Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jen's Thoughts: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Published: July 2, 2012
HarperCollins, hardcover, 292pgs
Source: purchased
GoodReads Summary: 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.
Confession: I totally had the hots for Disney Peter Pan when I was a young'n. (Don't be jelly, Mr. Jen. You know redheads aren't my thing. Also, the whole "someone drew him and flipped pages rapidly to make him move" thing means it probably never would've worked.) For real, though. He was the ultimate playboy. He flew into girls' windows with his sweet promises of "no wrinkles" and throwing responsibility to the wind, then took her to Neverland where he's got a WHOLE LAND full of catty women ready to beat down the competition. (Does anyone remember those bitchy mermaids? And how Tinkerbell got the Lost Boys to throw rocks at Wendy?) It was totally obvious that Peter was in love with Tiger Lily. They nose-kissed all over the place. Right in front of Wendy. RUDE. And I always just chalked it up to "oh, that's just Peter Pan. He's so wily and fun-loving and adorable."

The good news is: I don't care about that anymore. Because Jodi Lynn Anderson's book has me a certified Wendy-hater.
The bad news is: all my childhood feelings and excuse-making for Peter are destroyed.

Tiger Lily is a girl of few words. She lives a rough life, but she's strong and prefers to throw on her bitchface and stew in silence. That is, until she meets Peter Pan, who makes her see the world differently. Makes her want to be different and forget all she's ever known. But this is not a happy love story. This is a story of obligation, heartbreak, and resignation. And who seriously would've thought that such a story would end up being one of my favorites of all time?

Tiger Lily is narrated by Tinkerbell, which is one of my favorite aspects. Finally, the fairy who never speaks gets nearly 300 pages to tell a story. So not only do we get a look into one of the most underrated characters' lives (that's you, TL!) but also a glimpse into Tink's thoughts and why she was so uppity. And it's clear: Tink is awesome. Their story is far darker, murderous, and twisted than I ever imagined. And I loved it. And it's heartbreaking and infuriating to see just how misguided and broken Peter Pan is.
i love you, tinkerbell. make wendy walk the friggin' plank.

Tiger Lily isn't the action packed movie versions. It's a subtle read. It infiltrates your mind and soul and grabs hold of your heart strings and plays a sad, desperate tune. It's delicate, awful, and quietly chaotic. The last chapter (DON'T READ AHEAD, GUYS) was one of the most profound pieces of literature I've read in recent memory. (Or distant memory.) It made me feel feelings I had forgotten. (Or possibly had never known to exist.)

Whatever you know of Peter Pan, whether it be the original novel or just the movie versions (like me), read Tiger Lily. It makes me want to be all proper and use words like "profound" and "superb." Or maybe even make up words that can describe how MOVED I am after this epic reading experience.


  1. I've been hearing good, but also mixed things about this one, but your review makes me very excited and happy that I ordered it! I'm so ready for a beautiful, emotionally packed read like this one! Lovely review :)

  2. I loveeeee this review! It's exactly how I felt when I read Tiger Lily. Before reading the book, I never liked Tinkerbell much and I thought Peter & Wendy were so sweet together (based on the live-action movie). Totally different perspective now and a whole new appreciation for Tiger Lily. I thought the author did such an amazing job of taking a story we're all familiar with and making it her own. Great review!

  3. I just bought this book last week! Now, I am even more excited to read it!

    Great review!

  4. I've seen this book around a lot, but honestly I've never stopped to actually read what it's about. It looks so good! Great review!

  5. I feel precisely the way you do about this one! I ended up liking Tink more than I thought I would, loving Tiger Lily, being annoyed/half in love with Peter and just wanting to kill Wendy. It's just so powerful and beautiful and GAH, I am going to have the hardest time putting it out of my mind ESPECIALLY the last chapter.

  6. I have a confession: my childhood neighbor once threw a Peter Pan themed party and I dressed up as Wendy, blue dress, ponytail and all. Though I LOVED her Englishness,I had the tenaciy of Tink at heart. Case in point: I was totally ready to toss rocks at the other little girls who dared to dress up like Wendy at that party. Deep down, I think I always knew that Wendy's propriety just wasn't for me. I haven't read Tiger Lily yet, but I'm keen to hear how our sweet, innocent Wendy becomes villified.

    And I really it's an interesting choice to tell the story from Tink's perspective. I can only imagine how spunky her POV will be. So excited to hear that it's about more than just the usual Never Neverland action that we see. Substance = YAYNESS!

  7. Noooo, don't be a certified Wendy Hater! :(

    I agree this book was gorgeous, though. Even if she did totally massacre ME.

    I'm glad you enjoyed. :)

  8. I used to love Peter Pan too! I wanted to be Wendy Darling!

    I loved your review of this - it sounds beautiful!

    I'm definitely going to have to read this myself now!


    ~ Alex @ Like, Words and Stuff

  9. Tiger Lily sounds amazing! Your review has definitely convinced me to read it, despite the fact that it sounds like it will totally break my heart. haha I love that it's told from Tink's perspective- it sounds like it adds an extra layer to the book!

  10. OMG. I need to read this now after the lovely review you just wrote haha. Just added this little baby to my wish list :)

  11. This is an awesome review! OMG I got shivers. I want to read this SOOOO BADLY! Thanks for making me pumped to read this!

  12. Wow, awesome review! You seriously make this book sound AMAZING! And I love what you had to say about Peter/Wendy/Tink LOL! I've had a copy of this one sitting around for ages, but I think it's about time I actually read it!

  13. YES YES OMG YES. So glad you read this!! I wasn't sure if you were going to like it when you texted me. Idk it's just such a DIFFERENT book that it's hard to tell if it's someone's thing. But I should have known you would have appreciated THE SLAYING.

  14. Absolutely! I loved Tiger Lily and omg okay my heart probably broke the most for Tik Tok. Is that weird? i was like go on with your dress wearing self and then when they kind of take his identity away it was SO SAD OMG.


    I actually ended up liking Tinker Bell, usually I find her annoying but she was a great narrator.

    And omg. Captain Hook was super gross.

    And Peter Pan, total douche.

    Love love love love this book.

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