Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Published: July 3rd, 2012 (HarperTeen)
Pages:  292
Rating: 5/5
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. [Description from Goodreads]
I have a confession to make.
From the 2003 movie, Peter Pan
Peter Pan was my very first fictional crush.
I was seven, I think…or maybe six.
I read about him in my little Golden Classics book. I watched his Disney movie (back in the day of VCRs). I think I even dreamt about him once or twice.
He could fly. He was magical. All the girls loved him. The mermaids fawned over him, Wendy flirted shamelessly with him, and Tiger Lily…well, no one really knows what happened between Peter and Tiger Lily.
Want to find out?
I did.
And I loved it. I love this book. Looooove it. It’s beautifully and elegantly written, and takes all the characters in Peter Pan and transforms them into exactly what they are meant to be. Exactly what we picture them to be. As the story comes together, you realize that you couldn’t have envisioned it any other way.
Tiger Lily is pretty much like a prequel to Peter Pan. It’s what happened before Wendy’s parents left for the dinner party, before Peter Pan came through her window, before he lost his shadow. It’s before Tinker Bell was Peter’s sidekick. It’s the beginning.
I was taken by surprised when I realized that Tiger Lily is narrated by Tinker Bell. I hadn’t really researched this book too thoroughly before I read it, but I had heard a bunch of wonderful things about it. I actually liked hearing the story through Tink’s voice. It wasn’t spunky or full of attitude like I expected it to be. At times, she seemed detached or neutral to the goings-on of the story, and I was fine with that. I loved hearing how she felt about Peter, since we never really get that inside scoop.  
From the Disney production of Peter Pan
Jodi portrays Tiger Lily as exactly who I always imagined her to be: a silent girl, in between girlhood and womanhood, in control of her emotions outwardly but always feeling their effects inwardly. Sometime she acts impartial about things she really does care about, because she’s not one for emotion. She speaks little, but every action and word has a purpose. She’s vulnerable but she never shows it.
And she was Peter Pan’s first love.
This story is so full of emotion. There’s a sadness that lingers throughout the whole book- not an overwhelming kind of sadness, but one that reappears here and there as the story goes on. I’ll tell you now- it’s present at the end. There is no “happily ever after,” at least not for Tiger Lily. I think both Tiger Lily and Peter ended up in relatively content situations in the end, but neither was truly happy. It’s one of those sad endings that are acceptable- it isn’t crushing, and it might make you smile a little. It’s a good sad ending.
The romance was so innocent. I love romances like that, but they’re so rare in YA books. Making it any more mature would have ruined the book, so I’m forever grateful to Jodi for weaving such a tender love story. Wendy is not portrayed as a very nice person in this book, so just as a forewarning, if you’re a diehard Wendy+Peter fan, you may not like this book. In fact, you may hate it. I thought I was a Wendy+Peter fan, but after reading Tiger Lily, I guess I’m not. *grin* Because I absolutely love Tiger Lily and Peter together. They’re both so imperfect and vulnerable, and have so much more in common than Wendy and Peter do (no offense, team Wendy fans).
 Through I could probably go on and on and on forever, I’ll wrap it up (for your sake). I adore this marvelously written story. All the characters and happens in the real Peter Pan story match up, so to speak, with the happens of this story. They all come into place. This prequel of Peter Pan is one I’ll never forget, and one I’d like to have on my shelf, because I’m sure I’ll want to pick it up again one of these days. Tales from Neverland have always had that effect on me; apparently they still do. I highly recommend Tiger Lily to anyone who loved Peter Pan and wants a little more.
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: None (none that I can remember…if there was language, it wasn’t severe in the least)
Violence: Mild (A man drowns. A man is killed by crocodiles. A girl is bullied by her future husband. An attempted murder involving mermaids…never thought I’d say that. None of it was gory.)
Sexual: Mild (Some kissing/cuddling. A man dresses like a woman.)
Other: Some mention of the Indian tribe’s gods. Some superstition throughout the book. An Englishman comes and attempts to convert the tribe to Christianity; sadly, the man is portrayed as a forceful, unaccepting person.

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