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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily is a more grown-up, darker re-telling of the Peter Pan story.  Tinker Bell is the narrator, and the book begins slightly prior to the traditional Peter Pan story.  It is so neat to get to see more about Tiger Lily and her family, and to learn the origin of the lost boys and Captain Hook and why no one ages in Neverland.

Yes!  You learn about the aging-not-aging thing in Tiger Lily!  You'll have to read the book to find out how it works.  ;)

Tiger Lily is told from Tink's point of view, but it mostly follows Tiger Lily, so that's interesting.  Tiger Lily is 15 and coming of age in her tribe over the course of the book.  We learn that she is an orphan who was adopted by the tribe's shaman, Tik Tok.  This book has really got something for everyone: Tik Tok is a cross-dressing single guy.  That puts a unique spin on the family and tribal relationships that are explored.  Tiger Lily has a fierce love for Tik Tok, who is a sort of outsider in the tribe.  His hut is farthest on the edge of the village, and as shaman he has power but no close friends.  Tiger Lily is also quite a loner, with only two acquaintances.  It's almost painful at some points to read her interactions with these two- the reader sees both how cold Tiger Lily can be in her reactions and conversations, and how hard Pine Sap and Moon Eye try to draw her in.

There is also a political relationship between the tribe and the Lost Boys- they agreed years and years ago to keep to their own areas.  No one from the tribe enters their part of the forest, and the Lost Boys never come near the village.  That is, until the day that Tiger Lily wanders across the boundary.  (This is one of the bigger deviations from the Disney version of events, wherein Peter is friends with the Indian chief.)  The main plot of the book follows Tiger Lily and Peter's love story.  This was also something that I was conflicted about.  Peter has been in Neverland as long as he can remember; unlike the other Lost Boys, he doesn't remember a time when he was ever in England.  He doesn't remember arriving on the island.  He's also perpetually stuck at 15.... yet for all his years of living, he's still incredibly naive and immature.  Tiger Lily is too, but with her it makes sense:  she's 15, and has only been 15 for a matter of months.  You would think (I thought) that Peter's many years of living would give him much more wisdom than is portrayed.  Some of the Lost Boys came across as having more common sense than their leader!  In fact, Peter came across as more immature than 15 even, at times.  This made it hard to root for him and Tiger Lily.  Between Tiger Lily's ice queen stoicism and Peter's immaturity, sometime I was left wondering if they really even liked each other very much.

Their love story played out very realistically.... for what it is.  I mean, there's the whole island-outside-of-time-and-space aspect, of course, and mermaids.  But other than how that affects their maturity and relationships (the mermaids are on Peter's side), the two fall in love just as awkwardly (and sometimes adorably) as any other teens.  The pressures from family and friends affect them in just the same way.  And they react to outside cultural events just like other teens.  That's what I mean when I say that the relationship plays out "realistically."  :)  The plot also progresses at a good speed- there's a nice steady cadence to it, and the ending isn't rushed.  Despite my occasional misgivings about Tiger Lily and Peter's budding romance, I found that I couldn't put the book down- I had to know how it turned out for them!  I think I could say that it's Peter Pan on the rocks with a twist of Romeo and Juliet.  If you're even the slightest Peter Pan fan you'll want to read this book!


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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1 Person left their mark:

  1. I own TIGER LILY, because she's my favorite Peter Pan character and everyone raves about it. I picked it up the other day to start reading it, but it started really slow. I wasn't in the mood for a slowish read at the moment, so I put it down for now. So glad that you liked it! I am excited and eager to give it another shot soon! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!