Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

categories: , , Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: July 3, 2012 
Pages: 292
Buy: Amazon
Rating: 5/5 stars

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair… Tiger Lily. When fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan deep in the forbidden woods of Neverland, the two form a bond that's impossible to break, but also impossible to hold on to. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. However, when Wendy Darling, a girl who is everything Tiger Lily is not, arrives on the island, Tiger Lily discovers how far she is willing to go to keep Peter with her, and in Neverland.

Told from the perspective of tiny, fairy-sized Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily is the breathtaking story of budding romance, letting go and the pains of growing up.

If you're already at the bookstore, staring at this book because you're not sure if you should buy it, let me make it easy for you: yes, buy it. Tiger Lily is easily one of my favorite books. It takes the classic tale of Peter Pan and gives it an unexpected, twist-filled take that's hard to believe at first, but is actually made up of pure brilliance. 

I love books that smash the innocent tales we know at heart, and change them into something so dark. To some people, painting these stories in entirely new colors is a sin, but I think it's giving these stories life instead. There's so much we don't know about these beloved characters and it was fascinating to see how Anderson put a spin to this classic tale.

Let me just say straight off that Tiger Lily has a dark tone, so if you'd rather stick to happy endings and magical carousels, maybe this isn't for you. However, it was the dark tone of the novel that I fell in love with. Having a story that's dark is the same as having a story that's real. Even though we have come to know that these characters are fun and happy, they were still written to be people, too. People have flaws, people have darkness in their hearts. It was nice to see Peter Pan, Tiger Lily, Wendy and all of the other new and old faces actually be realistic for a second.

The story is told through Tink's eyes, which was new to me. The story was not about her, and her role in it was not that important. Having it narrated that way was a refreshing change. Tink's view is childlike and full of good intentions, unlike the people whom she kept observing. In the book, she acts as Tiger Lily's "guardian", always hovering and watching out for her friend. Their relationship, although not directly addressed, grew throughout the novel beautifully.

Peter Pan was much more mature here. Looking at him, I did not imagine the flying Pan we have all grown to love, but instead I saw a charming, quick, smart and authoritative boy. His lost boys were different as well, though they each had their quirks. 

To be honest, Tiger Lily irritated me at times. She came off as immature, hardheaded, and selfish, but then again, this book was meant to show that side of all of us, that there truly is cruelty in the kindest of hearts. I loved the people surrounding her, though. Tik Tok, her adoptive father, was so fun to watch, as well as Tiger Lily's friends Moon Eye and Pine Sap. Though the story follows Tiger Lily and Pan through Tink's eyes, readers can still catch a few glimpses of who these wonderful people are in her life.

Even though Tiger Lily is mainly a spin on Peter Pan, it manages to insert heavy themes into 45 chapters. One of the themes I'm grateful for was the issue on sexuality. In the book, an Englishman comes to their village and speaks about God. He condemns going against who you were created to be, which signals the downfall of one of the characters. It also sheds light on abuse, because there's a lot of it in the book. And I'm not sure about this last one, but I think it hinted at rape, as well. 

You're probably thinking, "That's way too dark for me!" but please, read this book. It's masterfully written, and its theme is both heartbreaking and inspirational. I knew this book was going to be excellent because I had read reviews, but I did not expect to be blown away like this. Anderson has set the bar extremely high for other twisted fairytales, and I'm definitely going to read more of her work. In one word, this book is FLAWLESS.


  1. Your blog is so pretty! Love the colour scheme. Also awesome review, definitely putting this book on be TBR shelf x

    Follow for follow?

    Rachel @

    1. Hi Rachel! Thank you so much. And sure, I'll follow you now. :)

  2. Wonderful review, this happens to be a favorite of mine as well :) Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I love when I see positive reviews for this book! I highly recommend Anderson's newest book, The Vanishing Season, as well. It's beautiful, but moves very slowly, so make sure you're in the mood for that!

    1. I don't know why some people didn't enjoy this book, but to each his own, I guess! I'll be sure to check out that book. Thanks for the recommendation, Sara. :)

  4. I just stumbled upon your blog through Bloggers Commenting Back, and I was delighted to see such a positive review of one of my favorite books! I especially agree with you that Tinkerbell's narration was fantastic. In addition to the reasons you listed, I loved it because she flies all over Neverland and always seems to know what's going on before the other characters do, and her omniscience makes her the perfect narrator. I'm so glad you liked this one - now you have me wanting to re-read it!

    1. I agree, her omniscience was fantastic! For such a tiny character, her role in this book went beyond my expectations. Thanks for stopping by. :)