Hardcover, 292 pages
Expected publication: July 3rd 2012 by HarperTeen
Source: HarperCollins Canada (Thanks Shannon)
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.
I don’t know if I’m ready to write a review of this book. Then again, I don’t know if I ever will so let me put on my big girl pants and get on with it.
The novel is narrated from Tinkerbell’s perspective and before I continue, I must point out a sticking point here. Tink says she has no language (by which I think she meant she can’t talk) but she is TALKING or rather narrating to us which belies her assertion that she has no language. She also talks about her father telling her to stay away from the Lost Boys again indicating that the fairies communicate in their own way. So I think that the author may need to make it more specific that she couldn’t talk to humans or that she had no language for the humans or whatnot rather than making the sweeping comment that fairies have no “language” when clearly they do.
That said, Tiger Lily is such a beautiful book. Obviously the readers are already acquainted with Never Land but Anderson builds the world so exquisitely that you can almost smell the damp earth in the forest, hear the sound of the waves hitting the surf and envision the burrow where the Lost Boys tumble around like puppies. Her characterizations are also spot on. Tiger Lily is written as an almost feral girl, at one with the nature she revels in. Her life in all its twists may try to break her but she has more pride, more strength than to let it. She is perhaps one of the most compelling heroines I have read this year. Her relationship with Peter Pan who is also as broken and as beautiful as she is is the kind of romances you secretly read about and yearn for. I never thought I’d hate Wendy but I think in this book, I did. I hated her a lot. Tiger Lily’s heartbreak is exquisitely written and I mean it is so well written that you can’t stop reading even as your heart cracks and breaks. There is this otherworldly sense about the book; it almost feels as though you are peeking into the past and you cannot breathe too loud lest you scare the characters away. The plotting, pacing and the bittersweet ending are, again, exquisitely rendered.
Tiger Lily is a beautiful reimagining of Peter Pan and The Never Land. Anderson gives the story more depth and more dimension. She makes it richer both with her narration and her additions to the classic. I truly recommend it.