Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson

There are books that will change you after you finish them. They will take a part of you and keep it, but also give you a new part instead, once you probably hadn't even considered. This book is a shining example of this, but in such an exhilarating way.

 

When I first came upon this one I read some of the Goodreads reviews to get a taste of what people thought about it, and many I think complained about how it was different from the original tale and that's why they didn't like it, the fact that Anderson changed so many things. For this reason I probably wouldn't recommend it to fans who are painstakingly loyal to the original stories and would find it difficult to open up to another version of the story, because this one takes very few of the original story's aspects, the majority being the original creation of the author.

 

It's a bittersweet tale, one that shows pain and loss and what it mans to exist in a big world, even if you're living in a "fantasy" place such as Neverland. It tells a story of a girl who very few people noticed in the original story and movie. Many of those who read this book, I noticed, also strongly disliked Wendy, yet I disagree. Wendy was that whirlwind I expected to come into the story and, for lack of a better phrase, wreck everything. It was her role, and in a sense that was somewhat the way she was in the original, I think, since she came between Tink and Peter. And as I watched Peter and Tiger Lily falling apart in several ways it felt logical, and in a way it was right, the way they had taken so much from each other and given so much and loved and lost, it was a relationship that transcended the fairy tale setting and could easily apply to the real world. Peter's character was, I think, spectacularly written. He had both that boyish streak of adventure as well as that potentially mature side that loved Tiger Lily, one that eventually ended up loving Wendy and making the ultimate choice that he did. The Englanders were another part that were a strong message, the way Phillip was trying to tell the Indians about God and the tole it took on Tik Tok. Smee, Hook, the Lost Boys, the way that they got to the island, all of these things are changed, and the story is much more mature and dark. It's what I'd imagine Berry to have written if he lived in the 21st century and wanted to make his story appeal more to teenagers or "new adults".

 

I was captivated, truly, and hardly put it down over the course of reading it. The narrative by Tink is, perhaps, the only downside, as at times I still felt it was slightly implausible of why she was watching Tiger Lily in the first place, but I guess it's one aspect the reader should just go along with. Otherwise, I'm surprised there isn't as much publicity or talk about this book, for it truly is a new level of storytelling, retelling, and YA fiction. Don't expect this to go along with the original and only have a few tweaks, because then you'll be raging and complaining. Appreciate it for what it is, for the dark beauty Anderson showed that many perhaps didn't consider in the tale of Peter and Wendy, and the quiet wallflower that is Tiger Lily.