May 9, 2013

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Title: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Pages: 292
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books

From 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.

I feel like I was predisposed to loving this.  Peter Pan is one of my favorite Disney movies ever.  I've always loved the stage version with Mary Martin.  When I heard there was a YA retelling I was all over it.

I've heard from a few people that it started out slow for them and I see what they meant.  There's a need for world rebuilding because of the familiarity so many of us have with Neverland.  I feel like Anderson took great care to make it her own.  We're thrown deep into the village's hierarchy and customs and that really helped to shape how different Tiger Lily is from everyone else.

One of the (many) strengths of this book lies in the characters we meet.  Tik Tok, Giant, Pine Sap, the Lost Boys, Smee, Philip.  They all affect Tiger Lily's life so deeply in such varied ways.  The most important to this story, though, are Tink and, obviously, Peter.

I LOVED that this story was told by Tink and that she was so tied to Tiger Lily.  That no matter how in love with Peter Tink was, she knew that she belonged with her girl.  She was always surprised when people acknowledged her and how important she was, even though she was just a fairy.

Then there's Peter.  "This is a love story, but not like any you've heard."  How true this is.  There's just so, so much to this love story: betrayals on both sides, and everything just goes so tragically wrong.  And the ending, oh boy, did this ending destroy me.  I still can't think about it too much or I'm thrown right back into the story.  I know that Tiger Lily is going to be one of my favorites of the year (and I read it in January!) and probably even longer than that.  Jodi Lynn Anderson, you got me good.

So right after I read this book I was listening to Red (by Taylor Swift) a lot.  Now, I have a lot of mixed feelings about Taylor Swift, but this blog definitely isn't the place for them.  The girl (usually) writes a good tune and as soon as I heard "Treacherous" I linked it to Tiger Lily in my mind.  Something about the bridge makes me think of Tiger Lily going to the burrow to see Peter.  

(Click on the lyrics to hear the song on youtube.)


  1. Wow! Beautiful review! Been wanting to read this book forever! I still have to :P Can't wait! Peter Pan is one of my favourites as well :) :)

    1. Definitely check it out, I can't recommend it highly enough!