Sage Collins's Reviews > Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
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Jan 24, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: borrowed, retelling, lgbt

Oh, man, I don't know how to review this one, but I feel like I should because I enjoyed it so much throughout.

First of all, the world and characters were just so well-developed. And I know, you're thinking, "but they're the world and characters from Peter Pan," but they are and they aren't. Just starting off with the world-building within Tiger Liiy's tribe was beautiful. I fell in love with the characters within her tribe, Tik Tok, Pine Sap, Moon Eye, and of course Tiger Lily herself. The pirates (well, Hook and Smee) are always well-developed, though I think the Lost Boys might have been a little less so.

For those who are Pan purists, you probably won't like the romance. While I took it thoroughly as Peter "playing house" with Tiger Lily ("and you'll be my wife"), he does kiss her, and we're not talking thimbles here. I did feel like he could be a little more heartless, and yet so many of his actions come across as heartless anyway, and Tink (who is the narrator and can read emotions and thoughts from time to time) explains how he could simultaneously want to be with Tiger Lily and yet be heartless enough to act the way he does around her near the end.

Everything's a little off from the Neverland you know, but for me this was a good thing. Some fantasy things are explained away (the boys don't fly, Hook didn't lose his hand to a crocodile), and yet there is still enough fantasy to make it magical (at a certain point, people stop aging, there are mermaids and fairies). And yet, here comes a little bit of tragic history as well. One of the most surprising things for me was when the Englander that Tiger Lily saves in the beginning--something you feel like cheering for at first, thinking this is a triumph on her part--begins a depressing reality for the tribe. He teaches them Christianity and how to be "civilized." One of the most heart-breaking parts is when he convinces the tribe that Tik Tok, Tiger Lily's dress-wearing male guardian and shaman of the tribe, should be wearing trousers.

There's a lot of heartbreak in the novel, and for a world where people stop aging, there's a whole lot of growing up, but the hopeful note at the end of the novel was exactly where I hoped it would end for Tiger Lily, and the combination was perfect for me.

Recommended for fans of: retellings, Tiger Lily, Tinkerbell, Peter Pan (but not purists), fantasy tribes, pirates, excellent world-building and characterization, stories that break your heart with a little bit of hope at the end, cross-dressing characters who are (at least for a while) comfortable in their own skin, crocodiles and clocks.
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Reading Progress

January 24, 2014 – Started Reading
January 24, 2014 – Shelved
January 24, 2014 – Shelved as: borrowed
January 24, 2014 – Shelved as: retelling
January 24, 2014 –
page 13
4.45% "Strong start so far, but I've been fooled by a lot of strong starts lately. Still, I'm hopeful."
January 31, 2014 –
page 158
54.11% "Still loving this, but I just haven't had time to read for a while"
February 1, 2014 –
page 232
79.45% "So depressed about the tribe"
February 1, 2014 – Finished Reading
February 7, 2014 – Shelved as: lgbt

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