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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ARC Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

TITLE: Tiger Lily                         AUTHOR: Jodi Lynn Anderson
PUB: HarperCollins                     PUB DATE: 7/3/12
FORMAT: ARC, 304 pgs
SOURCE: from pub for review

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

THREE WORDS: Bittersweet, Eloquent, Breathtaking

MY REVIEW: Meeeep! This book has given me so many thinks and feels. I’m a tidal wave of thoughts and feelings, yet I’m reduced to nonsensical Meeping. Jodi Lynn Anderson’s Tiger Lily is SO good that it has rendered me speechless and reduced to simple Meeping…meepmeepmeep!

Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan and Wendy, the boy who didn’t want to grow up and the girl who almost made him change his mind. But what about Tiger Lily, the native girl with the crow feathers in her hair? This is her story. The story of how this brave girl, an outcast in her own community, fell in love with the mysterious and feared Peter. Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in happily ever afters or true love, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting these things with Peter, especially when her impending marriage to a horrible man looms near. But this love story isn’t a happy one and is interrupted by pirates, Englanders and Wendy Darling.

The story of Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, Wendy, Tiger Lily, Captain Hook, Tink and company is one many readers know well and there are many versions of this story, both written and on screen. And everyone is bound to have their favorite version (when I was little my favorite was the television musical starring Mary Martin!), but Jodi Lynn Anderson’s retelling (which could also be called a prequel) offers readers a completely new and refreshing take on this well-known story. And in this retelling, it is the character of Tiger Lily that takes center stage.

Tiger Lily is a beguiling tale full of adventure, romance, beauty and thought-provoking situations. Anderson has taken a well-known and much beloved story and, using her endless imagination and impressive use of words, has crafted a whole new chapter in the world of Neverland and has captivatingly depicted a character that has rarely had a chance to shine. And she has done this without marring the original essence of J.M. Barrie’s story. Tiger Lily’s story and character has been brought to life with the utmost thoughtfulness and exquisiteness that she deserves.

Told from Tinker Bell’s point of view, readers are given an honest and thrilling glimpse into the love story of Tiger Lily and Peter Pan from an outsider who truly loves both parties involved.  Perfectly and languidly (in the best possible way) paced, Tiger Lily flows effortlessly and offers both exciting scenes of peril and quiet moments of utterly breathtaking and heart-aching beauty. There is such a fantastical loveliness to Anderson’s writing. Even when the story is dark and breaks your heart, it does so with eloquence.

The Neverland Anderson depicts is lush and vivid, striking and startling, enchanting and forbidding. This world is filled with mythical creatures (fairies, mermaids, etc), but the true magic is found less in the fantastical and more in the characters explored. And Anderson’s characters are superb! I haven’t been this compelled and enthralled by a group of characters in a long time.

Tiger Lily isn’t often given a huge role in most Peter Pan adaptations and she is usually depicted as a spoiled Indian princess who is in love with Peter and jealous of Tink and the Wendy Bird. But Anderson has given Tiger Lily such well-crafted layers and dimension. She is a fascinating mix of fierceness and vulnerability, compassion and distance, courage and fear. This is a heroine that will enthrall, enrage and excite readers, possibly in the span of a single page!

And of course, Tiger Lily falls for the mischievous Peter Pan. Peter is a fun, impetuous, frustrating and witty character. Their innocent, yet intense journey of first love is simply stunning; so full of fire, magic, heartache and honesty. From the quiet moments they share under the stars to their adventures together against the pirates to their sweet, quick kisses, I was spellbound by this romance. And of course, we all know this love story cannot have a happy ending, not with one Wendy Darling around…I won’t go into details, but tears were shed and curses were uttered by me.

One of the most engaging characters in this book is the one who can’t even speak- Tink. Tinker Bell is often depicted as a jealous, mean little thing and she certainly can be, but in Tiger Lily she’s given such depth and complexities.

This book isn’t all about Tiger Lily and Peter’s romance though. Anderson offers some very thought-provoking exploration surrounding the white Englanders who come to Neverland and try to “civilize” the Natives.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: There’s so much more I could say about why I LOVE this book, but I won’t go on and on. Just know that Tiger Lily has wow’d, moved and enraptured me completely with its superbly crafted story, irresistible characters and bittersweet loveliness. An absolute MUST read! 

Find the author: Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository
Jodi Lynn Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author ofPeaches, The Secrets of Peaches, Love and Peaches, the popular May Bird trilogy, and Tiger Lily. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and an endless parade of stray pets.


Chey said...

I had all the same feelings about this book! So glad you loved it. :D

Lark Andrea said...

I have been wanting to read this one! I'm so glad to see you enjoyed it.

Jenna and Ashley said...

This review is so alive...I mean your love for it seeps through the post. I cannot wait for this to come out! I think it's so intriguing that it's about Tiger Lily but told from Tinker Bell's perspectives. The reader gets to know two characters that have little dimension in the original story. So cool and can't wait. Excellent review!! You had me wanting to read it by the first paragraph!

Little Miss Becky said...

Counting the days until this comes out!! So glad to see another great review of it---I didn't know it was told in Tink's perspective, though! How cool!

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

At first I didn't think I'd like this one, because of it being from Tink's POV. But you WORKED. I cried so much reading this one, and I agree with your review in EVERY way, Aiecha! :D

Unknown said...

You know I don't really even remember Tiger Lily in any of the Peter Pan stories I've read or watched. It's neat that this is told in Tink's POV but we know it has a sad ending cause of Wendy. I feel kind of bad before I even start it! I like HEA! LOL

Anna @ Literary Exploration said...

I absolutely LOVED this story so much!! Peter Pan is one of my favorite tales and I don't think I could agree with you more about Tiger Lily!! It's so well written and so heart breaking, my emotions were swirling for days after I finished it. I still get a bit choked up thinking about the amazingness that is Tiger Lily...OMg, awesome review!!

Anna @ Literary Exploration

Aeicha @ Word Spelunking said...

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read my review and for your awesome comments!!!

Tiger Lily is a truly amazing book and I hope those who haven't read it yet LOVE it as much as me!

:) Aeicha

Nicole said...

Glad you liked this one! I haven't heard of the series before but it does sound really interesting and I like a good fairytale retelling! Great review!

Nicole @ Teenage Fiction

Amy said...

Awesome review!! I really enjoyed this book too!! I loved Tink!! I think that this book being told in her POV was amazing. I loved getting to know the characters through her eyes.

Diana said...

Love your review. I'm looking forward to reading this book so much, I was actually dreaming about it last night.

The Romance Bookie said...

I want to read this book SOOOOOOOO much!!! It looks amazing!!

Such an awesome idea of a story!!