Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tiger Lily - Review

Title: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Source: Saw this book on The Fairytale Nerd, I borrowed it from the library

Goodreads 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.

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.

My thoughts:

I have always been a huge Peter Pan fan, although I have to admit I have never read the book. I did watch the Disney cartoon a million and a half times though.  All the characters were my favorites, and wow, how cool was Neverland when you were a kid? I wanted to live there too!!  I have begun reading these Peter Pan retellings, and I really must read the original. (How embarassing!)

I loved Anderson's very different take on the characters and story - Tiger Lily is a prequel actually.  But her Tiger Lily is fierce and tough, suddenly violent, confident yet not.  She is the shaman Tik Tok's adopted daughter, and therefore holds a place of honor within her tribe.  The story is told by Tinker Bell, who loves both Tiger Lily and Peter Pan.

Peter Pan is the cocky overly confident character we know and love - but he can also be anxious, doubtful, fickle, capricious. Both Tiger Lily and Peter Pan are brave and without fear, and they recognize this in the other, and it brings them together. All the versions I have known of Peter are slightly aesexual - he is looking for a mother, not a girlfriend.  I have always imagined him as an 11 or 12 year old. In Tiger Lily, he is 16, and she is 15, and the natural teenage hormones exist, even in Neverland.  When they meet, Tiger Lily's world changes, it is no longer Tiger Lily, Tik Tok, her two close friends, and the tribe.  There is now Peter ,who she has a crush on and vice versa, and the Lost Boys too.  Throw in an engagement to an older man in her tribe, the arrival of a missionary, Captain Hook, the arrival of Wendy Darling, and there is a lot going on in this story!

I thought this book really addressed gender stereotypes. Tiger Lily is strong, a good shot and a good hunter, and is looked down on by her tribe because she is not "feminine" enough; Tik Tok is a transvestite, and Tiger Lily's best friend Pine Sap is a boy who is picked on for being too girly.  Wendy is the epitome of what a girl "should" be, and poor Tiger Lily feels she can't measure up. These preconceived ideas of how boys should act and how girls should act is wrong, and this book illustrates that.  Who says a girl can't run as fast as a boy? Who says a boy can't be good with cooking or sewing? I think this gave the book more weight.  

I really enjoyed this book, although my heart broke sometimes for Tiger Lily.  I thought it was unique and a really fresh and interesting way to see this classic fairy tale.  



  1. I've never read the original Peter Pan either :( I'm so interested in Tiger Lily though, it sounds great!

    The Relentless Reader

    1. I loved it! It took me maybe 15 pages to get into, but then I didn't want to stop reading it.

  2. I like the cartoon, but haven't read the book either. I have heard good things about this book, but tend to shy away from re-tellings of classics. Very cool that you liked it so much!

    1. I am very picky about retellings. Most of the time, I don't enjoy a loved story changing in any way. Like, I love horror and I love Austen, but I don't like those books that are out now, the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on. So I get where you are coming from. :)

  3. You really ought to read the unabridged, unadapted story of Peter Pan. I went on a classics kick with my boys when they were little and I read it aloud to them. I realized it was way past their comprehension and had to keep replacing the damn with darn. I kept reading though because there is some magical writing in that book. We had this great copy with beautiful color pictures.

    1. I know, I feel awful I haven't actually read it. I have watched a million movies and read all sorts of different retellilngs, I should probably read the original. And to be honest, I think it is about 15 feet away from me right now on the shelf in the library!


I love hearing from people, don't be shy! I would love to hear what you think! I always reply back, although it takes me a bit longer these days due to the little guy.