Tiger Lily is a book that has been recommended to me by a number of people, and I've been wanting to read it since I got the ARC last summer. But for various reasons, I just didn't pick it up until about a week ago, when it practically leapt off my shelf and screamed, "Read me!"
I've never read another Jodi Lynn Anderson book, but if this is the kind of writing that's in all her books, they are all about to hop on my TBR list. Because her writing is beautiful in a totally understated, simple way. In a way that perfectly matches the original story of love, childhood, and the loss of innocence.
Here's an example of how pretty her words are:
"If there was a true moment that Tiger Lily fell so in love with Peter she could never turn back, it was that night, when he shivered and walked and told her he was warm, and told her he loved her so much. She was fierce, to be sure, but she had a girl's heart, after all. As she walked home that night, she was shaking from the largeness of it." - p. 168, ARC
I think it's important to note the first two pages of this book and the fact that she tells you up front that this isn't a happy story, because it's not. It's definitely bittersweet, where your joy is found in the fact that it happened, not that it ended happily.
The characters were really interesting in this book for me, because none of them are particularly sympathetic. Tiger Lily is cold and abrasive. Peter is selfish and flighty. Tink has no life outside following Tiger Lily around. Hook is a murderer, and Smee is way creepier than I ever thought he was in the Disney movie. But somehow, Jodi Lynn Anderson makes them all interesting, all sympathetic in their own way. I felt bad for Hook. Peter's disappointments made me disappointed. I hated that Tiger Lily was engaged to such a horrible man. Somehow, Anderson just struck the perfect pitch with all her characters.
I'm a big fan of Peter Pan, both the original book by J.M. Barrie and the Disney movie. And honestly, I think Anderson's reinterpretation of the original mythos is very fitting. It maintains the same tone, and the characters all feel true to the original ones.
I also found Anderson's choice of POVs really interesting. I did an interview with Jodi Lynn Anderson last July and asked her why she chose to write a story about Tiger Lily, told from Tinkerbell's POV, and she talks a little about that in her answer. I've never read another book (besides The Great Gatsby) in which the narrator isn't actually the main character. I found that aspect fascinating and very gutsy. Loved that aspect!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's more literary than a lot of the YA that I read, and I enjoyed the change of pace. I'd definitely recommend this one to anyone who likes Peter Pan, gorgeously written books, or stories that make your heart break the most perfect way possible.