Good Morning Lovelies!
I’m continuing to make up some much needed and owed reviews. So today I’m talking about another February read of mine: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. This book was my YA book club’s pick for February. I was super excited to dig into a Peter Pan retelling! Read on for my final thoughts 🙂
If you’re sort on time, then check out my Need to Know section for a quick summary of my review!
Ownership: I borrowed from the library
Genre: YA fantasy, YA retelling
Publisher: Harper Teen
Price: $17.99 (hardcover);
Place: Amazon, B & N, Book Depository, GoodReads, IndieBound
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson is a Peter Pan retelling that focuses mainly on life in Neverland before Wendy ever shows up. The story follows Tiger Lily, the Native American girl most notable for this scene in the Disney movie:
and her relationship with Peter Pan. The story is told from Tinker Bell’s point of view and readers catch glimpse into who Tinker Bell really is and how life is for Tiger Lily, Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and Captain Hook all before Wendy ever comes. For more of a synopsis, here’s GoodRead’s post.
So, I have to be honest with you all and say that I’ve never read Peter Pan, the original. So I’m not focusing on any real comparison between the two novels in this review for that reason. Instead, I’m just reviewing this novel solely on the story I read.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the unique narration and point of view. Having the story told by Tinker Bell-in first person observation–was really interesting. I haven’t come across this type of narration before. Tink’s fairy powers allow her to read the feelings of those around her so we get good insight into how the character’s are feeling and how they are thinking sometimes. While this was an interesting POV to read from, not being able to have a closer more in depth insight into Tiger Lily (who this book was about) was a little disappointing. I wanted to know more and get inside Tiger Lily’s head more. It definitely made it harder to connect to the characters and I didn’t really end up connecting to Tiger Lily all that much. I still enjoyed her character, but at times I didn’t care what happened to her.
Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book were the secondary characters. Tik Tok, Tiger Lily’s adoptive father, was really a great character to read about. It’s hard to talk about him without mentioning spoilers, but I will say that I cared a lot about what happened to this character…sometimes even more than Tiger Lily. I think it’s because at times Tiger Lily came off as a little unsupportive of her tribe/family as she drew closer and
closer to Peter. I do think it is easy to condemn Tiger Lily in this novel for her actions, but I also think sometimes you have to take a step back as a reader and understand she is only 15 and isn’t always the mature character we want her to be. Another secondary character I really loved was Moon Eye. While we only get glimpses into her character, I saw most of myself in her. Her ending was so satisfying and I loved that she came across as an intelligent and strong female character which also provided a good comparison to Tiger Lily as you read about both girls side by side.
The love or “romance” part of this novel was just okay. It felt very pushed or immature at most parts for me. Peter seemed to become obsessed with Tiger Lily and seemed to cling to her and Tiger Lily didn’t seem to show enough interest in him, but actually did like him so sometimes the “romance” came off unbelievable. I know that these characters are young and this was a “first love” type of story, but I just didn’t feel it most of time. To be honest I’d probably would have enjoyed the novel more if it focused on Tiger Lily more and the romance less. There is also hints at a ‘love triangle’ in this novel, but nothing to outright.
This leads me to talking more about Peter Pan. Peter’s character was a little bit of a let down. Anderson does a great job of building up Peter (and the Lost Boys) as being this scary, dark character that isn’t afraid of murdering people and ruling over Neverland. In essence, you wouldn’t want to cross paths with him. However, once Tiger Lily meets Peter and she begins hanging out with him and the Lost Boys this idea of a dark and dangerous Peter seems to slip away. I wish Anderson had kept Peter’s character darker, so I was a little disappointed in the direction she took with his character.
Overall, this book was just an okay read for me. I’m probably not going to reread it again unless I want to try and read into some things more. I think this novel would be a great story to explore through a Lit. paper or with some research. A lot goes on that would make an English major or Children’s Lit. grad student itch to write about and explore more. Even though I wasn’t overly fond of the novel, I did enjoy reading (as it was a quick read). Anderson does a lot of things well, such as the interesting narration and the excellent secondary characters. While I didn’t always connect with Tiger Lily, I did like her character for the most part. The times I didn’t, I think I was pushing what I wanted her character to be onto her. Anderson does a great job of creating a character that might not always be likable, but showcases the indecisiveness and confusion of a young teenaged girl experiencing her first love. So while this wasn’t my favorite read or even a “loved it!” read, I’d still be willing to recommend this novel to readers. I think that the interesting narration style is something to be experienced and the story could definitely lend itself to different reading tastes.
- Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson is Peter Pan retelling that focuses mainly on life in Neverland before Wendy ever shows up. The story follows Tiger Lily and her relationship with Peter Pan.
- What I really enjoyed about this book was the unique narration and point of view. Having the story told by Tinker Bell-in first person observation–was really interesting.
- However, not being able to have a closer more in depth insight into Tiger Lily (who this book was about) was a little disappointing. It definitely made it harder to connect to Tiger Lily.
- Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book were the secondary characters. Tik Tok and Moon Eye were so enjoyable to read about and I felt myself connecting to their secondary storylines more than Tiger Lily and Peter Pan’s at some points.
- The love or “romance” part of this novel was just okay. It felt very pushed or immature at most parts for me.
- Peter’s character was a little bit of a let down. I wish Anderson had kept Peter’s character darker, so I was a little disappointed in the direction she took with his character.
- 3.5 STARS. Overall, this book was just an okay read for me. I did enjoy reading it (as it was a quick read), but I just didn’t love a lot of it. I’d still be willing to recommend this novel to readers. I think that the interesting narration style is something to be experienced and the story could definitely lend itself to different reading tastes.
Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you’ve read this book and your thoughts on Anderson’s take on Peter Pan, Tiger Lily and the whole cast of characters! Did you enjoy the interesting narration style? Have a favorite part or quote? Let me know! 🙂
As always, Happy Reading!
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