Book: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
POV: 1st person by Tinker Bell, past tense
Genre: YA fantasy, fairy tale
Source: Physical Copy
Release: July 3rd, 2012
Favourite Line: "They were sure--even before they saw her, standing in the square, her hair cut as short as Tik Tok's had been--what it meant. Their gods were back. Tiger Lily had called them."
Rating: 4 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.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
This is not Disney's version of Peter Pan. This is not a tale of an innocent trio of Englander children who visit Neverland, speculate on the mysteries a bit, and leave. This is a hauntingly beautiful book of youth, love, colonialism, culture, and life.
In this book, Tiger Lily is our fierce protagonist. She's a skilled huntress, faster and better than all the boys in her tribe. But it's because of that that she's an outcast; she excels at things men are expected to excel at, and grudgingly partakes in the less-exciting activities women are supposed to do. Tiger Lily's bravery and curiosity is what allows her to venture away from her tribe during the darkness of the night, to explore Neverland. Tiger Lily is quiet, ever the silent warrior.
Enter Peter. He's wild, free, someone who lives merely to enjoy life as it is. But as we get to see, Peter may have a strong front, but on the inside, he's both broken and lonely. Tiger Lily is able to remedy most of it, but it's never enough for him. It is both a burden and a blessing to lead the Lost Boys, to be responsible for their safety and survival. Peter is part savage, part human, and he walks a fine line in-between. Of course he's draw to Tiger Lily, and she to him.
The plot was easy enough to follow: Tiger Lily and Peter Pan. Yet Tiger Lily is part of a tribe, and is to be married off soon. Englanders come, and it brings about some conflicts. Captain Hook is bent on trying to kill Peter after Peter stole some boys from him. Wendy Darling steps into the picture. Both Tiger Lily and Peter must each make a life-changing choice. Seems simply enough, right? Wrong. My agony of emotions will attest to that. Morals are tested, betrayals committed, hearts are confused. The plot was rich with seemingly small things, but when you put them all together, you get one massive mind-blowing theme.
Tiger Lily and Peter challenge each other's identities, pushing the boundaries of who they are. The both amplify each other. However, Tiger Lily is forced to reconsider her identity as a member of her tribe, or as a free being with Peter. Peter himself needs to make a decision, weighing how Tiger Lily changes his identity in comparison to how Wendy Darling does. Their identities continue to change in front of different people, and both need to make the choice of which identity they are.
This book delves into issues regarding colonialism, and thus a bit of religion. Englanders to Neverland bring with them religion, what is right and what is wrong, and ultimately starts to strip Tiger Lily's tribe of everything they once stood for. One of the main events that happened simply had me shaking my head in disgust, because what the Englander forced someone to do in the name of God was not okay. But it fits into the time of the story, so though I was angry, the actions of the Englander are historically accurate and justifiable. Nevertheless, it was easy to become infuriated with the Englanders, and also to begin to see that though this is a work of fiction, these methods of colonialism did in fact exist, and were extremely effective. And that just makes me begin to feel sad for our world.
Role of bad guy and good guy are blurred in this book. Who's the real bad guy when you're simply doing what you've been doing all your life? Who's the good guy in a broken relationship? Who's the bad guy when both parties firmly believe that they are correct? Who's the good guy when everyone just wants to be free? Yes, their were characters I did not like and deemed "bad guys," but in the bigger scope of things, I can't help but feel lost. I think that's one of the beauties of this book; if everyone thinks they're doing good, is anyone truly evil? The meaning goes so much deeper, and really gets you thinking.
The ending was not what I expected. But then again, one of the first few lines of the book explains that this is not your typical love story. Far from it. Everyone goes in their own directions, some people end up happy, others end up in their own content places. But at the end, though I thought a certain someone wouldn't end up happy, my next thought was this: who am I to decide whether or not they're happy? Happiness comes in different forms, in their own way. Because evidence would suggest that said person was happy in some aspect, and that might have been enough.
All in all, a great book with deep meanings and themes. It's a soul-touching book, one that can be overlapped with this world we live in. Haunting, even, but hauntingly beautiful and thought-provoking. My only slight complaint was that the beginning was a little muffled, as I couldn't figure out whether this was Tinker Bell's story or Tiger Lily's. But once that was sorted out, I was easily entranced. Definitely recommend it for a twist of Peter Pan I will guarantee you've never read before, one that leaves you feeling both hollow yet enlightened about the wonders of the world...