Thursday 20 December 2012

Review -- Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily
Title: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Release Date: 03 July 2012
Date Read: December 2012
Rating: ★★★★

Tiger Lily left me speechless. Actually, no. That's a lie. I had speech alright. It just ended up being garbled and unrecognizable mutterings because sobs and cries of anguish were raking through my body. Thanks, Anderson. And to think, I was this close to not finishing the book.

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 Goodreads)

Let me make this clear. I was planning on DNF-ing, not because it was a bad book, but because it was so damn good.

Wait, Katrina. Did you just say you weren't going to finish a book because... it was... too good?


That is the most idiotic, most backwards thing I've ever heard.
I know. But I was going to do it.

When I first heard of Tiger Lily, I thought, "Hey, a fairy tale retelling? Cool, I'll look it up. Oh, it's of Peter Pan? Ohmygod, yes! Tiger Lily and Peter Pan are together? THAT IS THE MOST BRILLIANT IDEA EVER GIMME THE DAMN BOOK." Peter Pan is my all-time favourite fairytale classic and I grew up with Disney's Peter Pan movies. I'm freaking in love with it and I love Peter and Wendy. I will ship them until the end of time.

I knew that Peter and Tiger Lily were together in this book. But it just didn't register in my mind that they were going to be together. That was the start of the rocky relationship between Tiger Lily (the book) and me.

I had problems with the beginning of the book. It was written so well and at first, I thought getting Tinkerbell to narrate the story was the first of many brilliant ideas Anderson had. But I started having trouble keeping up with it. I kept forgetting that it's Tink's perspective. I had to backtrack to try and understand what was going on exactly. The pace was quite slow and I kept losing interest in the story. It took me a longer time than usual to finish the book. I wasn't exactly eager to turn the pages. But that was probably more because of the fact that Anderson did a fanfreakingtastic job with breathing a new life to the characters we all know and love. I couldn't even hate Tiger Lily for being romantically involved with Peter Pan because she was so cool. Believe me, I wanted to hate her. Peter belongs to Wendy! And it's not fair that Tinkerbell hates Wendy but loves Tiger Lily. But honestly, I can't blame her. Tiger Lily is awesome. She's interesting, strong, stubborn, mysterious and a warrior. She's the loneliest person in her tribe, even with her friendship with Pine Sap. She knows she doesn't belong in her tribe so it's natural for her to fall for the boy whose just as lonely as her.

The romance between Tiger Lily and Peter is the most adorable thing ever and it wasn't even insta-love! Their relationship blossomed from the fascination they had of each other, of this completely different person, living in a completely different world. It physically hurt to see them being so cute and awkward. I just about cried every time their relationship developed. I was so conflicted. I didn't know whether or not I wanted them to end up together or not because WENDY! But the romantic sap in me just wanted everyone to have a happily ever after. Peter is just as amazing as always. Tiger Lily is in love with Peter. Wendy is in love with Peter. Tinkerbell is in love with Peter. The mermaids are in love with Peter. The Lost Boys are in love with Peter. I'm in love with Peter. Nobody can resist Peter's charm. I don't know how Anderson did it but she made Peter seem like a completely different person without making him a completely different person.

The supporting characters were just as great. I loved Pine Sap. Was he even in the original story? Who cares. He was Tiger Lily's best friend and of course he loved her. He's loyal and trust-worthy. He's not the strongest but you know damn well he'll do anything to protect Tiger Lily. I just wanted him to end up happy. And the Lost Boys. They're lonely and lost and they just wanted someone to love them and take care of them. Smee and Captain Hook are much more interesting in this one.  Captain Hook is just a shell of the brilliant, intelligent man he used to be. His dreams of living forever lost. Smee is a creepy murderer who kills people because it's the only way he feels. He cries every time he kills and he only kills those who he thinks are admirable. When he encounters Tiger Lily in the jungle, he decides that she is an amazing person, therefore he must kill her. This book is filled with broken people and each one of them broke my heart.

The only reason I kept going was because I figured I at least owed it to Peter to finish the book. Remember how I said I didn't like how the story was written in Tink's perspective? Well, that changed about 2/3 of the way through. It was an interesting point of view. She managed to include not only Tiger Lily and Peter's thoughts in the narrative, but also I got a pretty good grasp on all the other characters, plus Tinker Bell's view on everything happening. It's ingenious. Even the fact that I kept stopping and starting the book worked for the story. Tiger Lily wormed her way into my good side. If I had just read the book in one sitting or something, I wouldn't have liked/hated the ending.

Ugh. But I hated the way she portrayed my beloved Wendy. She made her this weak, vapid airhead. What the fudgeballs! She laughed too much at the slightest things, things that weren't even remotely just so she could make the boys feel important and superior to her. Trekking in the jungle, she's more interested in keeping her dress clean than in keeping an eye out for whatever lurks in the shadows. That's not Wendy. Ugh. Not cool, Anderson. Not cool.

And this brings us to the ending... Sigh. I can't. It was the perfect way to end it but again, I was conflicted. I hated it and I loved it. For the last 60 pages, I was crying non-stop. Oh, Tiger Lily and Peter and Tik Tok and Wendy and the Lost Boys and Pine Sap and I just can't...

I can't. I'm never looking at Peter Pan- the story, the characters- in the same way again. I hate it. I didn't expect it was going to be as Great as it was. Damn you, Anderson. This is not over between you and me. No. Not by a long shot.

This has been a really long review and a little more than rambly. Sorry. I couldn't help but fangirl over it.


  1. I ordered this book yesterday but I wasn't sure if I should have (I've read many mixed reviews). But your review just made me REALLY excited for it! Even though you came close to DNFing, the story sounds incredibly moving and gorgeous! Great review! :)

    1. Be excited, Judith! Let me know what you think of it when you finish the book.

  2. Wonderful review. I have to read this now. NOW! Just saying... I wasn't sure wither way, but this sounds like it can't be missed.


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