Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

I heard about Tiger Lily from another blogger and just had to read it because it sounded like such a creative spin on the story of Peter Pan.  Luckily, our local library had just gotten it in so I had the chance to read it right away.  Here is the Goodreads blurb:

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.
This was a wonderful read that I tore through over the course of a day.  I really enjoyed that even though the story is told by Tink, and thus has her bias, it still showed a very realistic view of Peter, Tiger Lily and the rest of Neverland.  It is so realistic that you almost expect to find the island on a map.  There is still magic in Neverland- fairies exist and most people on the island only age to a certain point.  But not all of the magic is real.  The characterization is one of the best parts of this book.  You get to see Peter, Smee, Tiger Lily and others as real, imperfect people.  Peter is not the hero of this story.  I'm not sure that anyone is.  Everyone is equally at fault and no one is perfect.  It makes you see how these characters could exist in the real world.  I found Smee to be both creepy and interesting- not at all like the lovable goof who hangs out with Hook on the Disney channel.  Tiger Lily also gets a lovely treatment as we get to see her as a real girl who falls for Peter's charm and bravery, who sees him as an escape from life in the village.  She is a real girl who will engage the reader and take them on an emotional journey with her.  Tink's bias is very apparent when we see Wendy.  That moment was the glue that held Tink's personality together for me and kept her narration honest. I loved the Lost Boys and all their quirks that gave them each a distinct character.  Really, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I can only complain that it was too short.

You can find Jodi Lynn Anderson on Twitter and Facebook.  You can click here to add Tiger Lily to your Goodreads.  I give Tiger Lily 4 Fairies for a lovely book with beautiful characters and tons of realism.

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