{Review} TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson

O P E N I N G   H O O K:
LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING STRAIGHT OFF.  This is a love story, but not like any you've heard.  The boy and the girl are far from innocent.  Dear lives are lost.  And good doesn't win.  In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings.  In Neverland, that is not the case.
(Page 14, nook e-book edition)

To me, TIGER LILY is proving to be hard to pin down and review.  Over the summer, it was so much easier to feature an excerpt and focus on mermaids for Splash.  There is nothing soft nor easy about the novel.  Readers who expect otherwise haven't properly read the lines that open the very first chapter (See the opening hook above.  There's a reason I chose that passage rather than the one from the prologue to share with you now).  I didn't know much about TIGER LILY when picking the book up to read.  I knew it took place in Neverland, and with a title like TIGER LILY, I was expecting her to the book's focal character.  I never really read the book's summary or looked at anyone's reviews because I didn't want to be spoiled.  I knew people were saying the book was awesome, but that's it.  While I wouldn't say it's the best book I read this year (I had an easy enough time putting it down and picking up again), its message is poignant and sticks with me even now, more than a month after reading the novel.

TIGER LILY surprised me in so many ways.  First of all, the book isn't told from Tiger Lily's point of view.  I know, I was shocked, too.  I never expected to be reading through the eyes of Tinker Bell.  In an odd way, it worked.  The perspective was fresh and unique, remaining in the third-person while also being uniquely first-person in unexpected ways.  Sometimes, I believe Tink turned into my favorite character in the novel because it was so easy to feel for her.  In other ways, seeing things through her eyes showcased the ways the small fairy isn't human and added an extra layer to the story.  Jodi Lynn Anderson excelled at character developing when putting TIGER LILY together.  So much reminds me of the J. M. Barrie classic, yet there are new elements introduced as well.  Anderson fleshes out Tiger Lily, whom I always wished to see more of, and introduces a darker side to our beloved Peter Pan.  I loved the idea of a silent narrator in Tink and enjoyed seeing the way Neverland is both magical and deadly, innocent yet sinister.

It's hard to talk about the novel and the storyline without giving away key plot points better left to be unraveled by the intended reader each time the book is picked up anew.  If you're as big a fan of Peter Pan as I am, you'll find aspects you love and others that raise your eyes.  You may love the alterations or hate them depending on what aspects of the original tale (or retooled movies, musicals, etc.) you love/hate the most/least.  For me, the journey was interesting, and I love how Anderson humanized her characters.  For example, as I mentioned in my Mermaid Spotting post earlier this summer, did you know that the legendary Peter Pan can't swim?  Or has a freckle?  These are the flourishes that add that extra touch of relatability to a beloved character.  There are also darker traits to everyone lying beneath the surface, lurking, waiting to tarnish perfection.

TIGER LILY is not a Happily Ever After tale, but rather becomes a story of heartwrenching ache and despair.  The opening chapter warns of this, but it's nothing compared to the reality of experiencing all that occurs in the later half of the book.  Again, Anderson succeeds at developing characters and having them go through the heartbreak that so many of us experience in life.  She writes about topics frequently ignored in literature yet experienced often in life.  This book felt more "true to life" than so many books that end with whipped cream and a cherry on top.  Its flavor is more bittersweet and leaves one reflecting on the message upon conclusion, which also makes it perfect for Book Club Discussions!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

At first, I didn't know what this cover was supposed to represent.  I'd only seen the front image online, never the spine or back.  Was it some sort of leaf?  After seeing the book in person at the store and spreading it open, I noticed that the image continues onto the back and is actually of Tinker Bell!  

How clever!  To me, this is just like the book itself.  I had no clue Tink would be narrating it and she snuck in and surprised me.  Likewise, she snuck her way onto the cover. In a way, TIGER LILY is her tale, too, but she's a sidekick and never gets any credit in the eyes of the leading characters.  Yet Tink has the final laugh by being on the book's jacket and leaving everyone else in the dust!

The following book trailer shows the cover image in its entirety at one point for anyone curious to see the full image:
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Release Date: Out July 3, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Received: Borrowed

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.


  1. This sounds interesting, and for some reason I've been overlooking it, but it sounds like something I might enjoy.

    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. Are you aware of these two books --
    One is a great continution of the original stories by Barrie which is derived from his own notes for more! It's respectful to Barrie and written in his style, more or less. Click!
    The other is a grand "What if?" adventure that sails it all off in another direction while remaining anchored in the core essense, themes and mythology of Barrie... but this one is NOT for kids! Click!



Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment! I appreciate it more than I can say. I try to respond to each one!