Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Straight On Til Morning: Tiger Lily Review

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 292
Keywords: fairytale, love, family
Format Read: library book
Book Depository | Goodreads
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.
This book isn't really about action or suspense or intense pillaging through Neverland. It is about people and grief and love, and it is about dealing with situations that are less than pleasant.

The story is told from Tink's point of view as she narrates Tiger Lily's life. Tiger Lily is an outcast, a different, dark-skinned, messy-haired girl who doesn't follow the rules and doesn't listen to what her town is telling her. She lives with Tik Tok, an old man in charge of medicines and healing in the village, and he also does the marriages and blessings in the town.

She steps up to save the Englishman that washes ashore, whom all the villagers are afraid of catching aging from. They don't want to get older as he is. They want to stay the ages they are in Neverland.
My heart broke for the way Tik Tok was treated by Phillip, the Englishman, once he recovered and began to change life in the village. He was forced to become something he wasn't, to mold to who the man wanted him to be, not who he truly was.

But what struck me most was the characterization of Tiger Lily. She was beautifully described and developed, and I have never loved a character in the Peter Pan story more than her (and Tink) at this point in the story. She was patient and silent, and when she finally found the Lost Boys, she didn't reject them like the village thought she should. She was caring and open and gave them a chance, and she found a home. Anderson's depiction of this process was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time because I knew what was coming. And I just wanted to help Tiger Lily because she felt so real to me.

If you're looking for a book filled with swashbuckling adventures and lots of action, this isn't it. This book is prosaic, beautiful, and thoughtful. It's about finding home when you don't think you have one, dealing with the consequences of pressure and religion and beliefs, and friendship and what it means to truly trust and love someone.

And it's got the most beautiful and wonderful and perfect dedication of all time. (Which, by the way, Epic Reads liked and commented on the Instagram post and I was trying super hard not to freak out as I fangirled)

And I'm going to end with some of the quotes that I loved from the book. Enjoy, and make sure to go out and get this book. Pure adoration.
"'Actually, I never get sad. It's a waste of time, don't you think?'
Tiger Lily didn't answer. She was impressed by the idea of deciding not to be sad. His words made him seem very strong. Impervious."
"I didn't know why she seemed so sad and happy at the same time. To love someone was not what she had expected. It was like falling from somewhere high up and breaking in half, and only one person having the secret to the puzzle of putting her back together."

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, bittersweet, surprising, sometimes dark, and haunting, Tiger Lily is a story that's going to stay with me for a long time to come. These characters grabbed hold of my heart and won't soon be forgotten.

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