Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger LilyBefore 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. (Goodreads)

How do I put this wonderful book into words?

You know the story of Peter, Wendy, Tink and The Lost boys. You’ve imagined Neverland, Captain Hook and the beautiful mermaids bathing in the coves.

Peter Pan Disney

But do you remember Tiger Lily?

Pan and Tiger Lily

Before reading this book, the only vision I had of the story was from Disney, as I’ve never read JM Barrie’s original (travesty!).This novel takes the story we all know and tells it in a different way. We meet Peter before Wendy comes into the picture; we see his friendship with Tiger Lily begin with trepidation and curiosity and watch it blossom into something strange and raw, awkward and intimate all at once, all told from the perspective of the one who silently watched it all: Tinkerbell.

Anderson introduces us to Tink without whimsy and pixie dust, but with the sincerity of an old friend. Her devotion and love for Tiger Lily is evident and it instantly endeared her to me. She was the perfect person to tell the story,

Tiger Lily has been raised by the Shaman of her tribe, a respectable position, and yet she’s not quite like the others. She’s stronger and rough around the edges, less emotional, more earnest for her independence. She loves her father and is devastated when she finds that she is betrothed to a man she doesn’t love. She seeks refuge from the pain of her impending nuptials in the forest (jungle?) and it is here she happens upon the elusive Peter Pan, the dangerous, legendary boy she’s been told to fear.

Their relationship isn’t ultra-romantic, but there is a strange quality to it that pulls you in and leaves you hungry for more. The turmoil raging through Tiger Lily over the life she wants and the duties she must fulfill are left behind when she is with Peter, who is nothing more than a boy, fun and immature and engrossed in Tiger Lily in an all-consuming way. And while we know it doesn’t work out, we know the story hasn’t been re-written, it’s still so bittersweet when it all comes to an end.

Crush Intensity: 4.5/5 This was a good story that, while it wasn’t light-hearted, was somehow still magical.