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Early ARC Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson


my thoughts in a few sentences: What do you do when your heart is squeezed so tightly it breaks for characters whom you grew to love? Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson comes with a warning label right off—Tinker Bell warns there is a love story, “but not like any you’ve ever heard.” Do you know what it’s like to read a story about two dear characters whose outcome surprises you in the most ripping ways? Do you know what kind of shredding power first love has when it finishes but never ends? Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson is as bleak as if tomorrow won’t come, and as hopeful, tearing, and true as anything in life you see. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson rips out your heart and shows you just how fragile it is before carefully shutting it back inside.

hooking first line: "She stands on the cliffs, near the old crumbling stone house."

Harper Teen • Requested • Fairy Tale Retelling • 7/3/12 • $13.49



Tiger Lily
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
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.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.
That awful suffocating feeling in the chest
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. (3)
When you have to cry, sometimes it seems the tears are welling but they won’t slip over, and there’s this special kind of anguish that comes with it when you can’t purge, can’t breathe, because your heart, everything in your chest, is clogged with the feeling. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson clogs the passage to the heart that connects to your tear ducts—you’re trapped in this unbreakable anguish even though what’s thumping in your chest is breaking. It’s been breaking all along, bit by bit, as if someone has taken a potato peeler to it numerous times when you weren’t looking, but now you’re more aware of it than ever because it’s throbbing and bleeding. This story isn’t like Romeo and Juliet, where you can romanticize it and take comfort in that at least they’d known some kind of love—even if it’s the kind that makes you selfish, blind, and foolish—and that it was for each other.

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson is a thorny rose cradled in your hands—it’s so beautiful you almost forget to care about the tiny puncture wounds it’s dropping every second it stays with you. You may cry about how much it hurts later, but you’re secretly content it’ll leave scars behind, because it’ll serve as a reminder that you’d held something precious in a painful way that makes it all real, that jars the memory unlike anything else. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson is when you’re trapped in those few torturous minutes without air underwater before everything fades and goes dark and numb.

Why this feeling was so unexpected

I’d grown up watching the Disney movie Peter Pan like everyone else, but the tale of magic and wonder and of the boy who could fly with the help of a faerie didn’t quite do the job for me. Maybe it was the telling of it that kept me imprisoned in sheer boredom. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, by the telling of it, did what the movie couldn’t. It made me feel, made me conscious of the place where feelings come from like a soreness or a deep slash. Because in watching Peter Pan, I don’t remember a Tiger Lily. I don’t remember a girl so brave and prideful and fearless, one who gave Peter Pan a few moments peace and worry in the dangerous wilderness that was his sad, lonely life. And I don’t remember a gang of boys, lost boys, sad boys, lonely boys, hungry boys, with so much presence, so entangled and apart while they were together. So whole while still missing pieces they longed to find or fill.

When I’d requested Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, my reason had more to do with it being an interesting-sounding retelling than anything else. Books have a way of making a concept or a story you once found uninspired into something that inspires you. That inspires you to be careful with others, and their presence in your life, and to love with your whole being, without restriction, without fear. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson accomplished that, and I treasure it even more because it’s power caught me by surprise. Sometimes when you look for things too hard—in my case, That Perfect Book—you lose sight of the gems really sunk in places that are almost imperceptible. Then when you least expect it, they drop into your lap because you put it there without thinking—they find you.

Tiger Lily has found you too

You want this story because of the emotions it casts in you. You want this story about a girl with feathers in her hair who’d never known someone who didn’t already love her first to invite her without fear or suspicion, about a very scared, very vicious boy who steals other young boys away from pirates, about a pirate so changed, so pathetic, so weary who lost his hand for a dream, about a faerie whose life feels as small and inconsequential as her size, and about the people who loved the girl and about the people who loved her and were lost by her. Crooked boys, wispy girls, burly, mean men. Sad faeries, watchful mermaids, and other unrelenting, hungry children of the nature in Neverland. Mad killing and soul crushing. Love that is innocent and passionate and fragile because it’s the first time, the first knowing between two people who need to feel it.

You want Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson because it catalogs a terrible kind of passage from youth to adulthood, but in a way that rings true in spite of it’s fantastical, dangerous setting. It’s about wrong choices, and the right ones, and when evil stands firm no matter how much good there is to bombard it. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson isn’t a tragedy, but it isn’t a perfectly happy story. As Tinker Bell says, it’s hard to pin down the kind of ending it has, and whether or not it’s just doesn’t matter because that’s how life works sometimes.

When Jodi Lynn Anderson touched keys—or pen or pencil to paper—she became a creator of indisputable beauty, both savage and innocent and perfect just the same. When Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson falls into your lap, take a chance and open it, begin.

Jodi has a new fan

How can something so well-loved cause so much pain? Nevertheless, I love the story anyway. I’ll never again think of Peter Pan the same; I’ll always remember Tiger Lily and think on Wendy a little less kindly, a little more coldly. Because I can’t help it. I’ll always think on Peter Pan and how complex a boy he must’ve really been, beneath the charm and polish plastered on by Disney. I’ll always remember that a tale of magic so grand isn’t as simple as it seems. There are consequences, there are just as many bad endings as there are good ones and there are ones that fall in between in a shaky gray place.

Jodi Lynn Anderson has another series called the Peaches series. Because of her Tiger Lily, this summer I’m taking the time to explore those books. Because I’m so touched I’ll continue my exploration of her work even beyond that, even if it means I have to wait. Because she made me tear up for more than just the main characters. Because she made me grieve for people who don't exist outside of what she made.

Rating: Special Shelf
Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well be just words on a page, because we're only what we've done and what we are going to do. I know I'm only a faerie, a tiny speck in the world, but then I look at things I've seen and done, and I become a long scrawly line of something important. And I think it's the same for Tiger Lily and Peter and even Tik Tok and for my father and for Belladonna the faerie he ran away with and for Maeryn and maybe every fish in the sea.
I know that there are different kinds of stories with different kinds of endings. But I can't say that, for Tiger Lily, it worked that way, with any kind of ending I could pin down. And there were still things I didn't expect. (282)

Try checking out some other upcoming retellngs



Got something specific in mind? Dare I believe I might NOT have covered something you wish to know? If so, let me know down in the comments section. Don't be shy!

30 comments:

Michelle Chew said...

I want Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson! I really do! I have a soft spot for retellings. Naturally, this one caught my eye. <3 Great review! I love it when you say "You want Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson because..." Interesting. :)

Allison (Abibliophobic) said...

I had only read one other review of this book and it wasn't a positive one. I just may have to give this one a try :) Thanks for the review!

Jenny (Books to the Sky) said...

I absolutely loved this book. I thought the writing was so beautiful and captivating. And I actually like TInkerbell now! :P

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

This review is amazing! I thought I wanted to read this before but now I am DYING to get my hands on it. I would never have thought it could be so moving! Don't you just love it when a book catches you by surprise? So glad this made it to your special shelf, Asher. :)

Giselleco said...

Omg you've gotten me super excited for this one - moreso than I was before >.< (which was lots!!) and I love the rose reference it's so fascinating and I really get what you mean! Peter Pan was my FAV movie (like... watch, rewind, watch... 3-4 times in a day was possible!!) Anyways I can't wait to get my hands on this one!!

Andrea Modolo said...

I absolutely adore Peter Pan, and everyone has been talking about this book! I am dying to read it. I think when this comes out Jodi Lynn will have a huge following! Your review is beautiful, it makes me want to read it so much more now!

Liz. R (Planet Print) said...

Wow, this sounds amazing! So emotional and different to what I was expecting. I'm almost afraid to read it and have my whole view of Peter Pan turned upside down! But your review has definitely convinced me it's a must read. Thank you! :)

Brodie said...

Oh my gosh, Asher. OMG. I need this book like I need COFFEE. And that is... intense. You have completely blown me away with need. This sounds INCREDBILE and the depth of emotions it drew from you is astounding. I'm already preparing my heart for the splintering this book is bound to have on it. I LOVE when you find something so special and one that will forever be treasured on your bookshelves. AMAZING REVIEW <3

Mindful Musings said...

AAAAH!!! I second what Brodie said below. I need this book! NOW!!! I want I want I WANT!!! Okay, now that the rabid book lusting is over (for now), I want to say that I love this review! You really managed to break down all of the reasons why you enjoyed this book so much, and you've made me CRAZY excited to read it!!!

Heidi said...

Gah, so excited for this one now! I'm not going to lie, Peter Pan is one of those stories I've always found completely uninspiring and had zero interest in. Other than Hook (which come on, childhood classic), I've disliked and found boring every rendition of this tale ever. Also, I've never much liked Wendy. :P But yes THIS is why I want to read TIger Lily. You've put it perfectly. The chance that this book might turn something I've never cared for into something I love is too good to pass up. Fantastic review as always, I can't wait to read it.

Christy@LoveOfBook said...

Oh wow.. I must give this one a try. Great review, hon!

TomJTaylor said...

http://goo.gl/7PyjB

seeitorreadit said...

Phenomenal review!!!! I just adore Peter Pan and this book just sounds so amazing! I was already looking forward to reading this one but now I am even more excited!!!!!!! It sounds so emotional and lovely!!!!!! AHHHH I love your review so much!!! Thanks for sharing :-)


SeeitORreadit

April C said...

Damn lady, you make this sound fabulous! I am down to read Tiger Lily, I especially love when books make me feel emotional.

Rebecca (Kindle Fever) said...

Oh my gosh, your review... wow. The review seriously managed to blow me away all by itself, so I truly cannot WAIT to read this one! I'm so, extremely excited. I wasn't in love with Peter Pan, but I did really like it as a child, so reading this was always a have-to, but now? *desperate*

Asher Knight said...

Retellings are SERIOUSLY THE BEST. I love what some authors do with them, how they twist them up, change them, or turn what we thought we knew right on the head. This one jabbed my eye out. I just loved the sound of it so much and I'm so happy to be able to say to everyone how glorious it really is. SO GLAD YOU WANT TO READ THIS :D

Asher Knight said...

REALLY? i can't believe that someone WOULDN'T like it. But, I can see how that MIGHT be, depending on the tastes of the other person. Hope you won't write this one off without trying it first :-D

Asher Knight said...

OMG, YES. The writing tore at me at every moment. It made you see the world differently. It felt fitting to read writing like that to show the perspective of a faerie who OBVS sees the world very differently than most. It's more beautiful that way. :D Gosh, Tinker Bell herself pulled at my heartstrings, tore me up, I FELT FOR HER.

Asher Knight said...

<33 I'M SO HAPPY YOU SAID THAT. You NEED to read this, Sam. I think everyone does. So long as you're open-minded, open-hearted, the meaning and beauty of this book is so easy to ABSORB, to FEEL and treasure. It so caught me by surprise no matter how much I'd wanted to read it. :D

Asher Knight said...

YAY FOR THAT. I'm so happy you want to read this now! I truly think EVERYONE should. I just don't see how anyone canNOT like it, even love it. Thanks ;D I had to get all poetic and shizz for this one, because it brought that side, those feelings right out of me. I'm so overwhelmed by this book.

Asher Knight said...

It's so amazing and beautiful, really. There's so much to show, there's so much going on in such a relatively small book, and GOSH, it makes you FEEL. So much. Thank you <33 I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance!

Asher Knight said...

LMAO. IT IS FABULOUS, BRO. Emotional? I COULD NOT cry, I was trapped in that state of noncrying, and yet this one of the most emotionally tormenting reads I've ever read. So much so that I can't even really look at my ARC for more than a few seconds O_O

Asher Knight said...

I didn't expect it to cause emotional upheaval but that's exactly the kind of power and depth it has. Peter Pan is flawed and wonderful and nothing like you'd seen in Disney. YOU NEED TO READ IT <3

Asher Knight said...

I'M GLAD YOU REALIZE HOW ESSENTIAL THIS BOOK IS. The emotional aspects, the scenes it paints, the characters that rise from those scenes... BEAUTIFUL. Breathtaking in that painful way after a really hard blow. And do prepare your heart because GOSH. <3

Asher Knight said...

YES YOU DO. YOU REALLY REALLY DO. Everyone should read this bad boy! Rabid book lusting is TOTALLY NECESSARY in this particular case especially. And YAY I'm so happy that what was inside me for this book managed to speak to you too. I love that you want to read it so badly now, and that I caused that <333

Asher Knight said...

YES. I PRETTY MUCH DISLIKED IT OFF THE BAT. Hook was the most interesting but that's of course because he's the villains. Villains are usually the best sorts of characters. AND WENDY CAN SUCK IT after Tiger Lily. It's beautiful, Heidi, don't pass this one up ;D

Asher Knight said...

DEFINITELY. Thank you<33

Asher Knight said...

THANK YOU!! <3 I never really liked Peter Pan but I think I loved this book more for that reason. It felt like I was going into the story fresh. BUT YES. BE EXCITED. IT IS SUPER EMOTIONAL. And I love that you're in love with my review. I wanted peeps TO GET why I loved this book so much so that they would be excited too. I feel like I accomplished that :-D

Asher Knight said...

I love that reaction <3 Makes me feel like I got through to you, that you want to read this more now. *high-fives* Never really liked Peter either but I GOT him now. BE DESPERATE.

Marathon said...

I just finished Tiger Lily late last night, and I was balling my eyes out! I completely agree with everything you've said in your review - this book is truly something! As always, brilliant review! :D
~Zoe