Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson


Title: Tiger Lily

Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson 

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Neverland, all you’d have to do is pick up a copy of Tiger Lily and immerse yourself in the rich world of pirates, natives, faeries, and the lost boys that Anderson has created so vividly. In many ways, reading Tiger Lily is much like being sprinkled with faerie dust yourself – magical, unbelievable, and emotionally touching. I’ll admit that I only picked up this novel because of its beautiful cover – honestly, how do you resist that? – but I found that it was so much more than its synopsis gave it credit for. There have been more than a fair share of mis-marketed novels over the past few years, and although Tiger Lily had the necessary components to thrill most of the blogging community, I originally thought of it as being just another cheesy fairytale love story. I have never been more glad to admit that I was wrong – very much so.

Tiger Lily, the adopted daughter of Tik-Tok, the shaman in the Sky Eaters tribe, is one of the loneliest girls in the world. She has had a reputation of being cursed precede her as she has grown up and struggles to fit in with the tribe that shuns her. Furthermore, she is forced to marry Giant, a brute who mistreats her at every opportunity, against her will. Thus, when Tiger Lily stumbles upon Peter Pan and the Lost Boys one fateful day in the forest, she cannot help but be drawn to this boy who seems to be almost as lonely as she is. Yet, as Tiger Lily will soon find out, first love isn’t all romantic and beautiful as it may seem – it is filled with pain, anger, betrayal, loss and, most importantly, dark change.  

Tiger Lily is narrated from Tinker Bell’s point of view – a perspective which I found not only added creativity to this original tale, but also shedded a relatively unbiased light on this story. Furthermore, Tink has access to more than simply Tiger Lily’s side of this tale, making it a multi-faceted romance. Her narration is well-paced, entertaining, and emotionally poignant. I never expected a novel about Neverland to be so dark, painfully sad, or heart-wrenching, but it was. In many ways, that only made me love it even more. We are told from the start that this isn’t a happy love story, yet Anderson writes in such a way that we hope against all hope that Tiger Lily and Peter can still be together. I found that their romance was displayed to us in such a way that we saw it evolve into something deeper, but we also saw the cracks in it.

That, more than anything else, is why I loved this story so much. If this novel were told from Tiger Lily’s POV, I’m sure we would have gotten an extremely biased interpretation of her relationship with Peter. However, with Tink as the narrator, we are able to see just how imperfect these two are and while we cannot help but love their romance, we are able to analyze and see it falling apart too. In many ways, Tiger Lily is a novel about first love, but it is also a novel about hope for future loves as well. While it explores the maniac, crazy, and often hormonal madness of a first love, it also presents us with a bittersweet lesson of what it means to truly love, live, and move on. I admired Anderson for her realistic ending and although many readers may be saddened by it, I found myself liking it all the more for its truth.

Tiger Lily and Peter’s romance aside, I found that I was surprised by the many other themes in this story as well. For one, I found that the villains we are familiar with such as Captain Hook and Smee are truly explored in depth. We are given insight into what makes them the way they are and are able to understand them better for it. Furthermore, this novel revolves around change, not only in Tiger Lily, but within her village as well. It gives us a closer look into how ideals such as Christianity were spread into Native American tribes and enables us to see just how judgmental our world is compared to the more primitive times. In addition, I found the suicide in this novel to be most heart-breaking. I think it was the one aspect of this story that brought tears to my eyes and I thoroughly sympathized with Tiger Lily’s tough situation. I think it was handled very gracefully as well in the story and its impact on Tiger Lily was especially well developed.

All in all, I found Tiger Lily to be unexpected. While I was expecting a cute romance, I instead found a deep, provocative, and thoughtful tale. I loved seeing this story from Anderson’s new perspective and it has renewed in me a greater love of the world J.M. Barrie originally created. Moreover, I admired Anderson’s writing skill in displaying each character’s strengths, weaknesses, and changes throughout the ordeals she put them through. I’ve fallen in love with this story – its realistic quality, its morals, and its characters. While its ending may not have been quite what readers may have wanted, it remains true to the world as we know it, proving that life goes on and continues in the most bittersweet of ways. 

22 comments:

outRageous.pages said...

Very well-written and thoughtful review.
I want to pick this one up as well. I'm a new follower and it would be awesome if you could follow me back.
http://ragieous.blogspot.com

YA Anonymous said...

I want to go to Neverland! Fantastic review, Keertana. :)

-Maggie

Sel said...

Bittersweet endings often make me tear up, I think I might just cry when I read this :'(

Lovely review!

Staying tuned ;) Would love to see you around at my blog some time too! (Mystorywithyouandher.blogspot.com)

Keertana said...

Thanks! I hope you enjoy this novel as well!(:

Keertana said...

Thanks Maggie! I can't wait to see what you think of this one! :D

Keertana said...

Thanks Sel! ;) I definitely teared up while reading this novel, so I'd keep a box of tissues handy. It was very emotionally gripping, but that only made it all the more better!(: I'd love to visit your blog as well Sel, so thanks for stopping by mine! :D

Sam said...

I hear nothing but good things about this book and cant wait to get stuck into my copy! I love that it's told from Tinkerbell's point of view. I'm eager to see how that works out. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Keertana! Lovely review. :)

Keertana said...

Thanks Sam!(: I can't wait to see what you think of it! I'll definitely be keeping my eyes out for your review of this one and I hope you enjoy Tinker Bell's narration! :D

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

Hi Keertana! I can't believe I haven't met you before since you follow all of my good friend's blogs! I reviewed this before my vacation a couple of weeks ago and I loved it, so poignant and heartbreaking and beautiful. I know some people don't like the heartahce but I did. It is complex, well written and one of those books that will stick with me!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Awesome review! I am quite curious about this one. I love endings that are realistic, even if they are bittersweet. I like that Tink is narrating the book. What a unique way of showing the whole story.

-lauren

ravenousbiblioworm said...

Excellant review. I have put it on my TBR list. Honestly, I was avoiding this book like the plague. I for one don't have any care for Peter Pan/Neverland books. As a child, Neverland and Peter Pan weren't my thing. I'm just not interested in it. But after reading this, I want to now because it seems to be very much a book about character which I love in books.

Heather Topham Wood said...

Great review! Been hearing a ton about this book. New follower (Heather's Book Chatter http://authorheather.com)

Keertana said...

Hi Heidi! I know, I can't believe we haven't spoken before either! Like you, I really enjoyed the heartache as well and thought it was very realistically portrayed. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book too and I'll have to check out your review of it sometime! ;) Thanks for stopping by my blog!(:

Keertana said...

Thanks Lauren!(: I think you'll really enjoy this one, so I can't wait to see what you think of it! I loved the fact that Tink was the narrator as well - it was an extremely creative writing maneuver! :D

Keertana said...

Thanks Ravenous! I was avoiding this book before I started seeing some of the gushing reviews and then I just knew I had to pick it up. I can't wait to see what you think of it and I think you'll enjoy it because it is such a character driven novel. =D

Keertana said...

Thanks Heather! I can't wait to see what you think of this book yourself!(:

April (BooksandWine) said...

I like your analysis of Tink as narrator. I think she provides an interesting perspective, but I also think she may be a bit biased in her admitted love of Peter and Tiger Lily, yet she does present them with their faults quite well.

I loved Tiger Lily and am glad to see that you did as well. :-)

Keertana said...

Thanks April!(: I do agree that Tink is ever-so-slightly biased towards Peter and Tiger Lily (hence the reason we are able to hate Wendy so easily), but I still thought her narration was remarkable. Thanks for stopping by my blog! :D

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

Isa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isa said...

Your mention of faerie dust was the push I needed to get this book. I didn't know that it was narrated from Tinker Bell’s POV, that's refreshing. I also didn't know that it would have so much dark undertones. I also didn't know that this is not a happy love story. The times I saw this book I bypassed it, I only admired the cover. Then I read a raving review that knocked my misunderstandings away and I stumble upon this review and I feel like I need this book in my life. It sounds beautiful and heart wrenching yet I'm still not sure what to expect from it.

I made the mistake of accidentally replying to your comment. *clumsy* ><
Isa @ Chasing Quills

nerdybookreviews said...

You read so many books that I just suddenly find you've read them and then click to your review. It's crazy. I don't know how you read and review soooo much!

Still, I've heard mixed opinions on this book, but it's nice to see you giving a high rating. I always think you give lots of 3/3.5 stars, so the ones that surpass those.

I love the idea of this book and Tinker Bell happened to be one of my favourite Disney characters, so I'll definitely think more serious about picking up this book! :)