Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Title: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publisher: HarperTeen
Paperback, 292 Pages
Published July 2013
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Summary: 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 bought a copy of this book at The Strand after BookCon this past May, and when I did, I didn't remember what it was about. Margot Wood was gushing over this book during an episode of #TeaTime last summer, and she explained the synopsis then, and I remember being intrigued and deciding to add it to my To-Read list. Well, that was almost a year ago - and when I came across a copy of this book at The Strand I remembered that it was on my TBR, but there are so many books on that list that I honestly can't remember what's what.

Anyway, I bought the book, and when I started it a few days ago I was so excited to find out that it was about Peter Pan pre-famous story. The best way to explain the time period of this book is that it's after the time period shown in that new movie Pan (which describes how Peter got to the island and became who he was) and the time period covered in our favorite Disney fairy tale. It's definitely an interesting topic and I found it intriguing because it wasn't a retelling, per se, but it was in the same ballpark and it sounded great. 

And it was great. Hold tight to your seats, because everything you thought you knew about the infamous story of Peter Pan is about to fly out the window. We've all been wrong this entire time. Dead wrong.

I enjoyed every second of this book, and I was surprised that Peter Pan was not a main character in this book, but rather a supporting character. The main focus of the book is a teenage girl named Tiger Lily, dark and strong and fierce and quiet. She's viewed with an odd mix of fear and superstition and pride by her fellow villagers, being that she is the only daughter of the village's shaman, Tik Tok. Throughout her entire life, she's been treated crappily by the other kids. Basically, her and the good things in life just aren't in sync. So she spends a lot of time by herself, ostracized by the other kids. She has a handful of companions, though, one being my ultimate favorite - and I'm about to tell you who.

The point of view of this book is my absolute favorite thing about it, because it's not who you'd expect. Not Tiger Lily. Or Tik Tok. Or even Peter Pan. The narrator of this book is my favorite character of all - good 'ol Tinkerbell! (You learn that there's a reason she's all sullen and angry when it comes to Wendy in the famous Disney movie, and it isn't actually because she's jealous that Wendy steals all of Peter's attention.) 

The book being from Tink's point of view contributed in several important ways. First, we got to see everything, because Tink was everywhere - we saw what happened in Tiger Lily's direct vicinity, and what happened across the village without her knowing. The fact that Tink isn't able to talk to anybody in Neverland (because apparently all faeries lost the ability to speak somewhere in their evolution) seems like a minor, unimportant fact, but as the novel progresses it actually becomes a key difficulty, especially when Tink knows something that Tiger Lily or Peter doesn't and has virtually no way of telling them.

This book also didn't paint Peter as the perfect young man, smart and strong and wise and the keeper of all of the answers, as the movie does. Wendy isn't all kind and perfect and the heroine of the story, either - not by a long shot. Long story short, before Peter fell in love with Wendy, his heart belonged to another. A girl who was set to be his wife. Tiger Lily. 

If you're thinking to yourself right now, Oh crap, you're totally right.

Oh crap.

Which is totally why you guys need to pick this book up right now and read it, whether or not you're an avid fantasy reader!

All in all, Tiger Lily was a riveting retelling (quite, but not quite - still not sure what to call it) of a famous story of a famous boy that we all know and love. Everything you thought you knew about this story turns out horrifyingly and undeniably wrong, which makes it even greater - what fun is reading when popular thoughts and ideas aren't challenged? Even if you aren't a big fantasy fan, this book will capture your attention and refuse to let you go for all 292 pages. I definitely would recommend it to anybody looking for a good and super-riveting read. Hats off to Jodi Lynn Anderson, because I really really enjoyed reading Tiger Lily!



  1. I'm glad to see that this one was pretty good. I've seen it around a bit but it doesn't seem like my kind of read, however it still seems really tempting! Great review.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  2. Oh gosh, Tiger Lily has been on my TBR list for a good couple of years but every time I look at it I can't help but think that this book will break my heart so I haven't gotten around to picking it up. But every single review I've read has been positive so I think I'll have to pick Tiger Lily up soon :) Great review!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

  3. Good review. I love anything Neverland! I need to read this; I love Tiger Lily. :)


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