Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books on July 3rd 2012
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Romance
Format: Hardcover, Library Copy
Would I Recommend: Yes, yes, yes!
Rating: 4.5 Stars
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.
“For the girls with messy hair and thirsty hearts.”
You know those books that leave you extremely depressed, not because you disliked it, but because you know you’ll never be able to write something as beautiful and unique as the one you just read? That’s how this book left me. I was left in complete awe of what one amazing, fantastic person could do with the 26 letters in the alphabet.
I very rarely read fantasy novels (or, let’s be honest, anything out of the contemporary genre), but I knew I’d love this one just by reading the synopsis. Sure, it’s a fairytale retelling, which I’m usually not a huge fan of, but the synopsis suggested it deals with deeper themes: heartbreak, fate and loyalty, to name a few. And, to my delight, I certainly wasn’t wrong.
This book is narrated by Tinker Bell, who doesn’t play a huge part in the story, but it was still fun to see the story unfold through her eyes. I had no idea the book was in her POV when I started it, so it was definitely a pleasant surprise.
“Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we’re only what we’ve done and what we are going to do.”
I fell in love with Tiger Lily, the main character, from the very first page. She was everything I love in a heroine: enigmatic and closed off, wild and reckless, serious and dangerous, intelligent and passionate. She is the most unique, complex character I’ve ever encountered, and by far my favorite. Jodi Lynn Anderson captured her character in such an amazing, flawless way that perfectly encompasses the uniqueness of human nature. She obviously isn’t perfect; Anderson definitely lets her flaws show through, and that’s probably the thing I loved most about her. She was described as not being pretty, but strange and exotic. She was described as not being selfless, but as a competitive, proud girl who gets what she wants. She was described as not being understanding, but as someone who needed to be understood.
Alright, enough with my rambles about Tiger Lily….now I’ll do my best to describe Peter. He wasn’t exactly the naive, playful, reckless character that I had expected, but I still adored him nonetheless. He seemed older and more mature and serious than I expected, but I could see why Anderson recreated him this way. I felt that he and Tiger Lily fit together much better in the way she described him.
“To love someone was not what she had expected. It was like falling from somewhere high up and breaking in half, and only one person having the secret to the puzzle of putting her back together.”
When I first started this book, I knew what was going to happen. I knew the heartbreak, loss, and betrayal that awaited me. I knew that a plot twist was coming up, and there was absolutely no way of avoiding it. I mean, you could practically tell from the first line of the synopsis! Even then, there was absolutely nothing that would prepare me for the feelings I went through while reading Tiger Lily By Jodi Lynn Anderson. The only book I think I’ve ever cried so hard while reading is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
I loved Peter Pan and Tiger Lily’s relationship, somehow even more than I loved the characters themselves. They were absolutely adorable and perfect for each other, and my heart had broken for both of them by the end of the novel. Peter and Tiger Lily’s strengths and weaknesses aligned perfectly, and I couldn’t help but root for them as a couple.
Though this book is fantasy, it reads more like a contemporary, which is probably part of the reason I loved it so much. I wasn’t bored during any part of this book, but I know some people who might be. If you want a fast-paced, thrilling story, this isn’t the book for you. If you want a light, fluffy, fun contemporary, this book isn’t for you.
“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win.”
I know this review was a bit rambly and I apologize for that, but you should get the general idea. I absolutely adored this book, and it was one of the most unique, beautifully-written, spell-binding books I’ve ever encountered. This book sucks you in and spits you out a different person. It inspired me, enthralled me, frightened me, and changed me in a way I don’t think any book ever has before. I would wholeheartedly recommend this read to anyone and everyone.