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I Belong

Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Title: Tiger Lily

Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: N/A

Publication Date: July 3, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 292 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062003259 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062003256 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kayla


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.

Quick & Dirty: This is the background to the story of Peter Pan, before Wendy. All those Peter Pan fans out there, beware! Peter isn’t the bubbly hero we all know and love.

Opening Sentence: Let me tell you something straight off.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

PETER PAN!!!! ‘Nuff said.

Neverland is an island off the map. No one can find it on purpose, but maybe, just maybe you could stumble upon it accidentally. This is where Tiger Lily, a native on the island, lives. She’s not a normal native. Found under a flower by the shaman leader, Tiger Lily has always been the black sheep in the tribal family. She’s learned to stay quiet and try to keep her head down (even if she can beat all the boys at hunting or wrestle them to the ground with ease). She’s also learned to fear Peter Pan and the cruel, bloodthirsty lost boys. But when an Englander washes up on the shores of Neverland, Tiger Lily is bound to help the lost cause, but while doing so she comes across the infamous Peter Pan. Is he really the cruel boy everyone in the village fears? When she’s forced to marry the tribe’s brute, she seeks escape in her visits with Peter and the lost boys. Eventually they fall in love… But that was before Wendy came into the picture. Think you know Peter Pan? Do you really want know this wild, unruly, and awfully lonely boy? In Tiger Lily, Peter’s first love is told from the perspective of the faerie Tinker Bell–from their first meeting to the day Peter meets Wendy. An amazingly amazing book.

As a loyal fan to all things Peter Pan, I was really excited for this book–even though I knew it would have a sad ending. It even warns you in the very first paragraph. Yet I still pushed on, despite the warning. I’ll let you know right now, so you have the chance to stop reading this review if you want. If you want to keep your image of the wild and childish boy who can fly, do not read this book. This book picks apart the bad sides of Peter, whether you want to read them or not. And from Tiger Lily and Tink’s point of view, he’s not at all the good guy everyone thinks he is.

Last chance. Keep reading at your own risk because we’re about to dive in deep.

Peter is still the childish boy that never wants to grow up. But he’s also so much more than that. He’s idiotically brave, but doesn’t want anyone else to be more brave than him (which makes it hard for Tiger Lily). He and the lost boys are wild–because they don’t have anyone to look after them. Honestly, they are the loneliest boys I’ve ever read about. Anderson does a great job describing the boys, showing all of their flaws (and there are many of them) and still keeping them in a positive light. I myself started to fall even more in love with Peter Pan… until the end. Yes, yes I know Tink warns us in the very beginning. The synopsis even gives away the end: Peter will somehow, inexplicably end up with Wendy. It’s the driving force, even if Wendy doesn’t show up until the last few chapters. And that’s why I started yelling at the book and silently crying while reading. Tiger Lily and Peter were so good together…but then Peter has to fall for someone else…WHY??

Tiger Lily is my favorite character, though. She’s suffered from so much from her tribe that she’s learned only to depend on herself and Tik Tok, her adoptive father and tribe leader. She’s so brave and can hunt with the best of them. She has walls that are impenetrable–until Peter comes along. I’ve never wanted two people to be together so much (maybe because I knew they would be torn apart).

This is the most heart-wrenching book I’ve read. Applause to Anderson for writing a book that brings out so much emotion! It’s beautifully written and ingeniously plotted (is that a word?). This is a great example of book where you know the ending, but you still are on your toes and keep reading despite the late hour. The most creative part of this book: Tinker Bell as the narrator. It’s a third person with a personality and has a small part in the story. LOVE IT!

So, if you’ve finished reading this review, that means you’re willing to change your stance on Peter Pan. Or if you kept reading despite my warnings, let me just say, I warned you. Either way, all of you that finished this review now need to read Tiger Lily or go watch Disney’s Peter Pan and forget this review. If I may suggest, you should go READ THIS BOOK!

Notable Scene:

These days, there is no new world. The maps have long since settled and stayed put. People know the shapes of Africa, Asia, and South America. And they know which beasts were mythical and which weren’t. Manatees are real, mermaids aren’t. Rhinoceroses exist and sea monsters don’t. There are no more sea serpents guarding deadly whirlpools. There are pirates, yes, but there is nothing romantic about them. The rest is all stories, and stories have been put in their place.

Now, the outsiders keep their eyes on their own shores, and we keep our eyes on ours. Too far off route, we’ve been overlooked, and most of us don’t think about the world outside. Only she and I are different. Every month or so she comes here and stares toward the ocean, and all the village children whisper about her, even her own. It has become such a ritual.

And when she surfaces from her dream, she calls me by my old name, though no one uses it anymore. And she turns to me, her eyelashes fluttering in the glare that surrounds me, and whispers to me in one short syllable.


FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Tiger Lily. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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