Monday, April 8, 2013

Review: Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily, by Jodi Lynn Anderson. The GoodReads summary:
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 a book that I contradictorily want to share with everyone and keep secret. Because it’s rather special, and so I feel protective of it in a way I don’t feel with most books. It’s like, I want people to read it, but only those people who will love it.

I think a big part of why I feel this way about the book is because it’s the way I feel about the character of Tiger Lily herself: that ugly-beautiful girl, so strong and fierce but not quite as sure of herself as she would have everyone believe—ferocious but not infallible. I loved every flawed piece of her. And her relationship with Peter was simultaneously one of the loveliest and most heartbreaking I’ve read in a long time.

I’m not usually much of one to share quotes in my reviews, but I think in this case, the book can speak better for itself than I can. So here are three quotes that capture the heart of this book for me:

From the very beginning:
Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.
A description of Tiger Lily:
There was a beast in there. But there was also a girl who was afraid of being a beast, and who wondered if other people had beasts in their hearts too. There was strength, and there was also just the determination to look strong. She guarded herself like a secret.
Tiger Lily’s relationship with Peter:
An unspoken rivalry threaded their relationship, in which Tiger Lily thought that if she could keep up with him, she could hold tighter to him. It didn't occur to her there was anything in which Peter would want her to fail. But sometimes, I could see that, even for him, she was too fast, too sure-footed, and didn't seem to need him quite enough.
Overall, an exquisitely written story with characters so beautiful they make you ache. I didn’t give it a 5 star rating only because I felt there were one or two places that could’ve used a tad bit more fleshing out or development.

Rating: 4.5 / 5


  1. I get the feeling this is going to be one of those books that you either love or hate. I personally always liked Tiger Lily. Possibly because I can identify with her so much more than I could with Wendy. I'm excited to give this one a read even though I'm hesitant about the ending. I can see it's not going to be a happily ever after :(

  2. That last quote . . . sigh.

    So glad you "got" this book, too, Karen. My word, it's beautiful.


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