Date of Publication: July 3, 2012
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.
For the longest time, Tiger Lily wasn't working for me. There was nothing wrong with the story. Good writing style, great world, and so imaginative, but it wasn't till near the end where it finally all came together. By which I mean the resolution.
This isn't normal for me. I read Tiger Lily due to endless hype from the girls at Epic Reads and I wanted to love it but for so long I couldn't.
The story is written in the perspective of Tinker Bell, the mute fairy who is watching everything happen between Tiger Lily and Peter Pan. As a fairy she has special insights and is able to read people so she can share most of her thoughts. I thought she was a cute part of the story. However, the story was biased from her perspective. She almost never interacted with the main characters so there are parts to their personalities that weren't explained. This story was all show, not much telling except that Tiger Lily was still while Peter Pan was in constant motion.
The other interesting thing was the characters. Tiger Lily's life in her tribe was well described, but I never really liked her. I didn't not like her either. She didn't have a typical personality and it was hard to place her. She was brave and wreckless but also caring. She was oblivious of so much and I remember hating that, but that's not fair to judge her as an impartial observer. In the end, she made her mistakes and I accept them.
Peter was very intriguing and he was never solved. Now that I think about it, I like that. He was in constant motion and he was unique and magnetic. I always wanted to know what Peter was doing. The way everyone looked up to him was fascinating.
The plot was written in the style of a fairy tale. There is a lot of suspense and it ends up with a bittersweet ending. I think this is probably one of the best bittersweet endings I've ever read. What happens suits the story and the character, but there's also the whisper of "What if". Another ending could have happened as easily and the best part is wondering whether that ending would have been just as good.
It wasn't until near this ending, which had me in tears, that I truly appreciated Tiger Lily and all its intricacies. The ending had an emotional punch with consequences that I wasn't expecting. It's the type of ending that changes my mind about the story.
The setting was another nice thing. I've always wondered about Neverland. As a kid, the Peter Pan story was one of those that stuck with me on a bit of a deeper level and it was interesting to see Anderson's interpretation/ideas. From the Sky Eaters to the Pirates, nothing was as I expected. Tiger Lily touches on a lot of issues and is a lot deeper than one would expect. It's probably a book that deserves a reread to be fully appreciated.
That being said, the plot was not my taste. There's nothing wrong with it, except the story was so fantastical and a little slow and I tend to prefer some more action and events taking place. The stillness in Tiger Lily had me a little impatient as I waited for something to happen. The things that did happen began small but had little ripples. The significance of the buildup of the ripples isn't known until the ending.
In general, I would recommend this book to people who want a slower, more thoughtful read. People that want to be enchanted in a world they can learn about in depth. Not exactly my style, and I hovered between 2 and 3 stars, but eventually decided 3 stars because I did like it. (And oh man. That ending.)