Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson | Twitter
Publication Date: July 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
My Interest: Book Club Pick / Subject Love
Age Group | Genre: YA | fantasy, adventure, magical, retelling
I grew up loving Peter Pan, and in fact I often say I read the YA genre because I have what I’ve dubbed “Peter Pan Syndrome.” I somewhat blame my mother. She took me to a Peter Pan play when I was younger, and I think that’s what started the disease of never wanting to grow up.
In terms of stories, This. Was. Heartbreakingly. Beautiful.
If you love Peter Pan, Tiger Lily is nothing like it, and if the original story is one of your favorites, please go into this novel with a clear head. You may love it. You may hate. Either way, bring your tissues because I know you may shed some tears. I originally heard of this book in my YA Lit class this summer, and then discovered it was the September pick for the Epic Reads book club. I am so glad I picked it up because I think it was my favorite end of summer read.
Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve hear. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.
Beautifully written, Tiger Lily is the story of a strong and courageous girl–the adopted daughter of the tribe’s shaman, who runs wild and refuses to fall prey to her arranged marriage to a fellow, cruel, tribesman. She is the one who wears a crow feather in her hair, barely believes in happiness, and couldn’t ever bring herself to love. That is until she meets the mysterious Peter, a boy who she once thought to be murderous. Told through the eyes of Tinkerbell, we watch as Tiger Lily finds solace in the boy who admires her. Until Wendy Bird comes along.
I honestly cannot say enough good things about this novel. Anderson’s writing was absolutely beautiful. There’s just something about her prose that pulled me into the story, wrapped the world around me, and made me feel as if I was walking in Neverland.
Not only did her characters have depth, but I adored Tink as the narrator. Part of her quirk in the story is that faeries cannot talk, but they can read minds. We get the story from Tink’s perspective, but every so often the narration shifts to Tiger Lily’s point of view because Tink knows her thoughts. It’s an absolutely brilliant narration style.
Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page. because we’re only what we’ve done and what we are going to do.
Anderson’s retelling of Peter Pan offers a look into the “real” Neverland, but I feel as if we are merely given glimpses into this world that is not afraid to explore differences in gender or social norms. New characters such as Tic Tock and an Englishman, as well as background stories about Hook, Smee, and the Lost Boys provide depth to the story and offer explanations of the littlest things in a world full of faeries, mermaids, pirates, and magic. As Anderson explains how plausible it is to stop aging, readers will pause and think about that one moment of importance in their own life, which in turn will capture their imagination and transport them forever to Neverland.
But they shouldn’t look for the second star to the right, they’ll need only to lose their way.
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