14 Oct 2012

Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Title: Tiger Lily
Series: n/a
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
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.
 Firstly, the cover of this book is so gorgeous. At first I thought it was a flower, so it took me a while to realise it is actually Tinkerbell. I guess I'm not very observant, haha.

One thing I absolutely loved about this book was the perspective from which it was told. It was not written from the main character's perspective, be it first or third person. No. It was told from a secondary character's perspective. An observer. Tinker Bell. I found this to be really unique and interesting, because it enabled the author to show us the goings on of other characters when Tiger Lily was not around, but still bring in some mystery as to the other characters' intentions. Because even though Tinker Bell could read emotions and sometimes thoughts, she was no psychic who could tell exactly what was going to happen. Plus we got a look into Tinker Bell's mind and I loved the little tidbits she gave us about her family and her life and the fairies. I just found this all to be very interesting. I'd definitely read a novella starring this Tinker Bell

Of course I could not help comparing this telling to the Peter Pan disney movie I grew up with, so a few other elements that made me smile were because of that, which I'm sure Jodi Lynn Anderson included on purpose. What that includes I will not spoil, because I think it will be more fun for anyone who has not yet read it to find those little easter eggs on their own.

That being said, I loved the contrast of Tiger Lily compared to the disney movie. There was a lot more depth to this story, and it allowed for a different telling than we are used to. There are versions of this tale following Peter Pan, and there are versions following Wendy, and so if my quick google research is correct, this is the only telling that follows Tiger Lily -- a character I definitely over-looked when watching the movie.

Of course, comparing this book to the movie in a way bothered me because (and this is entirely my fault here) I could not help but picture the characters as Disney portrayed them. I saw Smee, for example, as the short and chubby old pirate as he was portrayed in the movie. Luckily I did not picture the Lost Boys as being dressed in animal fur, haha. But again, this has nothing to do with how the book was written. I have a hard time picturing characters as they are written unless I really focus on them or am reminded of their looks constantly.

I also really enjoyed the character of Tiger Lily. I don't really remember my thoughts of her in the Disney film (I have not seen the movie in a while and all I remember is when she nearly drowned and Pan had to save her and how brave she was then -- perhaps that inspired this version of her), but I thoroughly enjoyed her character. She is very strong and very closed off and I was intrigued by her immediately. I've read some reviews where people called her emotionless, but I don't think they really understood Tiger Lily. She was closed off for a reason; she just did not show her emotions. That is the type of person she is. I would have loved to see more inside of her head than what Tink could show us, but that little air of mystery was nice.

I was hoping for a concrete explanation as to the why's and hows of ageing and time in Neverland. That was something I had some trouble wrapping my head around, since it was apparent that fairy dust and magic were not something that existed in this Neverland. Perhaps I missed something, or maybe it's just the island that has some sort of magic? I'm still a bit confused over this, but it's fantasy so I can just accept it the way it is.

Also I love how Wendy was portrayed. I don't remember if I liked her much in the Disney film, so it was fun to be on Tiger Lily's side.

Overall this book was great. I really enjoyed the story Jodi Lynn Anderson told. I absolutely adore fairy tale retellings. I think they are really fun and interesting. And of course I definitely recommend this book. It's also making me want to go watch my copy of Peter Pan (except I have the VHS and we haven't had a VHS player in the house for years... This is a dilemma I will have to overcome somehow)!

What are your thoughts on fairy tale retellings? Have you read Tiger Lily yet? I'd love to hear your opinions on this book, whether you agree with me or not.

Also, look out for my spoiler-filled review in video format which I will be posting hopefully by October 16th. I will go more in-depth into my opinions and reactions. I have a few particular scenes I need to talk about (there was one in particular where I just started ranting at the book and rolling my eyes), so keep an eye out for that. I will be posting a follow-up review later on once that is up for viewing, and if you have read this book then I invite you to discuss with me there :)


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