Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn AndersonMonday, January 19, 2015
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published by: HarperCollins
Tiger Lily lives in Neverland. When the people in her tribe experience a profound life event they stop aging. When an Englishman is washed ashore, the tribe is scared that helping him will undo the Neverland curse and age them. Tiger Lily, unafraid, goes to his rescue and cements her pariah status within the tribe. When Tiger Lily meets the lost boys and the infamous Peter Pan she falls in love. She and Peter are both brave, stubborn, and immensely lonely. When the village decides that Tiger Lily must marry Giant, she must decide what is more important for her: her love for Peter, however imperfect, or her loyalty and duty to a tribe that doesn't understand her.
This book is completely different and refreshing. I went in not knowing even the basic premise, which I'm glad because if I knew it was a Peter Pan prequel I probably wouldn't have picked it up.
The book is told entirely from Tinker Bell's point of view. This is great because we are privy to characters we wouldn't have been if it was told from Tiger Lily's point. It also adds a personal touch because Tinker Bell cannot tell us everything. She sleeps, she comes and goes, but her lapses in the timeline don't matter so much because it's told in a deeply personal way.
This book is also different from a typical YA. It deals with the idea of loving different people in different times in their lives. Sometimes, for whatever reason, you will not be able to fix it all out. What you thought was going to be your happily ever after - changes. But it doesn't make it any less happy. Less fulfilling.
It also deals with gender identity and this idea of "educating" "lower" cultures. I liked that Tik Tok, Tiger Lily's father, is explained as being gender fluid. This idea is actually more common in other cultures. And the repercussions of the Englishman teaching the tribe what is "right" and "wrong" is heart-crushing in a major way.
I'm glad that this was the first book I read in 2015. It was a great way to start the year and I hope it's an omen of more good reads to come.
If you want to read a hauntingly, beautiful, anti-romantic love story give Tiger Lily a go. You won't regret it.
I giveit 5 out of 5 cateyes.