Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Genre: YA fantasy
Pages: Hardback, 292
Published: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Opening Lines: "She stands on the cliffs, near the old crumbling stone house."
"Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenager 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 face 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 leader Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart."
~ Jacket copy
When this book was first announced, it caught my attention. Who hasn't been captivated and enchanted by the story of Peter Pan, a boy who never grows up? Even at a young age, Tiger Lily has always been an interesting character to me. The idea of a book dedicated to the Native beauty was appealing. Unfortunately, even though it sat on my wishlist for a long time, I had completely forgotten about it.
After being found under a tiger lily by the tribe's medicine man, Tiger Lily has always been viewed as an oddity by her tribe and with a little distrust. She was always more independent and like the boys, strong, and brave. However, after going against the tribe's council and helping a shipwrecked Englishman, Tiger Lily is forced to marry one man she hates, Giant.
On one of her respites from the village and the humiliation put upon her by her future mother-in-law, Tiger Lily stumbles into the infamous Peter Pan. All over Neverland the boy and his band are feared and used as the boogeyman for little children. However, something about Peter captures Tiger Lily right away, and she starts risking everything to spend just a few minutes with him and his Lost Boys. Unfortunately, even though he professes his love for her, things change with the arrival of more English. Tiger Lily is forced to choose between her tribe, loyalty to herself, and Peter.
For starters, the prologue blew me away! It was magical, tragic, beautiful, and fully engrossing. It pulled me in right from the beginning and made me desperate to understand Tiger Lily. After reading it to my husband, I was not surprised to find him wiping away tears. Unfortunately, even this amazing beginning had to end.
There were many things in the book that had me confused. I couldn't understand why Peter, the Lost Boys, and the pirates aged. The reader is told that previous missionaries that came to the island inevitably died of old age, and the island's inhabitants were terrified of it. However, aside from assuming that the pirates would suffer the same fate, I really couldn't understand why people continued to age once reaching Neverland. Thinking about it, I could only explain this away because they were not native to the island. That being said, it was interesting to learn that the island natives would only age up to a certain point and stop. However, that point was different for each person.
At some level, it kind of upset me that Wendy ended up on Neverland from an English ship. Also, we never met her brothers. She mentions them at one point, but they never joined in the adventures with the Lost Boys.
There were some interesting elements to the story, but I found it to drag. Part way through the book, I found myself losing steam. The prologue was so beautiful and astounding; however, the rest of the book, at many levels, fell short. Further, even though the concept of Tinker Bell being the narrator was interesting, it was rather distracting at points. I would have rather seen the author go a different route for narrator.
That being said, it honestly didn't bother me that Peter wasn't the innocent little boy with the thimble. It felt as though the author was trying to make this story a little more realistic, especially with her explanation for the boys' flight.
Even though the dragging aspect of the book really made me wonder whether I made a right choice with this, near the end it totally redeemed itself! I found my heart rending in two for Tiger Lily. I even had to wipe away my own tears once I turned the final page. It's issues aside, it was a beautiful and bittersweet story of young love, loyalty, and self discovery.
Current Pages: 4352