Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Beautifully-written and original take on the Peter Pan story, told by Tink and centring on Tiger Lily. We loved this re-interpretation of a favourite but traditionalists might have problems.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: October 2013
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 140833044X

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Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with a feather in her hair...

Tiger Lily tells the story of Neverland after Peter Pan arrived but before Wendy came. Our narrator is Tink, the silent, sometimes jealous, fairy. And our heroine is Tiger Lily, the native girl who is strange even to her fellow villagers. Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories but when she meets Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland, her heart burns with a fire she had never expected. But how can she love Peter when it's a terrible secret that she has even met him? When she's promised in marriage to someone else? When Tik Tok, her shaman father, would forbid it?

Tink watches the blossoming love between Peter and Tiger Lily. And she also watches danger creeping around from every side. And all the while, she loves Peter herself...

Ok. This book is going to need some careful contextualising! I'm giving Tiger Lily four Bookbag stars because I really liked it. And by really liked, I mean that it has subtle worldbuilding, a thoughtful, languorous pace, beautiful descriptive passages, lots of witty detail and some interesting playing around with narrative points of view. Tiger Lily is a book for the bookish reader who loves words and enjoys patience in storytelling. I'm one of those.

However, it is based on one of the most beloved children's books in the English language. And it does take some liberties with the original. Mostly, that Peter and Tiger Lily are set up in YA romance terms. They snog and everything! But also that Tink the jealous fairy is very sympathetic. And that Wendy is presented as merely a cipher: a Silly Girl pitted against Tiger Lily who, as a Strong Girl, is clearly Much Better. These things may irritate lovers of the original and I outline them as a warning to those who'd see them as disrespect.

I don't mind the liberties but I am becoming increasingly irritated by Strong Girl characters. Not all girls are sugar and spice and everything nice but there are more alternatives than the equally two-dimensional kick-ass Strong Girls we're being given.

If these issues aren't a worry for you, then there's much to enjoy in Tiger Lily. It's beautifully written and truly absorbing to read. The supporting cast is wonderful too - I defy you not to love the cross-dressing Tik Tok and the kindly Pine Sap or to gnash your teeth and Philip, the crashingly obnoxious Englishman. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Everybody should read the original story. You might also enjoy The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi or The Lost Island of Tamarind by Nadia Aguiar.

Buy Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson at Amazon.com.


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