Title: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Genre: YA fantasy/retelling
Length: 292 pages
Published by: HarperCollins
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.
This book was definitely very different to what I expected. It’s written in a very literary style – lots of descriptions and explanations. Some of it felt like info-dumping. But I loved how uniquely the story was told.
If you’ve seen the movie Peter Pan (the Disney one), don’t expect a slightly different version of it. Really the only similarity can be summarised by this GIF:
Tink does NOT like Wendy. But considering you don’t even get to see Wendy until the end, it’s a very small similarity.
Jodi Lynn Anderson certainly paints a complex society and version of Neverland. It’s been a while since I read the original, but there were a lot of added things, and just enough to keep the magic of it alive. It did get bogged down in details occasionally, though.
Also, I loved that it was from Tink’s perspective. That’s such an interesting way to tell a story!
There were quite a few things I didn’t like, though, and I’ve hinted at them already. Let’s do a list.
1) The details. It felt like a lot of it was telling instead of showing, so that I was only shallowly immersed in the world. LOTS of details, lots of info-dumping, I felt. I skimmed quite a bit
2) I got bored occasionally. This links into my first point. The pacing was pretty slow, and it took me a long while to finish this.
3) I would have liked to see more from the original story. This is a personal thing, so don’t let it change your opinion, but I like retellings that maintain links to the original. Not necessarily big links (I loved The Lunar Chronicles) but the best elements. This was what I thought was missing from Tiger Lily.
(there was no flying. This saddened me)
Nevertheless, this was a beautiful, complex story. It frequently surprised me, and Tiger Lily herself is a fantastic protagonist. Amazing writing, interesting use of Tink as the narrator, and overall a good one to add to the “retellings” shelf!
Rating: 3/5 Wonderkitties