Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: Harper Teen
Format: Hardcover, 292 pages
Published: July 3rd 2012
(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)
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.
This is the second Peter Pan retelling I’ve read. The first was The Child Thief by Brom – the darkest book I have ever read in my life. This one, in comparison, is much more mellow, although still dark. The story is told from the point of view of Tinker bell. When I first heard this, I remember thinking that Tink would be the protagonist, but that’s not the case at all. Tinker bell is more like an omnipresent narrator. The story centers around Tiger Lily.
“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.” -Tinker Bell
- I loved Tiger Lily as the protagonist. She’s unlike any other main character I’ve encountered; she’s completely independent and strong-minded, she has a sort of quite strength that you can’t help but admire. She refuses to fit into any type of role or expectation the people of her village set upon her, and this leads her to becoming a sort of outcast. Tiger Lily isn’t completely alone as she has her adoptive father, Tik Tok and the small, often-bullied Pine Sap -her only friend- (these two are other characters I absolutely adored) but she often feels lonely and out of place. And that’s how she gravitates toward Peter Pan…they are both wild and a bit untameable, they’re also both fearless and immensely skilled. They are a match for each other. I loved the way he was depicted in this book; how he was fickle-minded and absent at times, how captivating and charming he is, as well as how dark and twisted he can be.
- This story is a sort of prequel to the Peter Pan story we all know, so we get to see the relationship between Tiger Lily and the lost boys grow and develop into something deeper, we get to see her and Peter form a sort of bond, we get to experience all her heartbreaks and delights. All through Tinker Bell’s eyes.
- The book is atmospheric and every bit as magical and mysterious as you would expect Neverland to be. Hook and his crew of pirates are a part of this story as well. Hook is depicted as a sad, old man whose life has been consumed by his obsession of youth and immortality. There isn’t an all-evil villain in this story; the characters are very complex and even the main characters are morally gray, which I enjoyed.
- Throughout the story, there is a sort of melancholy and forlorn feel. Maybe it’s because the story is being told from Tink’s point of view…Tinker Bell is mute (as fairies are mute in this world) and she is ignored like all the time, she’s almost invisible to everyone. And since she cares so much about Tiger Lily and the boys, it was heart-breaking to witness her longing for attention and acknowledgment. She observes everything and knows so much about those around her, but she is unable to warn or confront the ones she cares about, she is also unable to experience the things that they have that she longs for. My heart really broke for her. On the bright side, though, I loved her relationship with Tiger Lily. They don’t talk to each other and Tiger Lily doesn’t acknowledge Tink, but you can feel how much they care about each other regardless. Even Tink’s relationship with Peter was cute to witness. He doesn’t give her much attention as he is very flighty, but the few times he does are gold. Also, I have a feeling Peter understands her more than anyone else.
- One of the things I greatly enjoyed about this book was the message of being yourself no matter the opposition you face. Tiger Lily is obviously an example of that, but so is her adoptive father. Tik Tok is one of the most lovable characters in this book; he is caring and so gentle, his relationship with his daughter, Tiger Lily, is heart-warming. Although not explicitly stated, he is “Two Spirit“: a culturally exclusive term used by Indigenous North Americans to describe individuals who fulfill gender roles that of both males and females. The subject of self acceptance and it’s effect on happiness is largely explored through him. There are also other elements explored that made this a solid read for me. For example, at some point, white settlers appear and disrupt the religion and beliefs of Tiger Lily’s people, which reflects the historically correct instances where Native American culture (and other cultures) were disrupted by western culture.
This was an amazing book that destroyed me in so many ways but somehow left me hopeful by the end. I teared up towards the end (and you probably will, too). Overall, if you don’t mind dark elements in your book, then you should go ahead and read it!