Jodi Lynn Anderson
October 3rd 2013
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.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.
Tiger Lily was amazing. I feel kind of repetitive because the last few reviews that I've written were for books that I've loved, and this is just going to be another one of those because even though I haven't read as much lately, everything I have read I have adored.
Tiger Lily is probably one of the best, or at least one of the most interesting re-tellings that I've read. It's the story of Peter Pan and Wendy, but told from Tiger Lily and Tinkerbell's point of view. It might not sound all that interesting or different from that, but trust me, it really is. The whole book is narrated from Tink's point of view, which is weird because Tiger Lily is the main character, and I wasn't sure if I would like that or if it would affect that sort of connection you get with main characters, but I actually thought that it worked really well. I think it worked better than it would have done if Tiger Lily was the narrator. See, in this version of the story, fairies are not able to talk, but they can feel other people's emotions, and Tiger Lily isn't exactly an open person, so I feel like it was much more likely that we would get an honest portrayal of Tiger Lily's feelings and motivations from Tink's point of view rather than from Tiger Lily's. Plus, we get the benefit of finding out more about Tink, too.
I really liked both Tink and Tiger Lily, even though beforehand I had always been on Wendy's side (2003 film has a lot to answer). In this book, Tink doesn't come across as being petty and jealous in the same way that she does in the other stories, because, even if she doesn't like Wendy (and in Tiger Lily, I didn't like her much either) she isn't jealous of Tiger Lily, even though they both love Peter. In fact, she supports Tiger Lily, and feels so close to her that she would rather Tiger Lily be with Peter, because it's very unlikely that Peter would suddenly fall in love with Tink. And Tiger Lily was great and strong and flawed and I'm a little bit in love with her too. I can totally see where Tink is coming from.
I really liked Pan in this book too, actually. I was expecting to kind of hate him, but he's not the sort of boy that you can easily hate (unless it's in Once Upon a Time, in which case it's totally easy to hate that crafty little shit. *seethes*). And I think that that's because he is still a boy. He may have been around on Neverland for a long time, and he isn't innocent by any stretch of the imagination, but he still has that boyish energy and excitement. However, he also has no sense of responsibility and just thinks that he can spend his whole life being free and having fun. He's also pretty messed up. He's a boy that needs to be in a relationship with the sort of person who wants to fix him, and mother him and who panders to his boyish ego like Wendy (even if he can't really be fixed), rather than Tiger Lily, who loves him, but doesn't compromise herself or change who she is to comfort Pan, even if she maybe wants to. She never understood how to love him in the way that he wanted to be loved. He really reminded me of Char from This Song Will Save Your Life, actually. (at least, in my opinion)
The tone of the book is really kind of sad, though. Even at the more fun parts of the book, because of the fact that it's retrospective, there's always this heaviness to everything that happens. A foreboding sense that all will not being okay, and that these are all the events that lead up to everything bad that happens. And a lot of bad stuff happens. The ending itself wasn't really upsetting or anything, but I still cried a little purely because it was a beautiful story, beautifully told and I was sad to see it go, and I was sad in a way to see it end they way it did, but, you know, happy too. It was happy-sad. It was mostly Peter's letter that made me cry, really. And the whole Tik Tok situation. That was pretty devastating.
So yeah, Tiger Lily is a really great book. I loved it a lot, even if it wasn't fast paced and action-filled. It was slow and sad and beautiful, and I don't think I'll be able to look at Peter Pan in the same sort of way. Well, I don't know about that. But it's still a great book.