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Tiger Lily

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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.

292 pages, ebook

First published July 3, 2012

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About the author

Jodi Lynn Anderson

37 books1,686 followers
I write strange and mythical stories about young people.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,276 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
January 27, 2019
Edit 04/04/2013: I read this almost a year ago now and it still haunts me in the best possible way. So I just wanted to share this song with you because it reminds me of this book so much.


"Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we're only what we've done and what we are going to do."

Everything about the appearance and description of this book it seems is geared towards the wrong audience. If it hadn't been for Crowinator's review I would have written this off as another cheesy romance that's okay when you're eight years old and watching a disney film but should otherwise be avoided. There are a number of readers I can see picking this up: romance enthusiasts, those who enjoy novels that are like disney films, or those who've read Anderson's other books (girl scouts and teen troubles). They will probably be disappointed.

How best can I put this? I know, I'll use TV shows! Let's take 90210 first of all. This is a show about rich people, celebrities, first world problems and a lifestyle with glitter on it. It's about life in Los Angeles. You know what else is about life in LA? Angel (Buffy spin-off). But Angel tells a different story, one of dingy backstreets, prostitutes, drug addicts and criminals. It's the same city but it's the story of lives that don't sparkle. If you're wondering how this is at all relevant, well, Peter Pan is 90210, and Tiger Lily is Angel.

This novel tells the tale of the dark underbelly of Neverland where the good guys don't always win and love doesn't always triumph. It's so much darker and sadder than I could have possibly imagined. Even though we are told from the start that this is a love story, it is more than that. It's about loss and loneliness and fear of change. Because who would fear change more than those who'd never had to experience growing up and dying?

Tiger Lily is one of the loneliest characters ever. Her other tribe members believe her to be cursed and she has long battled against the torment of not quite being accepted. After one misstep too many, she is told she must marry Giant - a violent oaf of a man who mistreats her whenever the chance presents itself. It is only natural that when she discovers a boy out in the forest who's almost as lonely as she is that she would fall in love with him.

By telling the story from Tinkerbell's point of view, we are able to hear it on a very personal level and get a close look at all the characters individually whilst having a wider scope than normal 1st person allows. The story itself is cleverly woven with elements of the one we know from disney and the original book. Did you ever wonder how a crocodile came to be hanging around with a ticking clock down his throat? Well, now I know.

The villains in this story are as complex as everyone else and Anderson offers new and interesting traits for familiar characters. James Hook is a sad, old man who came to Neverland on dreams of staying young forever - but his mission failed. He has since then lost himself to drink and his obsession with Peter Pan; Hook's hatred for himself and the world around him is all channelled into his hatred for Peter. Also, Smee (remember him?) is a strange case who murders those he admires for their strength and beauty but then mourns their deaths.

The "Englanders" in this book share obvious parallels with the settlers in North America. Tiger Lily's tribe rescue an injured Englander and nurse him back to full health, but once he is back on his feet he begins "educating" the tribe in the rules of God and what is appropriate dress and how those who don't fulfill their purpose will not go to heaven. You can see how easily it would be to change people through fear of eternal punishment; how to easily put what-ifs in their minds and make them question what they've always believed.

So, this is not the story I expected to read. But it's beautiful. I loved the writing style and the characters. The people in this book have their strengths and they have their weaknesses, and sometimes those weaknesses are too much for them to handle. The ending is both happy and sad. It isn't the one you wanted but I guess that's life for you.

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Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.7k followers
June 19, 2020
bumping this up to 5 stars because im honestly feeling downright obsessed with this story. ive always romanticised the idea of peter pan and his lost boys, so i knew i would enjoy this, but wow. i was not expecting such a soft and beautiful story.

the gorgeous prose is definitely what creates such an emotionally compelling narrative. i felt each word slowly makes its way into my heart and plant itself there, growing larger with each page. i loved tinkerbell as a narrator and i grew fond of her as a character because of it. i enjoy how she had such an omnipresent view of neverland and really appreciated the story she told of tiger lily and peter.

this book is definitely an unexpected, but very welcome, surprise - in more ways than one.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
June 20, 2017
“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you've ever 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.”

My body is not enough to contain the largeness of Tiger Lily's beauty.
This is a book of fiction, but not like any I've ever read. It was enthralling in its simplicity, and I absorbed every sound, every rustle of the leaves and boom of the waves crashing on tumultuous shores and splash of the mermaids' tails when they retreated into their domain in the depths of the sea, I inhaled every smell, the mustiness of the swamp and the liquor in the pirates' breath, I hurt my legs while running among fallen branches and I gathered dewdrops with Tinker Bell. And just like her, when tragedies occured, and pieces inside of me where broken and scattered, I could do nothing to stop them, but also I could never look away, caught up in the longing and sadness and weakness of the characters.
“Find us.”

An invitation. A dare. A challenge. A promise of adventure. In the faraway island of Neverland, the concept of time is fluid. Magical beasts build their nests in the tropical forests, fairies and mermaids interveve in the lives of humans, native tribes keep up with their traditions and never get old, pirates pillage and plunder and fight their never-ending war with the lost boys. The lost boys. Tiger Lily, the daughter of Tik Tok, the shaman of the Sky Eaters tribe, has heard horrible stories about them. People say she is cursed by the crows, and even though she can't tell whether that's true or merely a superstition, she has the heart of a beast, and a tendency to help lost causes. In one of these missions, she comes across the infamous Peter Pan, and she doesn't know what to make of him. He can be vicious and tender at the same time, distant and aloof and then warm and caring, but never consistent. There's something about Tiger Lily that calls to him, and soon the lost boys adopt her like a second family. But her father needs her. Her tribe needs her. Torn between her wildest desires and her need to keep her promises, haunted by a potential murderer and trying to balance her life, Tiger Lily soons discovers the cost of growing up. Of loving and being loved.
“Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we're only what we've done and what we are going to do.”

After I finished Tiger Lily, I was left with a bittersweet melancholy that soaked my bones. I am humbled by Jodi Lynn Anderson's talent, she managed to capture the very essence of magic, and eloquently channeled it through Tinker Bell's narration. Such narration was one of the highlights of the book; Tink recounted the events that started off when Tiger Lily decided to save an Englishman like whispering a moving tale with a soft voice. The element of foreboding was strong, her descriptions lush, the dialogues scarce and suprisingly I didn't mind at all, because they were not necessary. By means of gestures and delving into the thoughts of every single character, I could experience enough of their emotions. But at the same time, there was a tiny barrier between them and me, and I am grateful for that because otherwise the heartache would be too powerful to handle.
“To love someone was not what she had expected. It was like falling from somewhere high up and breaking in half, and only one person having the secret to the puzzle of putting her back together.”

The mythology of Neverland was intricately woven into the multiple stories of love and loss Tinker Bell witnessed. Tik Tok, Tiger Lily, Peter, they all broke each other, but I cannot tell who started it and who finished it. It was a vicious circle, where everyone was innocent and guilty, from Captain Hook who caused a pang of sumpathy despite his crimes, and quiet and thoughful Pine Sap to the main dramatis personae, who were beautiful and ugly. I cannot claim that I understood Peter, but I suspect that was the whole point. Even he couldn't understand himself. He was fearless and independent yet he needed someone to look after him and overlook his shortcomings. But Tiger Lily could not do that. She had a strong (and sometimes misguided I dare say) sense of honor, she was fierce, brave, and confused, because she couldn't always process or interprete what her heart demanded. What every heart demands.
“I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all.”

In the end, what Tiger Lily, and Peter, and I came to understand, was that there are many different and unique kinds of love, and you experience them only once, each with a certain person. Or a certain story. Jodi Lynn Anderson's retelling of Neverland was a marvel, and I will always cherish its wildness and weirdness deeply.

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Profile Image for Chantal .
337 reviews826 followers
January 13, 2016
Once in a while you read a book that is different from all the others. It hooks itself into your heart and doesn’t let you go until you turn the last page. And when it is done, you realize that it has left a gaping hole inside of you.

For me, Tiger Lily was that book. I knew how it would end, thought I was prepared, but somehow I still wasn’t.

This novel is beautiful, charming and tragic all at the same time. The story was utterly captivating and the writing style so lovely that I feel like the best way to make you read it is to just give you a quote.
Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you've ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn't win.

I think I knew I would love this story after reading the above sentence alone. And truly, the novel delivers on its promise.

Tiger Lily is a Peter Pan retelling which focuses on Tiger Lily but is narrated by Tinker Bell herself, which really added another dimension to the story. But it’s not like any retelling I’ve read before. Jodi Lynn Anderson doesn’t change the setting or circumstances of the story; instead she gives us something more. It diverges from the original tale by J.M. Barrie, and yet it would still fit into it, if that makes any sense. It’s darker and sadder than I imagined and touches on many serious topics such as the relevance of religion, bullying and what it means to be “different”, as well as domestic abuse, forced marriage and rape. But Jodi Lynn Anderson does this in subtle ways so that you never feel like you’re being lectured.

Besides the fact that the writing was beautiful, I also loved the characters and their relationships with one another. They were all very complex and well developed – including the villains – and had a lot of depth to them. Tiger Lily, our protagonist, is both a very strong and very vulnerable character. She is quiet and doesn’t like to show other people how she feels for fear of seeming weak. She isn’t always kind but has her heart in the right place.
Still, the longer I was around her, the more I could see the colors of her mind and the recesses of her heart. 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 and Tinker Bell’s friendship was wonderful. There was such genuineness and loyalty there. It was beautiful, like everything about this novel.

And of course, the romance was beautiful too. And heart-breaking.

We may have been told at the beginning of the novel that this is a love story, but this book is so much more than that. It’s a story about finding your place in the world, loss and guilt, friendship and loyalty. And loneliness. There is a lot of loneliness. Overall, there is so much more to it than appeared to me at first.

Despite it being a fantastical novel (I hesitate calling it fantasy), the thought I had after finishing it was: “Yes, I guess that’s how life is.” I love it when books can make me feel this way.

I don’t want to say anything more because I feel like this is a book you just have to experience for yourself. I can only highly recommend Tiger Lily. Even if it doesn't sound like something you'd usually be interested in, I still suggest you give it a try.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
696 reviews1,074 followers
March 14, 2019
"To run and run and never worry - that was what they wanted, and I wanted to go with them."

Yes for awesome retellings! This book has been on my TBR for years and I had such high hopes. I got it from the library and once I started it I was immediately swept up in this immersive world.

Told from the perspective of Tinker Bell (I know, not what you'd expect from the title!) she follows Tiger Lily as she grows up in the Sky Eaters tribe. They look after one another, and she is the adopted daughter of the Shaman, Tik Tok. The most important rule, keep the peace they've made with the pirates, and stay away from Peter Pan and The Lost Boys.

Tiger Lily is wild. She is unkempt and uncouth, running around often faster than the boys. She'd rather be off climbing trees and swimming in the lake than sitting still and sewing. When an arranged marriage is forced upon her, she spends even more time away from home, from her vile husband to be and his awful mother.

As we expect, she eventually meets Peter Pan, and their relationship is surprising, but strong. She becomes integrated with the Lost Boys, spending more and more time with them. But as we know, she is betrothed, and she cannot hide forever.

We meet Hook and Smee, both are whom are nothing like their Disney counterparts. Smee is pretty twisted, whereas Hook is just a drunk. The Englanders come over on their ships and attempt to alter the ways of Tiger Lily's tribe, in particular, Tik Tok's way of life. Philip and the Englanders in particular pissed me right off!

Finally, we meet Wendy; and she is portrayed is a much more negative light than we are used to. Perhaps more negative than necessary I thought - because I've never had a problem with Wendy's character before, but it works with this story line.

The ending is also a surprise

"Maybe all her strangeness, her curse, her always feeling like an outsider. had all existed so she could belong here with Peter."
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,280 followers
February 9, 2017

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❝I could hear the quiet in Tiger Lily’s heart. I had never heard it so soft, so at peace, as I did that evening, as she sat with Peter and watched those horses, and dreamed for a moment that she would never have to lose him, or herself.❞

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ¾

Tiger Lily was my first Peter Pan retelling and although it wasn't as great as I was hoping it would be, I still enjoyed some parts here and there.

The pacing of the story was a bit on the slow side, and not much was going on with the actual storyline. To be honest, I don't think anything happened at all that's worth mentioning. The story was told through Tinker Bell's POV, which worked in some ways and failed in others. Tink's POV always left me feeling bittersweet but at the same time it also made me feel a little detached from the characters. Tiger Lily, as a character, felt a little flat to me. I expected more since the book was named after her. She was a strong character and a bit of a mystery but I just wasn't feeling her as an individual.

However, I did love Peter and the lost boys. I loved their friendship and their relationship with Tiger Lily. Peter Pan was swoonworthy as he always is. I wasn't really attached to Peter and Tiger Lily as a couple but their relationship was cute and innocent. Even though I didn't ship them, I was still rooting for Peter and Tiger Lily in the end over Peter and Wendy which actually took me by surprise. I love Wendy Darling in the original story but I found myself despising her in this book. I was left feeling a little bitter that she took Peter and the lost boys away from Tiger Lily. I knew that Tiger Lily and Peter weren't going to have a happy ending but I was still hoping anyways.

The ending did make me a little teary-eyed but it wasn't as sad as everyone made it out to be. It's definitely bittersweet with a hint of tragic because of what could've been but everyone got their happily ever after. Just not in the way that they were hoping or expecting.

Tiger Lily turned out to be a different book than I expected. Peter Pan, as an original tale, had a touch of magic and fantasy but we barely get any magic in this book. Peter and the lost boys don't even fly! This book isn't one of the best books out there and it probably won't be the most memorable Peter Pan retelling I'll ever read but it was still enjoyable. It's definitely left me craving more Peter Pan retellings!
Profile Image for chloe.
242 reviews28.3k followers
January 19, 2019
Wow what a disappointment.... I'll talk about it more in my wrap up but wow.
Profile Image for ;3.
395 reviews816 followers
November 24, 2018

interrogator: say it

me [tied to a chair]: i'm not saying shit

interrogator: *smacks me* say every peter pan movie remake, including the one disney made, is better than this book. SAY IT

me: *spits on their face* fuck you

July 16, 2021

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We're sorry, but the number you are trying to dial, 1-800-MY-FEELINGS, has been disconnected. Please try again later when the caller isn't a hot weeping mess on the floor.

Hi, this book fucking wrecked me. I'm not even sorry because it hurt so good. The original Peter Pan story is actually very dark and creepy; it is a world filled with cruelty and death. The Disney version only really scrapes at the surface of it. Jodi Lynn Anderson's interpretation is a marvelous, twisty world-- a version of Neverland that is fickle and capricious, as subject to whims as its inhabitants.

Here, the narrator is Tinker Bell, but the main character is really Tiger Lily. She is given full agency in this book. We see her troubles and woes. Her village is suspicious of her and thinks she is cursed, but because she is the daughter of the shaman (who I think is supposed to be a two-spirit person), she is granted some clemency. All of that is changed when she meets Peter and his band of lost boys and the English people come to their shores.

This was just so dark and so good. Mermaids eat people. The pirates are psychotic (one of them used to be and still is a serial killer). Peter's lost boys were actually boys he rescued/kidnapped that were swabs/slaves of the pirates. Wendy is-- well, a bitch, although she doesn't mean to be, which makes it even more annoying that she is. And Tiger Lily is... wonderful. I loved how fleshed out she was, with strengths and weaknesses. There's an air of doomed romance that hangs over the plot, keeping it tight, making you turn the pages with bated breath. I love doomed romance even though I hate it for being doomed and if a book makes you invested enough that the ending hurts, it must be a good book.

So yes, I read TIGER LILY fully expecting not to like it and it ended up destroying me.

Thanks, I guess.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews989 followers
April 17, 2017
“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.”

This story turned out to be such a pleasant surprise for me! I must confess I am not a fan of Peter Pan, and all retellings I’ve read never left me with the feeling of satisfaction, on the contrary, I was always left with deep disappointment. So you can imagine my reluctance to start Tiger Lily, even though most of my friends who read this story enjoyed it immensely. The other reason I postponed reading it, because I somehow thought this book was going to be teen-ish, maybe? I don’t know why I thought so, maybe because Peter Pan – the boy who never grows older - always associated for me with a child's story, and those retellings I read didn’t help the matter of presenting it under a different angle, but, all in all, I was pretty biased starting Tiger Lily. Color me surprised when I found myself captivated by the story from the first pages. It’s not a secret I am an extremely demanding reader, and a rare book manages to capture my attention so easily. Tiger Lily was one of these few.

First and foremost thing that makes this book stand out from different Peter Pan retellings is the narrator. Tinker Bell. What a cute, absolutely adorably sweet goodness this tiny faery is! One of the best and most reliable narrators I’ve ever encountered in a book. Tinker shows us the whole story from her point of view and she can’t talk, she can only feel thoughts and emotions of people around her. Main characters almost never interact with Tinker, and surely they never talk to her. She feels herself unnoticed the whole time, but she, on the contrary, sees everything and matters more than she could've ever imagined. Such deep, introspective view on the world around makes the experience of being in Tinker's head an incredibly fascinating experience.
“Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we're only what we've done and what we are going to do. But then I look at the things I've seen and done, and I become a long scrawly line of something important.”

Such tiny, insignificant, from the first look, creature, turned out to be one of the most feeling and understanding persons. I am immensely happy that finally this adorable fae got a role she always deserved, but somehow was overlooked and undervalued in books and movies.
“A faerie heart is different from a human heart. Human hearts are elastic. They have room for all sorts of passions, and they can break and heal and love again and again. Faerie hearts are evolutionarily less sophisticated. They are small and hard, like tiny grains of sand. Our hearts are too small to love more than one person in a lifetime.”

Tinker Bell is our narrator, and, as I said before, through her eyes we observe other characters, and let me tell you that the main ones and secondary ones – every one of them have a real, well-written personalities in this book. It amazes me still that this short (292 pages), considering the average length of a YA fantasy these days (350 and more pages), fantasy fairy-tale manages to have such a well-rounded characters. I swear, every one of them feels real and important to the story. There’s no minor characters; they all matter, and Tinker Bell misses nothing in describing every personality we have. One of the best character-developments ever!

So, Tiger Lily and Peter Pan... There’s something sad about knowing that this story will never have a happy ending, that we know these two are not meant to be, because there’s someone third. And it worsens the matter when you don’t hate – can’t hate - the third side. Tiger Lily and Peter Pan are perfect for each other: both brave, independent, stand out from the people in their surroundings, both are lonely. They found love and hope in each other, and it was first and pure love, the kind that might last forever. It might, but it won’t, because this fairy-tale has a real life ending.
“Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn’t happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn’t seem broken at all.”

I was never a fan of how Peter Pan is described in books or movies; there’s always something too childish about him. He’s too carefree, too much laughing, too much of an image that feels too unrealistic. In Tiger Lily we have the real Peter, the one who has all the confidence in the world, but still feels unsure of himself, the one who’s carefree but burdened with fears.
“As you may have guessed already, Peter had a soul that was always telling itself lies. When he was frightened, his soul told itself, "I'm not frightened." And when something mattered that he couldn't control, Peter's soul told itself, "it doesn't matter." So while I trained my ears and tired to listen hard to him, I couldn't always make out where he was, or what he felt.

Tiger Lily is a character who always had a secondary place in stories or was left behind the curtain. Finally a book where the story belongs to her! She is fierce and loyal and loving, but also she’s intimidating and fearless. She is a worrier, but a worrier with a girl’s heart.
“The longer I was around her, the more I could see the colors of her mind and the recesses of her heart. 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.”

Ah, a perfect description! I cannot praise the author enough for writing such a beautiful, poignant book that makes you feel all kinds of sad and happy at the same time; a bittersweet kind of story.

Apart from having incredibly well-written characters this story touches a lot of important issues: family, religion, friendship, love, self-awareness. I am not one of the people who demands diversity in every book she reads. I prefer diversity only if it’s a well-done diversity, and Tiger Lily is one of such books. I appreciated how strong and important the voice of the diverse character was in this story, how it mattered - really mattered, and made other people around realize the importance of being yourself. I also liked how religion was handled in this book. We all know a saying: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This one is 100% hit in this book. No matter how good your intentions are, they might have a dire consequences, and our characters will have to face them.

◆ This is not a glamorous-happy-ending kind of story. The whole time the feeling of foreboding never left me, I knew something bad was going to happen. I new it from page 1. But knowing that there’s no happy ending made this story somehow even more endearing and heartfelt. I can say it already holds a special place in my heart. What is here left to say? A lot of things, but this is a kind of story you better feel – not read and feel but feel - because this one is sheer emotions encased in a mind of a beautiful creature Tinker Bell is. One of the best 2017 reads! Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,443 reviews78.1k followers
June 28, 2018
3.5 STARS. I really wanted to love this as much as the majority out there, and it was wholly entertaining with portions of compulsive narration, but I think my expectations were blown too far up by the hype surrounding this one. Props though, for a book to be this old and still have hype surrounding it-color me impressed! Full review to come.

Buddy read with Wren and Mary!
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
842 reviews3,775 followers
February 15, 2021

Reread 07/17 : I really don't know why I did this to myself. Perhaps because it's beautiful? Sigh. So beautiful.

I've finished Tiger Lily 24 hours ago and spent the day reliving some parts and thinking about it, my heart fluttering and suddenly missing a beat when I let my mind drift into Neverland.

Here's is why.

The story is told in Tinker Bell's POV. Who's mute. Oh, and who can read your thoughts. I knew fairies were such dangerous creatures. Although some readers find it annoying, the rather descriptive kind of writing was a perfect fit for the story in my opinion : it helps to provide a more magical atmosphere, and before realizing it, we're utterly stuck in Neverland. That's true this book can be classed as slow-paced but you know what? I can't think of any part that could have been removed.

Everything's dazzling. Nothing's useless.

Moreover, the choice of Tinker Bell as a narrator brought more tension, as she happens to know things characters don't. After years spent utterly annoyed by her character, I find myself understanding her for the very first time - I must confess that I was afraid the little fairy would have prevented me from loving this book - Color me surprised : it was in fact the opposite.

Tiger Lily doesn't fit in her village's life yet she's always a part of it. Raised by the shaman, Tik Tok, she always knew she was different and - well, she doesn't care. She doesn't care if she's not as pretty as the other girls, as long as she's allowed to hunt and to live her life. She doesn't care to be engaged to a complete brute as long as her father can keep his head up. She doesn't know how to express her feelings, and more than that, she doesn't know that she had to. She's wondrous. She's brave. She makes mistakes. She's real.

She's anything like female leads I've ever met.
She's everything I can admire.

The Lost Boys hold my heart in their hands. I fell for them from the very first time Tiger Lily met them, all both awkward, frightened and reckless. Of course Peter's charm seduced me - enthralled me. I mean, I could see pretty quickly how he managed to take the central place in this bunch of teenagers. He's full of empathy, selflessness, passionate, blunt - yet sometimes he seems to lose his confidence and what does it stay? An adorable but terrified boy whose need to win endlessly fight with his carefulness.

Ahem . Watch out - I might not be able to prevent myself from swearing in that part.
Because the Englanders.
Fucking asshole colonizers.
You stupid jackasses who think your way of life is the only one that can be taken into account.
Who never even try to understand Neverlanders' customs and traditions.
And your God. Oh, let's talk about your God. Sorry but it pissed me off so much to hear all this crap and to see stereotypes and judgment enter the village, threatening the sake of every single inhabitant. Deciding that you are judges of what is right and what isn't.

I wanted to punch something, and I couldn't help but think about the champions of colonization we used to be before, we Europeans - To see how quickly they could insinuate the doubt in everybody's head, taking control - That was both frightening and maddening to be let in the role of the helpless witness, continually dreading the train wreck.

I took a huge breath when I closed the book then I felt the need to reopen it almost instantly. I'm pretty sure this striking story will be etched in my mind -

Tiger Lily slowly enchanted me, worming its way into my heart - and will haunt me for a long time.

Until I reread it, I'm afraid.

PS : As you can see, I only added one single quote - because I wanted you'd discover this story completely blind. That's what I did, and it was wonderful.

PS2 : In her review, Emily May gave this song as a reminder of Tiger Lily and I can't agree more... Peter

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Profile Image for Julianna Helms.
277 reviews140 followers
June 3, 2012
**Thank you, THANK YOU, HarperTeen, for giving me this ARC. <3**

Actual, full review: Original is here on my blog.(Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost. Except for one of them that I manually linked.)

starred review.

I devoured this book the way a starved man engulfs food.

Tiger Lily has this addictive quality to it, kind of like a drug. It's beautiful and sad and terrible and heartbreaking; it's merciless and benign and desperate and raw. It's feral: words that spill out in this incredibly gripping formation, hidden surprises waiting to spring and shock. I highly doubt I have the right words to describe just how amazing this book was, but I will try. That's all I can guarantee.

I'm a restless person. I always have to be doing something, and I often don't do the same thing twice. I'm kind of like Peter Pan. It's why I never read a book again right after I finish it, but immediately upon completing Tiger Lily, I had this irresistible urge to drown myself in Jodi's words again and again: I can't get enough of it. I was crippled by this book; I read in class, in the car, everywhere, and it is so predatory it almost made me cry in class. I don't even know how. Quite honestly, I have a strong suspicion that this is now my favorite book--of ever and ever and ever and ever.

The characters--mostly Peter--sliced through me with a canyon's depth.

This is the Peter Pan I swoon over so badly it's not even funny. This Peter is broken, but he's trying to mend himself and he doesn't want to be broken, so of course he'll lie--to himself, to others, but... mostly himself. That's what made me just stop: at one point, I just had to set the book down and bury my head somewhere. Probably in a heap of tissues. I fell in love with Peter the way Tiger Lily did, and the moment you get to see him past everything--his exterior, his defenseless self--it's like having someone very, very carefully cut your heart out. It hurts, obviously, but it's also defeating. I think that's what made me love this book so much; I guess I'm just a masochist for being such a sucker of bittersweet love stories. Peter Pan is a bewitching boy; I think this song describes my feelings about Peter much better than I can. Of course, now that I've spent so much time on Peter Pan, I've totally neglected Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell, our unexpected narrator who actually turned out to be vital to the plot. I'm sure you're all asleep now, so I'll sum up these two and everyone else in the book in a sentence: the characters in this book are all independent--they are wild, but so in very many different ways--yet at one point or another, the decision was dependence, or nothing at all. It's astounding the choices we all make, to see them reflected in these characters so real they were like people burning through the pages.

Keep living through Happily Ever Afters; we can just watch them eventually fade. But Tiger Lily does something else: we don't live through the Happily Ever After. We live through the true stories crackling against its wishful disguise.
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,377 reviews1,438 followers
February 8, 2018
This book is an absolutely magical re-telling of the story of Tiger Lily from Peter Pan. The narrator is the fairy, Tinker Bell.

I've always had a soft place in my heart for J. M.Barrie's masterwork. Who among us hasn't wanted to go to a place where you could remain young forever and never grow up?

Jodi Lynn Anderson writes that "never aging" magic of Neverland quite well: "Englanders had come to Neverland before. ... The Englanders had the aging disease. As time went on they turned gray, and shrank, and, inexplicably, they died. It wasn't that Neverlanders didn't know anything about death, but not as a slow giving in, and certainly not an inevitability." pg 13 (ebook)

Tiger Lily's tribe may age, but how old they appear is contingent on something other than time. It's curious and magical.

The lost boys come alive in this book with a wildness and unpredictability that I loved: "There was a joyfulness and- at the same time- a fragility about each of them. They were sloppy and uncared for and wildly alert and full of energy." pg 61, ebook.

Despite their untamed natures, they are still children: "Straw beds had been separated haphazardly into different areas of the burrow, as if the boys hadn't counted on wanting to live separately when they'd first built it, and only recently pushed themselves as far apart from each other as possible. Still, on one of the beds there was a worn home-sewn toy in the shape of a rabbit, and lying on a pillow, as if it had just been played with, a model of a ship." pg 61, ebook.

Peter is the boy who has emotions but doesn't understand them- perpetually young yet always on the verge of growing up.

He's fiercely admired by his lost boys and, eventually, Tiger Lily: "Peter picked at his hangnail again. "Actually, I never get sad. It's a waste of time, don't you think?" Tiger Lily didn't answer. She was impressed by the idea of deciding not to be sad. His words made him seem very strong. Impervious." pg 67, ebook

Peter is still Peter in this tale. As far as girls go, he can be charming but also rude and aloof: "I think we could be good friends," he said, falling into step with her. "It's perfect because I wouldn't fall in love with you, like I do with the mermaids. Girls always seem so exotic. But it would be okay with you, because you're more like... you know. Not like a girl." pg 77, ebook.

Tinker Bell was a sympathetic character in this book, rather than the spoiled, jealous creature that she is portrayed as in Peter Pan: "A faerie heart is different from a human heart. Human hearts are elastic. They have room for all sorts of passions, and they can break and heal and love again and again. Faerie hearts are evolutionarily less sophisticated.... Our hearts are too small to love more than one person in a lifetime. ... I tried to talk sense into my hard little heart. But it had landed on Peter, a creature two hundred times my size and barely aware of me, and there was no prying it loose." pg 77-78, ebook.

Hook is extra creepy and villainous: "Neverland had called to him out of legends. A green place. A wild place. And most of all, a place where he'd never grow old. Most people in London hadn't believed it existed, but some still insisted it did, and Hook had cast his lot with them. To get to the island, he'd begged, stolen, and eventually murdered." pg 89-90, ebook.

And so is Mr. Smee. But, I'll let Anderson tell you his story. She does a wonderful job of it.

The relationship between Tiger Lily, Peter, and Wendy makes a lot more sense in this story. It is less about any potential failings by the girls. The main source of conflict seems to be Peter's emotional immaturity: "As you may have guessed already, Peter had a soul that was always telling itself lies. When he was frightened, his soul told itself, "I'm not frightened." And when something mattered that he couldn't control, Peter's soul told itself, "It doesn't matter." pg 169, ebook.

The ending of this book was totally satisfying as well for all of the characters, even little Tinker Bell. I can't say enough good things about it.

It's easy to see why fairy tell retellings are so popular with books like Tiger Lily out there, waiting to be discovered.
Profile Image for Crowinator.
807 reviews356 followers
March 10, 2012
**No spoilers for plot, though I've gone and discussed the tone of the ending, which might be considered a spoiler to some.**

"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."

This is the story of the thorny romance between Peter Pan and Tiger Lily, before and after the arrival of Wendy Darling in Neverland. Even with that opening above, I didn't expect this to be so . . . sad. So infused with loneliness and lost love and tragedy. It's beautifully written, and Anderson's re-working of the Peter Pan legend (including many key moments we should all recognize but are woven in subtly) is unconventional and surprisingly realistic. Tiger Lily is such a captivating, complex character in this version, and so is Peter Pan, Tik Tok (her adoptive father), Hook, and especially Tink, the narrator, who as a mute fairy has developed a empathetic kind of telepathy that allows her to see into others' basic thoughts and feelings (a neat trick that makes for a robust story with multiple perspectives, though centered on Tiger Lily). But I'm left with this melancholy, wistful feeling of regret. I suppose changing, like growing up and growing old, has an inherent sadness to it, especially when told from the POV of those being left behind, and I had forgotten that that concept is at the heart of all Peter Pan stories.

Tink says at one point, "Sometimes love means not being able to bear seeing the one you love the way they are, when they're not what you hoped for them." That's sort of how I feel about this book. This isn't a criticism, so much as an observation -- it's a very affecting read, but one that left me with a lingering sadness at how it turned out, even though it was in some respects a perfect ending.

And now I've gone and jumped this ahead of some of my other books that needs reviews, just to capture this weird feeling. I may do another, fuller review later when I've taken care of those others.
Profile Image for Krys.
736 reviews170 followers
August 8, 2015

Tiger Lily is a much anticipated young adult release coming out by NYT bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson. I had not heard of it until a copy showed up in my ARCs from Harpercollins. However, the premise immediately intrigued me - a retelling of Peter Pan focusing on Tiger Lily of the Indian tribe? Yes! And with one fell swoop it was placed in the priority pile. Today finally afforded me the chance and, what's more important, the mood to read it. So I cracked it opened and prepared to be amazed.

For the record, I love Peter Pan with a big, giant, throbbing heart of love. It's one of my favourite books from my childhood. It's something I've read a lot, and it has inspired a future book related tattoo (that I will get when I can afford to). I love Peter Pan. He was my first literary boyfriend after all... him and his thimble kisses.

This book was a disappointment in so many ways. Frankly, I can't say how I really feel about it without offending some people in the mix... so I'm going to tone it down a bit from my initial angry, swearing, hate-filled rant. I have only ever been so thoroughly offended by two other classic retellings in quite the same way as I am with this book... like, to the point where I slammed the book shut in annoyed frustration and just declared outright that I was done. This is the third one ever to hit my STOP button with such unmitigated force. Wow, this one was so not for me.

* Spoilers ahead for those of you who are looking forward to this.. you may want to stop reading *

I'm going to presume that you all know the plot of Peter Pan, so I'll spare you the recap. This one follows Tiger Lily of the native tribe as she grows up and befriends Pan and the Lost Boys. Where this differs from the original is in the fact that the boys and Pan are not magic in the least, and seem to be growing up on the island of Neverland. The Pirates also appear to be aging. Whether this aging problem is explained elsewhere in the book I couldn't tell you, because I didn't finish the last 150 pages. These details were the first indicators that I would be unhappy with this book.

Aging? In Neverland? What?!

So where else did it fail? Well, there's the shoddy narration from Tinkerbell, the non-speaking fairy. The story is told in observances from her, which is fine and good, but she frequently switches POVs from third person (when she is talking about Tiger Lily and other characters) to first person (when she is talking about herself). These switches confused me and I lost sight of who the book was about in these intervals. I would actually forget that Tink was narrating until she suddenly had something occur to herself that distracted me from the story at hand... and then I would mistake her voice for Tiger Lily. It would have been better served if she had stuck to one point of view throughout the entire book because this technique just seemed haphazard and unwieldy.

So, what sealed the deal - the handling of the details from that book to this one... The "turning Peter Pan into a YA romance book" factor... I'm thinking specifically of the kiss. The infamous, beautiful kiss scene that we all know and love from the original story; the kiss that Wendy gives to Peter which he mistakes for a thimble. Well, at one point in the book Peter kisses Tiger Lily... a full, on the mouth, lingering, make-out scene worthy of any YA contemporary ... and that's where I shut the book. I could not in any way disassociate what was happening with what I already know about Pan... sweet and innocent Peter who doesn't know kisses from thimbles and wouldn't be able to execute one if his life depended on it... and here he is snogging Tiger Lily? Wrong, it's just wrong... wrong like in March by Geraldine Brooks where Mr. March cheats ON MARMEE OF ALL PEOPLE... wrong like in Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys where the psycho-sexual/culture judgmental relationship between the two is what drove Bertha mad... bull. Plain and simple. I didn't buy it in those two books and I'm not buying it now... Turning Peter into a non-magic, hormone driven 15 year old? Wrong. Just wrong.

So, clearly I disconnected. I think that is obvious. Retellings are always fraught with peril but in this case it was SO different than what I was expecting and SO not what I wanted it to be. The tone of the novel was not doing anything for me up until that point so it was very easy to put it down. Perhaps the fault lies in me? Perhaps I expect too much and shouldn't... part of that "favourite book" syndrome. Retellings of certain things have got to be really..damn... good... in order to get away with revisiting certain stories. This, however, did not work. It didn't work as a YA book and it has no place in Peter Pan fandom at all. I can't have this book ruin for me what is otherwise a perfect reading experience.

1 out of 5 stars. The only thing redemptive about this book at all is Tiger Lily's transgendered adoptive father, Tik tok... and that's the only reason it gets a star at all.

- review courtesy of www.bibliopunkkreads.com
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Elena.
570 reviews180 followers
April 11, 2015


''This is a love story, but not like any you've heard.''

Yup. Tinker Bell didn't lie at all!
Going into this book I knew that it will be a tragic story. I was prepared. But somehow I still wasn't.

Tiger Lily is a Peter Pan retelling, which focuses on Tiger Lily's and Peter Pan's love story. Also, it is written from Tinker Bell's point of view.

I have to warn you guys, if you haven't read the book and you intend to (if you don't intend to than let me tell you: READ IT) , then stop reading, because I have to include spoilers. I'm a freakin' mess and I want to share this. :D Just know that this story is magical, captivating, and so so tragic.
I loved it.

Bye, people, who haven't read this book, because

Where do I even begin with this?

Like I said before, I knew, what the ending will be like, but.... knowing doesn't prevent you from feeling the pain, does it?

''After Peter left, she lay down on the mattress in the empty house, and forgot to eat.''

First of all, I have to say, that I absolutely adored Tiger Lily's and Tinker Bell's friendship. Even though Tinker Bell falls in love with Peter as well, her protective instinct when it comes to Tiger Lily, is out of this world. Everything Tinker Bell does, she does in order to help Tiger Lily. It's phenomenal. I love how Tinker Bell never considered, that Tiger Lily actually knew she was there. So when Tiger Lily rescued Tinker Bell from drowning, it was a turning point in their friendship. In this moment it became clear that their friendship is not one-sided.

Tiger Lily is not at all, a typical protagonist. She is quiet, can't show any emotions in order to seem strong. And she IS strong, but at the same time she has this vulnerability to her that makes you want to hug the sh*t out of her. And punch the shit out of Wendy and Peter, for that matter.

Don't get me wrong Peter made me fall in love with him just like he did with Tiger Lily, Tinker Bell, and so many others. But even people you love need some dispraise.
Wendy on the other hand... Hate her. She was this 'perfect' little girl, but you are even able to SMELL how she manipulated Peter and the Lost Boys!

Which brings me to the next thing I loved.
The Lost Boys were definitely the funny and heartwarming part of this book. I couldn't help but love them!

Besides the characters, that were definitely a big reason for why I loved this book so much, I also need to praise Jody Lynn Anderson's writing. It is captivating, it is in itself tragic.

5 out of 5 stars, for sure.
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
593 reviews3,541 followers
October 8, 2016
4.25 stars

"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."

This little book is wise beyond its years.

I don't mean that it's edgy or tries to smash boxes like postmodern fiction. It is what it is, a retelling of Peter Pan. Namely, the story of Tiger Lily and Neverland before the arrival of Wendy Darling. It's wise because of the themes it weaves through the narrative. From the lovely writing to the criticism of colonialism, from the subversion of sexism to the bittersweet ending, it shines like a gem in the sea of YA fairytale retellings.

First of all, it adds so much to the original story and characters. Neverland is inhabited by three different tribes and is no stranger to the occasional ship that comes ashore. Captain Hook came to Neverland seeking eternal youth, but grows bitter and vengeful when it doesn't happen. Smee is there, but not as the bumbling Disney character we're familiar. The crocodile is there as well alongside the mystery of the ticking clock in his stomach.

Wendy doesn't come in until the last quarter of the book, but Tink hates her for reasons more than petty jealousy. This version of Tink loves Peter too because he noticed her in a world where fairies are treated like flies. But she's also fiercely loyal to Tiger Lily.

Since Tiger Lily is told from Tink's POV, we actually don't get much insight into the head of the character is named after. Surprisingly, it works. Tiger Lily is a character very much shrouded in mystery even within her own village. As for Peter, he's charming yet scatterbrained, much like what you'd expect from a teenage Casanova with little notion of adult sexuality. Having the story told from their perspectives would actually take away the aura of deliberate mystery surrounding their characters.

"Peter loves to make promises. He has the best intentions of keeping them. It makes it worse, somehow, that he doesn't know how to. He thinks he's a nice boy, that's the worst part."

And the ending. God, the ending.

If you've heard of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, you'll know its key marketing pitch is "a story of first love." This is how I would describe Tiger Lily. The story of first love in all its brutal, beautiful honesty.
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
617 reviews506 followers
January 31, 2022
It has been ten (10!!!!) years since Tiger Lily came out, and I read it only now.
Better late then never, I guess!

Guys... this book was soooo good. It was everything that I wanted, and even more, because although I have heard about it's greatness, nothing could have prepared me to magical and emotional journey it took me to.

The story is told in first person, narrated but Tinkerbell.
The way Tink talked about Neverland, it's magic system and people who lived/visited there was done three times better then anywhere else. It was better then Disney Movie, it was better then that movie with late Robin Williams, and overall just beyond everything.
I could listed (or read) Tink talking about pretty much anything.
Did I mentioned I loved it?

I can without doubt say that this novel is the best one I have read in years.
As soon as I finished it (actually, still while I was reading it) I wanted to reread it, which I surely will do, more than once.

I also want to say that, in my opinion, this book aged well.
As I previously stated, it has been ten years since it first came out, and we all know some of the books that came around that time are looked as problematic now, but not Tiger Lily.
No, more so, if it was to be released in 2022 for the first time, it would meet all the standards.

One more thing: oh my emotions! This book made me shake with overwhelming, sad but still hopeful feelings and also reminded me of being a teenager and having a heart broken for the first time.

I highly, highly recommend Tiger Lily, and even if it is aimed for young audience, I want to recommend it to adults, because I feel like I got more out of this story now when I am an adult then I would get back when I was a teenager.
Profile Image for Mimi.
265 reviews358 followers
September 24, 2013
"Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you've heard. The boy and 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..." -Tinker Bell

I grew up loving Disney's version of Peter Pan, wishing I could move to Neverland and never grow old. But this book only makes me love it infinitely MORE!

This book is told, not from Tiger Lily's point of view, but Tinker Bell's which is actually SO brilliant! Not only is the empathic little faerie able to know Tiger Lily's thoughts, but she gets a glimpse into other people's too. We get to share Tinker Bell's admiration for Tiger Lily's undeniable courage. And we also get to know her motives, the reasons for little Tink's actions and jealousy, and suddenly everything makes so much more sense.

Going into this book, I didn't care much for Tiger Lily. I knew her as the girl who loved Peter and nothing more. But Jodi Lynn Anderson made me care and ache and want to know more about this crow-feathered girl! By the end, I wanted to cry when it was over. I did cry — so much! As much as I love Wendy, part of me wished she wouldn't show up so Peter and Tiger Lily could get a HEA. But my powers of compulsion can only go so far. :')

Behind the scenes, Tiger Lily has a horrible life. She's arranged to marry the awful Giant and everyone is scared of her. That's why she craves those nightly escapades with Peter, who is wonderful and sweet in every way. With him, there's adventure and life and promise. He's so different from the boy I thought I knew — Less innocent? More fierce? — but this side of him is just as beautiful. ♥

My only complaint is that this book starts off slow and carries a similar pace throughout. Until Tiger Lily meets Peter, I was never completely pulled under and even then some parts felt dragged on. But the ending, the beauty, and the heartache makes up for it!

Tiger Lily is raw and beautiful and heartbreaking and sad. It took my heart, squeezed it into a tiny little ball, then let it fly. Because if you've seen Peter's story, then you know how Tiger Lily's end — and it doesn't end well. But I promise that her story is well worth the read!

BUY or BORROW?: If you want to pledge your love to Peter Pan or are even just a little bit curious about the girl with the crow feather in her hair, then you have to buy this book! :)

(Original review at Mimi Valentine's YA Review Blog)
Profile Image for Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~.
347 reviews932 followers
April 3, 2018
Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars

Alright. So I said I was going to review this book. I posted the infamous "RTC." but I am thinking honestly it might be a waste of time to do a full blown review in this case.

I liked this book, but here I am barely a week out & already it's fading from my memory in a big way.

I appreciate what was attempted here. A story about Tiger Lily's history with Peter Pan told through the eyes of Tinker Bell.

It didn't shy away from mixing in darker themes with the Neverland we have all come to know & love, which is actually much closer to the original story of Peter Pan.

But I was more than 75% into the book before I felt myself forming any real commitment to the story. It was just sort of... *shrugs*

I get the distinct feeling that this book's simple writing style was meant to come off a lot more whimsical & charming than it actually did for me, but that could very well be because it harkened back to the original tale a bit too much for my liking.

Spoiler Alert: I didn't enjoy the original.

Anyhow, I'm sure many people will like this more than I did. It's not bad by any means but I don't expect to remember it a year from now, or at this rate even a month from now.

Buddy Read this with Chelsea & Wren! (who I will tag when I get home!)
Profile Image for Simona B.
892 reviews2,985 followers
April 26, 2016
4.5 -speaking about half stars, uh, Goodreads?

"For three days, she kept on studying the horizon, even speaking to it, as if a ship that had already disappeared could hear her."Choose me."
And Peter did choose."

This is the story of a girl with crow feathers in her hair and too greedy a heart to be content with just the shreds of a love that could have been. This is the story of a creature so fierce that someone who loved her exactly as she was said once that he would rather die than see her tamed, but also so frail that she couldn't help having her heart broken. But you know what's the most telling thing about her? That, at the end of the day, she found it in herself to love all the same. And not in shreds, not in pieces, but wholly.

But first things first.

The story is told by Tinker Bell's point of view. When I first heard of this, before starting the book, I wasn't exactly thrilled, because the little fairy is not, to use an euphemism, one of my favourite characters ever -and here, I think, a brief aside is necessary. Peter Pan's story never really spoke to me. Even the Disney version, I didn't like it. I watched it because Hook and Smee made me laugh and I liked all the pretty colours of Neverland, but I kind of loathed all of the characters, including Peter and Wendy -especially Wendy. I found her vain, dull, uninteresting to the point of being annoying. Tinker Bell was just annoying, and girlish. And Peter, well, just say I was never a big fan of his.

Afetr this books, my opinions haven't changed but for her, Tinker Bell. In Tiger Lily, she is a sparkling (see the irony? The irony!) narrator, fresh and delicate, honest, and, above all, attentive. The author justifies her presence and her role as narrator in a clever and original way which I utterly adored: as a fairy, Tink can 'read' thoughts, memories and feelings. The story is actually told in first person, but we have also such a detailed insight into the other characters' minds that only a third-person narration could have been so exhaustive. The result is a blend of these two narrative techniques that I can't call but absolutely mind-blowing and captivating.

I read and reread all those passsages in which Tink describes the emotions of the people who surround her. Through her vision, the attraction between Tiger Lily and Peter is a thread that tie theirs hands, Tiger Lily's heart a little beast now shaking with emotion and then roaring with fierceness. All the feelings we witness acquire in this way a plasticity, a vividness that is the cherry on top of Anderson's beautiful writing style.

Tiger Lily's character: I think it'd be useless for me to try to put into words how I admired and appreciated her development and characterisation. She's no common heroine. She's unable to pretend. She's thirsty and doesn't know it, and when she does know it she's left without water. She's tough, and she's not. She can live without anyone, but she doesn't want to. She seems so aloof ans she's thought to be cursed. Probably she is. Just another one of the thousand amazing things that could be said about her.

“I'm not myself," she offered, guiltily. She softened around Tik Tok, and when she did she was, for those rare moments, girlish.
He smiled. "You can never say that. You're just a piece of yourself right now that you don't like.”

I think I've been clear enough about what I think of Peter and Wendy.
Probably, all the reasons why an reader would come to despise Peter at the end of this book can easily be summed up with: he's young. He has lived alone for all of his life and probably longs to know where he came from, how he ended up in that island in the middle of nowhere, and he's not mature or selfless enough to understand how his carelessness can hurt other people. As any teenager grappled with his first love, he thinks he'll never feel something stronger than that. Is he to blame? Yes, because there isn't such a thing as the right to break a heart. No, because the belief that such a thing actually exists is what defines youth in itself.
Wendy, well, I hated her since before, so don't expect me to be unbiased. She appears in just a few pages, but it's enough for her to prove to be the embodiment of everything I hate about 'girliness' (and I say that as a girl). She praises Peter for everything he does, even the stupidest thing, she flutters him, pampers him, fools him, and he falls for that. I don't know if she pretended or really thought he was that awesome, it's the attitude that I can't stand, both hers and his.

A special mention for Tik Tok. That of religion, and its link to personal identity, is a theme which is very close to my heart, so I was particularly invested in his personal tragedy. I can't find it in me to exlpain how I felt for him and how much anger the Englanders raised in me.

By way of conclusion, if you unconditionally love Peter Pan, don't read this, because the character that's depicted in here it's none like the one you've learned to love. But if you think you're able to stand that, then do it. Go buy the book, bury yourself under a blanket, and read it.
Just -and I say it for your sake- don't forget to keep the tissues close.
Profile Image for Jean.
197 reviews12 followers
June 2, 2013
This was a difficult book for me. I've been fascinated by Tiger Lily, as a character, since youth, and the idea of a book based from her point of view? Fantastic! But the book itself is a mixed bag. You know the expression, 'Too many chefs ruin the soup?' Too many ingredients can as well, as this book shows off too well.When you begin to realize that it's gimmick layered upon gimmick... Well, I came to terms with it, but that's when I started to see just what was bothering me about it. Don't get me wrong: The book is beautifully written, the reason it very nearly got three stars out of me, and contains some fabulous characterization and reinterpretation of characters like Hook and Peter.

Problem the first: The narration. Second person narration has to be the most difficult undertaking an author can challenge themselves with, and it's only been successful a handful of times. Here, it's intrusive. From Tinkerbell's POV, you often forget that it's not third person since it's largely just observations of Lily and Peter until Tink will put in a jarring comment about drowning in a dew drop or eating a lightning bug or some other whimsy equally as out of tone with some of the darker elements of the book. One is left wondering: couldn't it have just been in omniscient third person narration. I suppose it was meant to develop Tink, but it just made me wish she'd go away, and that I knew more of what Lily was actually thinking.

Second problem: The book is about Lily, but we actually get very little insight into her as a person. We know that she's Not Like Other Girls, which makes her Important, and Better. But with a reserved personality, a narrator outside of Lily's own mind can't bring any complexity to her whatsoever other than showing her as distant, or mentioning that her mood was dark or conflicted. In the end, I didn't learn very much about her, nor did she seem particularly compelling, to have an entire book written about her.

And am I the only one who sees a problem in relating the tribe seen in Barrie's work with actually Native Americans, especially since this book takes place on an Island close to England? It's always been a thin line to walk with the source material, but making it purely Native culture shows off more glaring inaccuracies and stereotypes than going with something more ambiguous would have done. And, wait, they're fantastic and sexually liberated because they accept a transsexual man as their shaman, but still force Lily into a marriage with a dumb, sexually abusive man not of her choosing? Hm, there seem to be discrepancies here.Third: Re-imagining Neverland. It takes on more of a real, grounded appearance and life here, with the characters coming and going from England, and most of them having arrived by shipwreck. If a book only sought to re-imagine Neverland, it would have been a long and grueling task to convince the reader to go along with it, but here the author just throws it in and expects it to be accepted. This was, curiously, also in my opinion the strong point of the book.

Fourth: Romance. Yes, let's age both Peter and Lily up so instead of playmates, they can paw at each other like a stereotypical YA couple. It brought down even the fantastic characterization of Peter, IMO, and felt out of place within the thematic elements of the rest of the novel.

Fifth: Oh, female complications. This book allegedly takes an enlightened point of view on the complications that arise when characters mix. And yet Wendy is still frivolous and silly, and the other girls are still pitted against her, though Tink has to point out that, obviously, she's not jealous, that's just Wendy projecting her own high sense of self-worth, she's really just rooting for Lily, who's by far superior because she's fierce and a fighter etc. etc. Not Like Other Girls, Tomboy vs. Girlie Girl, all of these unpleasant tropes were in full force.

So, what did I like? The Victorian setting is fabulous (for characters like Hook and Smee, who are meant to be timeless; I'm aware that the other characters ARE Victorian), as is the very dark characterization of the pirates, and the modernized ADHD personality of Peter. The prose is beautiful but economic. All of which leads me to sadly conclude that this book could have been so much more, a mini-masterpiece, if it had avoided more of the YA cliches and tropes that it so easily fell into.
Profile Image for Sahil Javed.
258 reviews243 followers
January 29, 2022

Tiger Lily is one of the most beautiful books that has ever been written and that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The writing is captivating, lyrical and beautiful.
“Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we're only what we've done and what we are going to do.”

This book is not just a romance. It’s a book about growing up, about changing and adapting, about love and how there is more than one kind. This is not just a love story. It is a book about loneliness, about finding yourself and about how love sometimes isn’t enough. This book made me feel sad. But it’s the kind of sadness that feels hollow, like your chest is empty and you can’t feel anything in your heart. It made me cry so many tears and no matter how many times I reread this book, I still end up crying. The ending was perfect. It wasn’t a happy ending but it wasn’t a sad ending either. It’s one of those endings that leaves you feeling hollow, like you turn the last page and just sit there, with the tears drying on your face, wondering how one small book can make you feel so much.
“To love someone was not what she had expected. It was like falling from somewhere high up and breaking in half, and only one person having the secret to the puzzle of putting her back together.”

Favourite quotes:

“For the girls with messy hair and thirsty hearts.”

“She did not believe he could have really gone, because for her, to leave the person you loved was impossible.”

“You have to be careful who you meet. You can’t unmeet them.”

“I'm not myself," she offered, guiltily. She softened around Tik Tok, and when she did she was, for those rare moments, girlish.

He smiled. "You can never say that. You're just a piece of yourself right now that you don't like.”

“Sometimes love means not being able to bear seeing the one you love the way they are, when they're not what you hoped for.”

“Sometimes I can't see myself when I'm with you. I can only just see you.”

“And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all.”

“Still, the longer I was around her, the more I could see the colors of her mind and the recesses of her heart. 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.”

“Everyone will think I'm ugly.”

Tik Tok smiled. "That's true. But we are a small village. We have narrow tastes. There's no telling who else in the world would think you're beautiful.”

“I like to think that nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way things go after all - that all things end happy.”
Profile Image for Sara ➽ Ink Is My Sword.
560 reviews420 followers
February 7, 2019
Can retellings of classics be considered classics? BECAUSE THIS NEEDS TO BE. I would love to read this in English class, write argumentative and analytical essays about it, gosh I am such a nerd.

“Still, the longer I was around her, the more I could see the colors of her mind and the recesses of her heart. 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.”

💭Pre-reading thoughts:
You say PETER PAN, I say WANT IT.
Profile Image for Julia.
115 reviews96 followers
September 3, 2016
The only word that perfectly describes Tiger Lily is a Russian word toska.
“No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”
- Vladimir Nabokov

Tiger Lily wasn't boring. But even in moments of joy it was soaked in melancholy, yearning, anguish — all of them mixed together in the ugly proportion that made my heart ache. The feeling you're left with after finishing the book depends only on your perception of the events, but it somehow left me a little bit depressed with all the sadness that was haunting me while I was reading the book.
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.

Tiger Lily is fifteen when she is told to be married to a terrible man by her own tribe. She won't longer be a free bird, she'll be forever trapped in the cage of duties her mother-in-law and her future husband will provide with pleasure. But when Tiger Lily meets Peter — the exact same boy everyone told her was dangerous, a cruel savage — her heart misses a beat. Peter is the opposite of everything she's ever known, but is it the good kind of opposite? Good enough to trust him with her heart? The pirates and Englanders arrive, and Tiger Lily starts to question her beliefs and has to be responsible for the consequences of her choices. So when things start to change, she's caught between two fires: her duty and her heart.

I won't be trying to compare Tiger Lily to the original story of Peter Pan. I read the book and I watched a couple of movies and cartoons about his adventures, but that was always that one story that stayed in childhood. There are fairy tales you can imagine yourself being a part of: every now and then we hear stories of modern Cinderellas. But when it comes to Peter Pan — and Neverland in particular — it's frozen in time of our childhood, time when we were children, 'cause in real world people do grow up. But Jodi Lynn Anderson managed to remind me that there is one place for Neverland and it's within our hearts. No matter how young or old you are, there is always place for you there. Tiger Lily isn't the story about never growing up, it's quite the opposite.

The choice of the narrator of Tiger Lily's story was a very interesting one, although at some moments it made me feel a little bit distant from the story. Being told mostly from the third-person point of view, it gave readers the opportunity to follow not only Tiger Lily, but also Peter and the pirates. I can't say I enjoyed being in the narrator's head, 'cause the voice was frequently full of jealousy and envy, but it managed to tell not only the events, but also what was happening it the heads of the characters. Sometimes I got the feeling that it was told from Tiger Lily's perspective, but the story wouldn't be anything like it was, if the narrator were different.
“I didn't do it to look nice,” she said.
“But you do care.”
Tiger Lily studied the tree and decided if she did care, she would now choose not to.

The novel easily hooked me from the very beginning, but I fell in love with it only when Peter appeared, even though I loved Tiger Lily's character on her own, too. She might seem as a fierce creature, but don't let her fool you. The meeting with Peter let me get to know the real her: savage, yet fragile, brave, yet hesitant. Tiger Lily might not know much about what loving someone really means, but isn't it this one natural thing that comes to you as time passes? Anderson managed to show her journey so vividly that I couldn't stay indifferent. People do grow in Neverland — but only to the certain defining moment — and I could see Tiger Lily's growth even from then on. Being a 15 y.o girl, she seemed both young and old.
And to Tiger Lily he suddenly, inexplicably, seemed older than her, and wiser, and the thought hit her hard that it wasn't fair, because she'd suffered, and there he was, looking like he knew so much more than she ever would.

Peter wasn't what I expected him to be. He was the one that brought me joy, the way he and the Lost Boys had no idea how to behave in the presence of a girl, how to talk to her, what to say and when to stay silent. But at the same time he was a very complex character on his own, too. Being the leader, the elder brother to all of the Lost Boys, he had to be mature, to be responsible, but at the same time Peter was insecure, sometimes desperate and impulsive, reckless. He was a very controversial character, he was confused about the world, about himself, Tiger Lily, the boys, and no matter what had to radiate the confidence he hadn't always had.
She hated his need to always win and he hated her coldness during their arguments. They fought about the exact color of the sky and which path they should take on a hunt. They disagreed passionately about whose fish was the best tasting. They could work up extreme hatred for each other at a moment's notice.

Tiger Lily and Peter's relationship wasn't one of a kind. And that's why it felt so relatable, real and raw. It wasn't a love from the very first sight, but it was a slow process of building trust, learning to be patient and trying to see each other for what they were. Their relationship perfectly captured the innocence of first love with all its doubts, pain and new feelings.

Apart from telling the love story, Tiger Lily subtly touched very serious topics that have place in our world, too.
“It’s not for you to judge someone else,” Phillip said. “Judging isn’t what God created us to do.”
“But you judge Tik Tok for wearing dresses,” Tiger Lily said. “You don’t think God created him to dress like a woman.”
Phillip looked sad. “We all have roles, Tiger Lily. You are a woman and you have a role. I as a man have a role. We all have to be the best we can be at the roles we have. We can’t decide to switch. I feel sad for Tik Tok’s confusion, but I know he will find his way.”

No one in the tribe cared what Tiger Lily's father — Tik Tok — looked like, until the first Englander arrived. But being saved by a girl, Phillip wasn't all that grateful. Instead of accepting the way the tribe lived, he decided not to do as the Romans do, when in Rome, by slowly sharing (and sometimes it felt as obtrusion) his beliefs and creed with the tribe. I really loved how the theme of being who you are no matter what people say and having your own beliefs and principles was executed.

The book is mostly character-driven and is focused more on character development, not action. Unlike in the original story, the pirates weren't the central element of Tiger Lily, but it still showed them from the interesting point of view. I'd love to read more about them. I also loved reading about Tiger Lily's friend Pine Sap that was always there for her and her brave friend Moon Eye.

This is a love story, but not like any you've heard. Within a really small amount of pages Tiger Lily manages to cause a storm of emotions: from joy to toska. It's the brilliantly written novel that everyone has to experience on their own. It is a love story, but it's also a story of devotion, choices and the hearts that can't be tamed.
Profile Image for lauren ❀.
282 reviews420 followers
April 11, 2022
Somehow this hurt more this time around than the first time I read it. Maybe because I knew what was going to happen (but I also did forget a lot of the sad things that happened). My heart hurts and I haven’t stopped thinking about this book since I finished reading it. This still remains one of my favourite books of all time!

“Still, the longer I was around her, the more I could see the colors of her mind and the recesses of her heart. 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.”

I'm speechless...I can't even comprehend it. Before you skip this review or look past it I want to say read this book. It is truly wonderful in so many ways. There are three words I would use to describe this book which is that this book is dark, sad and beautiful. It was so perfect that writing a review for it is so hard. I can't remember the last time I stayed up late to read a book. I couldn't put this book down. I kept thinking about it when I wasn't reading. I flew through it even though it wasn't that long. I finish this book at night and I couldn't sleep because I keep thinking of it. It is unforgettable.

The entire plot intrigued me. I always add books to my to-read list without much thought. I remember six months ago I saw this book in a store and I saw a couple of people reading it on Goodreads. It wasn't until I heard a song and it reminded me of Peter Pan. The first thing my mind went to was this book so I read the blurb…

and I was hooked.

I knew I needed to have it in my hands and so after almost two months of this book not slipping my mind and me constantly only wanting to read this book, I finally read it. And now that I've read it I'm lost for words. I can't even describe how beautiful it is. The writing was amazing. I was on my kindle reading it and I've never highlighted so many quotes in a book. Just please read it. It will give you a completely different perspective to the whole original Peter Pan story and you'll find so many things now make sense.

This isn't like every other retelling where it would either take the idea of a fairytale and changed the setting, the names and a bunch of other things. No the book Tiger Lily was different. It was similar to the original in the fact that characters were the same, setting and the motives of the characters. It was similar yet so different in so many ways. It takes a happy fairy tale and it turns it into something so dark.

The writing was fantastic. It was so hauntingly beautiful. The narrator is Tinkerbell and I don't think anyone could have chosen a better narrator. Tinker Bell was able in a way to read people's thoughts which was how she was able to tell the story. I remember disliking Tinkerbell in the original story but now I love her. The fact it is was writing from her perspective made the story so...so different. I'm not sure what the word is. Also, it wasn't like she just told the story, no, she added something extra to it.

I loved Tiger Lily and her lack of emotion didn't seem to bother me. I loved how Tinkerbell stayed with Tiger Lily the whole time. She tried to help her and despite Tiger Lily not paying attention it still was something I enjoyed. It saddened me how lonely Tiger Lily is. She didn't have many people and who she did have she lost. Throughout the entire book, I feel so bad for her. She deserved so much more.

Peter Pan has always been my favourite character in the original story but here he wasn’t as likable. I think he fell in love with Tiger Lily too quickly but I still liked their relationship.

The role switched. I used to like Wendy and hate Tinkerbell but in this book Wendy was written in a way that many people would hate her. She wasn't a mean person but seeing her from a different perspective makes you hate her and see her in a different way.

The entire book itself was so sad. It just made me so upset but it didn't depress me. I knew right before I started it would be sad and that it would not work out how I wanted. The ending wasn't tragic but it just wasn't how I wanted it. Despite it not ending the way I wanted, it still was an ending that fit perfectly and really sets the ending apart from every other book ending. The ending wasn’t how I wanted it yet it was still perfect. I think this ending is what makes this book amazing

“A faerie heart is different from a human heart. Human hearts are elastic. They have room for all sorts of passions, and they can break and heal and love again and again.”

I don’t think I’ll ever forget this. I know I say this many times but when I say I will always remember this book and it will haunt me for a long time I know it’s true. I can’t even describe my feelings. I’m writing this review a day after I read this and I’ve been thinking of it the whole day. This book is lovely and I want more people to read it. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like this before and I don’t think I ever will.

“To love someone was not what she had expected. It was like falling from somewhere high up and breaking in half, and only one person having the secret to the puzzle of putting her together.”
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,954 followers
September 12, 2012
Before. This is the before. Before the infamous Wendy, there was Tiger Lily. This is her story.

3.5 stars. Expect the unexpected. This is not Peter Pan as you know it. This is Tiger Lily as seen through the eyes of Tinker Bell.

At first, I wasn't sure what to make of a story being told about one person while using the voice of another person (okay, little flying pixie bug thingamajig). It took me several chapters to warm up to the style of writing. I couldn't get past the fact that Tink was flying around and following Tiger Lily, simply describing the daily events as they unfolded.

The writing style was intricate, if a bit too contemplative. Fans of books such as Shiver will appreciate the concept of Tiger Lily. Subtlety through world and character description is the strength of writing here. If you're looking for a swashbuckling romp, this book might not work for you. This story moves forward in a subtle wave, picking up details of the surroundings as it progresses. Charming phrases and insightful observations make for an almost lulling read at times, even when things become dark.

Adventure book this is not. While quiet and informative - often detailed and poetic - there was definitely nothing that would conjure up crazy mental images of pixie dust and nighttime flights. I do admit that I found myself wondering and waiting for the adventures of the Lost Boys and Hook's crew, which never really came into play the way I'd hoped.

If you understand this, you'll appreciate the book more. For some reason, my only picture of Tiger Lily is of a cartoon version with a scowl on her face. In this retelling, she is still a bit wary on the outside, but seen through Tink's eyes, she also has a lot of grit and heart.

My favorite characters were flipped on me. I have NEVER liked Tink in any version of Peter Pan that I've come across. She was so endearing in this book. I managed to fall in love with Tink and hate Wendy (I hope my friend Wendy Darling does not see this, it's nothing personal!). Oh man, I wanted to rip prissy little Wendy's curls right out of her head. I wanted to scream at Peter for being so enamored of her.

Tink's love for both Peter and Tiger Lily was heartbreakingly sweet to watch. One tiny little sprite loved and wanted a boy who couldn't love her back, so she did what she could to take care of both him and the girl that he loved.
I confess. I flew back to the burrow on secret, nightly visits. I watched Peter and the boys. I nestled behind Peter's ear one night while he slept. I lay on his chest and listened to him breathe. I wanted to be close to him and smell him and hear his heartbeat.

I wanted to be there, having my face touched, defeating a heart like Peter's, but the next best thing was seeing it for Tiger Lily.

I don't know how I feel about Peter being shown as a viable "man" conquest. His youthfulness in this tale was almost seen as a sweet aspect, in the way that an adolescent growing into himself is learning how to charm the ladies. For some reason, he came across as far more capable than how I'd pictured Peter in the past. Wendy was more of a mother to the other lost boys than she was to Peter. I guess the point was made that Peter was more of an equal in this book, especially with the direction that the story headed in.

Who should read this book? Anyone who appreciates a story where the strength is in the telling, not the showing. I admit that I generally prefer a book which has more "stuff" going on. I get restless, especially when we're several chapters in and nothing has happened other than one person's life being described, down to the every single side character in the village. This isn't normally the style of writing that I prefer. However, I think the journey won me over in the end. The last 25% of the book was beautiful to witness.

Would I read it again? Nah. Once was more than enough.
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone (on hiatus).
1,501 reviews201 followers
April 30, 2021
3.5 Stars


Well that was a sad and lovely reimagining of a beloved classic.

Peter Pan is a story that has so many layers to it with some quite complex characters. It was nice to see it written from Tinkerbell's point of view with Tiger Lily as the main character. Life before Wendy was difficult for Tiger Lily as she was torn between being herself and fulfilling the expectations of her father and the village. Unfortunately I feel like the blurb of this book gives away too much of the story so I pretty much knew how everything would unfold. Still an enjoyable reading experience about a true warrior.
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