January 29, 2013

Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily Jodi Lynn Anderson book cover
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: Harper Collin's Children's Books
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
Source/Format: Gifted by Rachel || Hardcover

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)

Tiger Lily was beautiful. It was evocative, and creative, taking characters and settings from the original Peter Pan and reworking them into this entirely brand new story. While I certainly expected to enjoy it, I could not have predicted how intense my emotional reaction to the book would be. 

There are two things that immediately stand out to me about this book: (1) it is the story of Tiger Lily and (2) it is told by Tinkerbell. 

It’s interesting that the author chose to focus on Tiger Lily, as she was not one of the main characters from the original. But by choosing to focus on someone who was previously out of focus, the author managed to come up with something brand new. Tiger Lily certainly has a personality fraught with complexity – she’s different from the girls in her village, and her feelings and desires make that abundantly clear. At the same time, she shares a history and a life with the tribe, and struggles to piece that all together as she continues to grow. No longer is Tiger Lily just a random cardboard character in my mind; she’s transformed into a real girl with real issues. 

I wasn’t completely connected to Tiger Lily though, mostly because we only get to learn all these things about her from Tinkerbell’s perspective. Tinkerbell is the true storyteller, and that’s another risky, but interesting choice from the author. I’ll admit that I was never very fond of Tinkerbell in the original, but after reading this book, I found that I actually really liked her! The author manages to portray her in a way that allows me to see how much she really cares about the others – Tiger Lily, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys most of all. The fact that I could see how her decisions were made out of selflessness and a desire to protect the ones she had chosen to love softened my feelings towards her. While the Tinkerbell in this book certainly doesn’t sound as glamorous as the one in the original, I like her much better because I can understand her behavior and the (possible) feelings behind it. 

Aside from these two incredible characters, the author tells a compelling tale that I could not put down once I started. The thing about this book is that it may find its roots in a classic, but it manages to incorporate a story with situations that anyone would be able to relate to. Tiger Lily (and Tinkerbell) experiences the wonder of first love, but also encounters the painful reality of heartbreak. When it comes to her tribe, she experiences the struggle to balance the old traditions and new influences. 

The experience of first love and first heartbreak is one that we can all relate to, and it’s done so well in this story. I felt the flutters when the attraction began, swooned over the sweeter things Peter did or said to Tiger Lily and just about keeled over in despair when things went awry. I was so invested in rooting for them that, despite knowing what would happen, I still turned every page expecting things were going to change. 

Tiger Lily may not have made me cry, but it certainly left me pensive and thoughtful for days. It simply moved me with its story of love and loss. Beautiful prose, real characters and relatable situations – this book is certainly a winner, and I would (as so many already have) highly recommend it. 

 This review was posted as part of It Takes Two.
For more information about this feature, click here.


  1. Lovely review. This book has definitely been added to my list.

  2. I am so happy that you enjoyed Tiger Lily! You know already how much I love the book but when I started reading, I never expected it would have that kind of effect on me. I agree that telling it from Tink's POV and letting Tiger Lily be as closed off as she was took some getting used to at first. It was definitely a risk but one that ended up working for me. I got a new appreciation for Tink (who I never liked before either) and I understood that this is who TL was. Which I think made her experience with first love and heartbreak that much more moving to me.

    Anyway, I could go on and on :) Wonderful review!!

  3. Eeep I can't believe I still haven't read this freaking book I was so excited for it and it's just collecting dust >.< I sounds so cool! I freaking love the fact that it's told in Tinkerbell'S POV how awesome is that? I rarely cry when reading books so I love for those that really moves you and goes deeper than surface emotions. So happy you loved it, Alexa!

  4. YAY! So glad our first one for the feature we both enjoyed!! :-D Love your review!

  5. I've not heard of Tiger Lily--now on TBR list. I enjoy retellings so in very excited about this.

  6. Yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!! I thought the writing was so beautiful and it just made me want to (okay, I did) hug the book when I was done.

  7. This book looks so interesting! I really want to read it! Books that make you invest emotion are so awesome. Glad you liked it!

  8. I'm so happy you liked this one! I cried so hard at the end lol. IT BROKE ME. I thought it was interesting how it was from Tinkerbell's perspective. There's definitely some disconnect, but at the same time, I liked it because we got the outsider's viewpoint without a ton of messy emotions that Tiger Lily was probably going through.

  9. I thought the choice in narration was interesting too! It definitely gave more insight to Tinker Bell.

  10. This book *dreamy sigh* It broke my heart, tore my emotions apart and it crushed my feelings, haha. It was so beautiful and I got really invested in Tiger Lily's life. I can't look at Peter Pan the same way now..


  11. "Left me pensive and thoughtful for days." I like that, it describes exactly how I felt about this, too. (I didn't cry either.) Such a great book overall though, and excellent retelling. Even if she DID get all the Wendy details wrong. ;)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  12. I really loved this dark retelling of peter pan as well. I think it might be one of my favorites because I didn't expect her to go to the dark side because it was after all a fairytale.

    Tt @ NeverEndingStoires

  13. I've only heard good things about this one I have to read it! I don't know what's taken me so long i guess I'm just so in love with the original story I've been hesitante to give this a try...
    Great Review

    lily @ lilysbookblog

  14. I love this sentence: "But by choosing to focus on someone who was previously out of focus, the author managed to come up with something brand new."

    I think that was one of my main impressions after reading Tiger Lily, too. I thought focusing on Tiger Lily and having Tinkerbell narrate was really interesting and gave the whole Peter Pan story a whole new feeling and energy.

    I didn't cry either, but I did think the writing was really lovely. It also gave me a greater appreciation for the concept of secondary characters having their own stories, desires and fears. The best secondary characters always have depth, but it's so interesting to think about them becoming heroines in their own right. So cool!

  15. Oh, I seriously get majorly excited when I see someone has reviewed Tiger Lily! While nearly everyone said they cried over it, I didn't (thankfully); but the book has stuck with me, all the lovely words and feelings. I think it was definitely a risky move, like you said in your review, but I think that's what made it great. We all knew who Tiger Lily was, as well as the other characters, but giving us a chance to see them deeper was simply beautiful! Great review!

  16. This is a truly beautiful review - I haven't read Tiger Lily yet, but I've gained really great perspective about what I will be getting once I pick up a copy.

    I was so invested in rooting for them that, despite knowing what would happen, I still turned every page expecting things were going to change.

    These books are always the best/worst kind! It's so hard not to hope for a different outcome, even when you know better.

  17. I'm so excited to read this! I can definitely understand that reading about a main character from the perception of another might be kind of weird. I love the Peter Pan mythology. Great review!

  18. YOU KNOW MY LOVE. SO MUCH LOVE! I didn't cry until the end. AHHHH> STOP. I can't think about it.

  19. Gahhhh I loved this book. I think I loved it a bit more than you did (and I'm sorry, because I think I recommended it to you!) But if nothing else, we can agree that the prose is out of this world!


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