Review: Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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)

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Very rarely do I come across a book that causes so many different emotions within me. This book is one of those rarities.

This book is surprisingly not told from Tiger Lily’s perspective, but from Tinker Bell’s, the faerie in Peter Pan. While Peter Pan was never one of my favorite books/movies (I didn’t read the book for the first time until last year, but I watched the movie numerous times, haha!) the concept of this book intrigued me. Not much is known about Tiger Lily, the girl with the crow feather in her hair, but this book explores her life and time with Peter Pan and The Lost Boys. I loved the idea of her having a back story as to what was going on BEFORE Wendy showed up in Neverland.

There are so many aspects of this book that make it outstanding. First of all, this book was not one of those “and they lived happily ever after” or “good always prevails” type of stories. Instead, it depicted a very real, very raw type of story. Tiger Lily is portrayed as a strong, yet young girl who takes it upon herself to explore and learn, though this leads her to discover not only a stray Englander, but Peter Pan as well. Despite having heard stories about how ruthless and horrible Peter Pan is, Tiger Lily can’t control her curiosity about him. This leads to the creation of not only a friendship, but a love. Tiger Lily’s character has so many aspects, from being the tomboyish strong type, to being the shy girl who is in love with Peter Pan.

I absolutely love that Tinker Bell narrates the story. Even though faeries cannot speak the human language, she communicates with Tiger Lily (and eventually Peter Pan) through various actions. Out of all the characters in the book, Tink knows the most because she is capable of flying all around Neverland. She knows things about Tiger Lily, Peter Pan and The Lost Boys, the Englanders, and Captain Hook and his crew. This allows for the reader to know everything that is going on as well, instead of merely being confined to what Tiger Lily knows.

So much happens within this book, and not just things relating to Peter Pan and Tiger Lily (though their connection takes up the majority of the book.) The reader learns about Tiger Lily’s tribe, her friends, her father, as well as the different attributes that make Tiger Lily who she is.

The other characters in the book are stunning; they all have so much personality that no two characters even sound remotely similar. One of my favorite’s by far was Tik Tok, Tiger Lily’s “father” who adopted her as his own; he was also the tribe’s shaman. The descriptions of Tik Tok were some of the best, as he saw and portrayed himself to more of the womanly type as opposed to the manly type he was “supposed” to be.

I adored the relationship between Tiger Lily and Peter Pan. My love for him grew as her love for him grew. My heart ached for her as her heart broke. My anger rose as her anger rose from being betrayed by someone she cared for. I found myself wanting Tiger Lily to always come out on top, no matter what. This book was simply stunning in how it was able to get across Tiger Lily’s thoughts, emotions, and actions. There were many moments that I could find myself smiling while I was reading, and there were many times when I felt heartbroken by what was going on.

It’s an interesting concept to have grown up watching the Disney movie for Peter Pan and then having (finally) read Peter Pan to go and read a story like Tiger Lily, as it leaves you with the understanding of a character that doesn’t earn a lot of “air time” in the original book and movie. This book does a wonderful job at showing how things aren’t always perfect; some people are going to be broken, as will some of the relationships they have. But even with the imperfect and broken nature of Tiger Lily and Peter Pan, this story is one to be remembered.

I must say though, this book left me feeling LIVID towards Wendy. She isn’t introduced until the last part of the book, but ohhhh did she make me mad. Tiger Lily could have wiped the floor with her in a heartbeat, ha ha!


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