Wednesday, August 29, 2012

[Review] Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson

Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Genre: Teen Fantasy/Romance 
Published: July 3rd 2012
Pages: 292
My Rating: ★★★★1/2

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 grew up loving Disney's Peter Pan, so I was both excited and a bit leery of reading this book. Cracking open the first page, all I could think of was...she's gonna mess it up...she's gonna piss me off somehow... But once I got into it, I found I couldn't put it down. I devoured it in a day.

Beautifully written with incredibly vivid and descriptive language, I envy Anderson's writing style. Though the focus is on Tiger Lily, the book is narrated by Tinker Bell. I wasn't expecting this, but it's creative and works well. As an insignificant faerie, no one really notices Tink. For the most part, all she can do is observe. But we don't always feel her presence in the narration. Sometimes it feels like we're in Tiger Lily's head. It's a nice blend of first and third person. Tink's attitude and jealousy comes through at times too. Spitting in people's hair, biting, reguritating gnats on people...she's a fun character.

Tiger Lily is an outcast--girls don't like her because she's so manly and boys don't like her because she's better than them at hunting and fighting. Fearless, strong, silent, she's one of my favorite heroines. And she doesn't immediately become head over heels for Peter like most girls do in romance books. Nor does he immediately fall for her.

At first, the story makes Peter Pan and his gang seem sinister. Tiger Lily's people think he's dangerous. Numerous rumors surround him--he eats animals raw, kills viciously, steals girls. But we find out Peter and his lost boys are just a bunch of scared, lonely kids. However, they can be ruthless when they need to be. Especially when it comes to Captain Hook and his pirates who constantly hunt them. Pan is unpredictable and childish, which just makes him even more lovable. I have mixed feelings concerning his inability to fly though. I like that Anderson portrays him as more of a normal kid, but Peter Pan should be able to fly!

Though I would prefer to label it fantasy, this story is pretty much a romance. I grudgingly admit that. But it was about freaking Peter Pan, so I had to read it. Usually romance in stories makes me roll my eyes or worse. This story didn't really affect me that way. I think if Tiger Lily had been a girly girl it might've bothered me. I like being able to watch as both Tink and Tiger Lily fall in love with Peter.

Though the novel gets dark at times, I wish there had been a bit more action and death. Personal preference. I was going to give the novel five stars, but I was a bit disappointed in the ending: SPOILER ALERT: Peter goes to England with Wendy, leaving Tiger Lily to marry her childhood friend Pine Sap. I mean, it's a happy ending. But I hate to see Peter grow old. He needs to stay a kid. Always.

If you're a fan of Peter Pan, I don't think you'll be disappointed reading this book. As long as you don't mind  a bit of romance. It's an excellent twist to a classic tale. 

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