Tiger Lily – Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily – Jodi Lynn AndersonTitle: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publishing Info: July 3, 2012 by HarperCollins
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 29, 2012

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


Wow. Simply put, wow. I haven’t felt so many things from a book in a long time, and if I hadn’t seen the reviews from my friends and fellow bloggers, I never would have expected it to come from Tiger Lily. Peter Pan was never one of my favorite fairy tales. I had nothing against it, but I was much more captivated by several other Disney movies. I never expected to be quite so wowed by the story of one of the supporting characters, and one I had never been interested in.

I absolutely loved how natural the book felt. I was totally immersed in Tiger Lily’s tribe, the Sky Eaters, and their ways of life. Everything seemed to perfect, harmonic, and peaceful. Tiger Lily was quite the opposite of what I expected her to be too. In Peter Pan, I kind of figured her for a brat (Tink too, for that matter) and here we see a very strong girl yet also made strong from being an outcast in her own tribe. Maybe that’s why she ended up falling for Peter.

Peter’s story is more or less what we know from the Disney version, except that everything on Neverland (with the exception of the mermaids and faeries) is more realistic and less magical – and that’s something I really enjoyed about the story. I felt like it was a real story and I felt much more connected to it because of that realism.

Then the story takes a much more series turn — and one I never expected or even expected to be so moved by once we were led there — as we follow Phillip and how he beings to seriously affect the Sky Eaters and their core beliefs and ways of life. I was incredibly moved by Tik Tok, which was something I didn’t expect either. Like Tiger Lily, he has his eccentricities, although they are quite different than hers (he’s quite feminine, down to long hair and wearing dresses – yes, cross dressing. It’s true), and — mild spoiler alert — the tribe just never really cares or questions it… until Phillip arrives, preaching about God and the English ways and the way things are supposed  to be. I was quite shocked and found myself deeply troubled by the almost mob mentality that quickly came over the tribe and felt so saddened by it. I don’t want to give things away, but it was quite a surprising topic and I was very surprised at how involved I felt in it.

Then we have the romance between Peter and Tiger Lily. And Tink. And Wendy. Oh the stubbornness, the heartbreak, the conflict. It was all beautifullly and elegantly narrated and I found myself fully engrossed in this book.

My review really doesn’t do it justice at all. I’d really recommend you just go out and read it for yourself! I understand all of the reviews I’ve seen out there now and after finishing, I only want to do two things: First, go back and read other people’s reviews. Let me tell you that you can’t fully appreciate them until you’ve read the book. And second, go buy my own copy of the book. This one was a library copy and usually I’m happy just reading and returning to the library, but this one I want to keep this one with me — and maybe gently loan it out to other people so they can share in this magical story as well!


Tiger Lily: Wow, just so different than what I expected of her. She was strong, yet vulnerable in a way that no one else could ever know except for Tink. Her relationship with Peter Pan made me nervous because I was scared that right from the start it was destined to fail. I absolutely loved her courage, her bravado, her strength, and her way of life. It was such a joy to hear this side of the story.
Tinkerbell: A fantastic narrator for this story. It was so much better having Tink narrate because we got to see everything that was going on and then some. Tinkerbell being a faerie lets us flit about Neverland but still be connected to the story in a different way than a simple third person narrative would. Also we have a bit of her own story woven in to add that extra bit of oomph to the plot.
Peter Pan: Pretty much what I expected of Peter and it was quite interesting to see how his relationship differed between “all of his women”: Tiger Lily, Wendy, even Tinkerbell. It’s like things were so simplistic with Peter that even he didn’t know what he wanted or what he thought half of the time. It made for quite an interesting angle of the character connections.
Reginald Smee: Smee actually played quite a large role in the book – at least, a lot more than I thought he would. And quite the sinister side of his character instead of the typical lackey we think of him as.
Captain James Hook: Another interesting take on Capt Hook as well. He was much more… human, I guess. We got to see a little more of his backstory (and the “real” story behind the hook) and it really made him much more of a vivid character. I actually loved it!


Quotes taken from Goodreads.com — Criminey, I was way too involved in this book to stop and keep track.  

“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.”

“Sometimes love means not being able to bear seeing the one you love the way they are, when they’re not what you hoped for them.”

“You have to be careful who you meet. You can’t unmeet them.”



Wow, this book was just soooo good. I’m so impressed, I’m so in love, and I’m so going to recommend this one forever.

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Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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31 thoughts on “Tiger Lily – Jodi Lynn Anderson

  1. Melissa L. @ Novelty Podcast

    I love fairy tale re-tellings and I’ve been eye-ing this one! I loved what they did on Once Upon a Time for the Pan story ARC. I have yet to read anything, so I really want to read this and some others. Have you read any other Peter Pan re-tellings?

  2. Kaniesha @ Deux Lectrices

    Wonderful review! I have no idea why I thought this book was about werewolves. I think I might’ve mixed it up with something else.. but! Your review definitely has me psyched to read it. This is another of the books on my goodreads shelves that gets pushed back by all the new releases but I definitely am going to push it up on my list of going-to-read-soon.

  3. Ashley @ Ok, Let's Read

    Oh wow. I’ve seen this book in the stores a few times and it always grabs my attention, but I still have yet to get my hands on it! I’ve always LOVED Peter Pan. Everything Peter Pan is right up my alley. You review and rating make me want to read this 1000x more, though! Ahh! I would love to win this book from your birthday giveaway, but if I don’t win I’m positive I’ll end up buying this book on my own very soon. Fantastic review, Brittany! And, happy early birthday!

  4. Heidi

    I love that I can tell how much you loved this book from your enthusiastic review, Brittany. I would never have picked this one up either if it weren’t for so many wonderful reviews (and my book club). Unlike you, I DO have something against Peter Pan, it and Alice in Wonderland are the two children’s classics I really actively dislike, but I love how Anderson infused it with realism and emotion, and issues so much greater than we see in the original story. Lovely review!

  5. ocdreader

    Ok, I knew I needed to read this book, but I didn’t realize how much! Gotta get my hands on it, soon. Great review! 🙂

  6. trippingbooks

    Sigh. You know how I feel about Tiger Lily, and I’m so glad that you loved it just as much! You’re so right with the way the story and the world felt real and not as fantastical as Neverland is usually depicted in books and movies. I think that contributed to the emotional connection I felt to the characters, and especially to Tiger Lily and Peter. And I loved Tink as a narrator. I loved that it made her part of the story but not at the same time, as unable as she was to play a huge part in the action. I need to reread this one! But only when I’m in the mood to cry and be heartbroken by bittersweetness! Lovely review!

  7. Lucy

    I have Tiger Lily out from the library right now so I’ll be reading it soon. All the reviews including yours make it sound so amazing. And I’m impressed with the way the author put such a creative spin on the familiar Peter Pan story.

  8. Alyssa

    YES!!! I ADORED this book!! It is definitely the contendor for my number one read of 2012 so far (Days of Blood and Starlight is coming out soon though so let’s see!) I never really liked Peter Pan so I was surprised at how much I LOVED this novel. I also borrowed it from the library and it is already on my Christmas list!

    My heart broke into tiny pieces. The ending? The last three pages? I read them so many times I can’t even tell you all of the FEELINGS!!

    So glad you loved it too!

  9. vmcarswell

    When I found out this book was told from Tink’s POV, I knew I had to have this book! I have heard so many people rave about it and once I am done with my Halloween reads, this will be one of the first I will be reading. This review makes me even more excited about it!

  10. Ashley G

    Loved this review! I have always been a Peter Pan fan so I am dying to read this one. I heard mixed reviews about it so I’m glad to hear that you loved it!!

  11. Candice

    Yay! Yay! Yay! I’ll admit, Peter Pan is one of my FAVORITES from my childhood – I swear I watched the Disney movie so many times I have the whole thing memorized – so reading Tiger Lily was both comforting and heartbreaking. It moved me in ways I wasn’t expecting – I expected to be emotional, teary, weeping. But I wasn’t. It was like this hug, this deeper look into my childhood heroes and who they were besides the cheery characters on screen. And in the end when I probably should have been crying, I instead felt like someone had wrapped their arm around me and said “You see, not everything is happy in Neverland, but everything is right.”
    Annnnd… that was me writing a second review when I should be commenting on YOUR review! Which is great and heartfelt and I agree with you 100%! 🙂 Hope you get to buy your own copy soon!

  12. Maggie

    I have this one in my TBR pile so I just skimmed your review for now (I’ll come back I swear!) because I don’t want to get too excited since I can’t read it just yet. . .but a 5/5?! I guess I might need to bump this one up on my list!!!

    1. Brittany

      YES! It was so good! The writing was really beautiful and I think I’m starting to really get into retellings, especially fairy tails that put a more “real” spin on things!

  13. Quinn

    I have heard wonderful things about Tiger Lily, but I can’t decide if it is for me. I should give it a chance, though.

    I am not a huge Peter Pan fan myself. But I love the Peter and the Starcatchers series by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry. You should check them out. They are more middle grade, as opposed to YA, but they are very good. It is about how Peter Pan became the boy who never grew up. I particularly liked the audiobook version. They are narrated by Jim Dale (of HP fame!).

    Great review. I think I will have to look into Tiger Lily.

    1. Brittany

      Hahah exactly – Except for Star Wars. Those were horrible movies 😛
      But good, I’m glad it’s on your TBR list now! I hope you won’t be disappointed 🙂

  14. jen@ thebookienook

    Brittany, I haven’t read this one buy have heard amazing things. It’s been on my TBR list for a while. Definitely interested! I am like you in that Peter Pan never was one of my favorite stories, but I am definitely intrigued by this concept of the story.

    1. Brittany

      The writing is so beautiful and although I heard it was great, I was still really hesitant. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!

  15. tigerlilyrachel

    I’m glad you liked this book! I think it’s probably one of the best I’ve read this year. And your review not doing it justice? I totally know what you mean. I felt the same way. This book is so much more than anyone can ever say about it.

  16. Kelly

    I saw this book doing the rounds on blogs a few months ago, I think they were ARC reviews. I knew I wanted to read it as soon as I read the awesome reviews. Your review has just made me want to read it so much more! Definitely going on to my Amazon wish list 🙂


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