fan of Peter Pan (Ha! That rhymed!), love fairy tale re-tellings, or are just in for a tender love story you should definitely get your hands on this one! As far age ages go, the book is good for high school aged readers as I think middle schoolers might get bored with the lack of dialogue.
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: Harper Teen (Scheduled Release July 3, 2012)
Format: ARC, paperback
Length: 304 pages
Buy the Book: Tiger Lily (Pre-order)