REVIEW #141: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Title: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Pages: 292, Hardcover
Source: Library

Tinkerbell narrates the magical, bittersweet love story between Tiger Lily and Peter Pan. Tiger Lily has never been truly accepted by her tribe, and now the elders have decreed marriage to a man she doesn’t love. She spends more and more time alone in the woods, where she meets wild, fearless Peter Pan, leader of the Lost Boys.

Tiger Lily is intoxicated by the freedom she feels with Peter, and falls under his spell. Their love is all-consuming, and she risks everything to be with him.

Then Wendy Darling arrives in Neverland.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started Tiger Lily. For me, this was one of those books that I picked up on reputation alone. I only new that it was a retelling of Peter Pan's first love, but that's it. Suffice it to say, I was blown away. I completely and utterly LOVED IT. 

Tiger Lily had me from hello:
"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, this is not the case."
I guess I can't say I wasn't warned but still this book took me for a ride. It was heartwrenching-ly good. I tend to love the books with both happy and sad in them because they feel the most real. This book had a lot of sad but there were moments of unconditional love and joy interspersed. It was just a beautiful story. 

I think the synopsis does a fair job summarizing but fails to capture the full depth of this story and all of the emotion within it. Like how Tiger Lily is feared and avoided, except for her one friend Pine Sap, whose about as much of an outcast as she is. Pine Sap is gentle and patient and what they share is comfortable and sweet. Or how her soon-to-be husband is repulsive and commanding, but Tiger Lily meekly obeys because there is not much else she can do. She was promised to him and she keeps her word. Then theres the Englander whom she saves before he becomes an influence in the village and he costs her the person she loves most. There is so much to this story. So much heartbreak. And yet amidst it all she finds love with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. But loyalty ties her to her village and she struggles to make a choice. 

I was in absolute awe of Tiger Lily. She was so strong and yet at the same time totally vulnerable.  She was a girl of few words but everything she did had such meaning to it. She amazed me. 

And I loved the world. It was so imaginative and wonderful but a bit strange and dark too. I couldn't get enough. 

I have not read any Peter Pan stories before Tiger Lily. I have only watched the movie Peter Pan as a child and it's probably safe to say that I don't remember every detail. I'm not sure if my distance from the fairy tale worked in my favor or not but I didn't mind it this way. Without a strong baseline for which to compare the story to I couldn't be disappointed. Rather, I found myself pleasantly surprised by what I did remember and the connections that were made. I loved our glimpse at Captain Hook, and learning how the clock got in the alligator's belly. I loved the story of Wendy and Tinker Bell. Every detail that reminded me of this childhood favorite made me happy. 

I can't say it enough, I was swept away from the very first page. Every moment fascinated me. The writing was beautiful. The story was beautiful. The world was beautiful. THIS BOOK WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL. Sad, but (wait for it), simply beautiful. 



  1. Yes!!! Wasn't this so beautiful!? I loved how this was so much more than a retelling. I totally fell in love with it and I don't even like Peter Pan. JLA did such a great job with this and the writing was just GORGEOUS.

    1. SO BEAUTIFUL! Gosh I really really loved this one. I agree - so much more than a retelling. Just perfect.

  2. With your high praise of how beautiful this book was I will have to read it. I love a story as well that shows the ups and downs and not just the ups. I too only have the background of the old Disney Peter Pan that I have not watched in forever, well that and the movie Hook. lol So it is good to know that you enjoyed it with little background. I've heard some other good things about this book too so I think it is time I get a copy from the library the next time I go. Great review!

    1. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES. :) I think you will like it Kay *crosses fingers*. I think going in with little background set me up to be pleasantly surprised. I just LOVED IT. Although, there are probably more downs than ups. Just FYI :)

  3. I love that beginning that you quoted and after your rave review all I can say is...SOLD! I never realised this book had a Peter Pan connection. Anyway on my wishlist now and hopefully I'll get to it soon.

    BookishTrish @ Between the Lines

    1. YES! Glad I could convince you! I hope you love it!!!!!!!!!

  4. I couldn't agree more. I love how this book had a happy yet sad ending. The characters were all spectacular and I loved how they all changed from beginning to end. I feel so bad for Tiger Lily and Peter Pan was kind of a jerk in this book lol.. Tinker Bell was def. different in this book. I like her soft side. I've only watched Peter Pan too and have not read the book. She was a bit sassy in the movie, wasn't she? so reading a different side of Tinker Bell was enjoyable. This book is definitely beautifully written and I'll probably re-read it when I'm old or something. Awesome review & I'm a new follower of yours.

    Little Book Star

    1. I know! Peter Pan was childish but I really liked Tinker Bell! She was totally sassy in the movie hah. The ending was beautiful. THIS BOOK WAS BEAUTIFUL. I can def see this as a reread too! I just loved it.

  5. SOLD! Nicole, I need this book now. I had always seen this book around, but it wasn't until now that I actually really stopped to read the synopsis! This definitely sounds like it's up my alley and I'm really glad you loved it! Definitely picking this up soon!

    Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

    1. YAYAY! I can't wait for you to read it! I hope you love it!!

  6. I LOVE THIS BOOK. I can't say it enough, but it's definitely one of my favorites. It's just so sad and beautiful and gorgeous and.. and <3


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