Tiger Lily: a review

Title: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Pages: 292
Language: English
Year: 2012

Tiger Lily is about Tiger Lily from Peter Pan. It’s the story of Tiger Lily’s life, her relationship with Peter Pan, and her relationship with Tinker Bell. The story is set in Neverland, an island I assume near South America, where Tiger Lily is raised by her adopted father Tik Tok, the shaman in the Sky Eater tribe. She is a wild girl who doesn’t fit in with the other girls. She prefers running around with the boys, even though they don’t like her much either. In Neverland people don’t age, they get to a certain age, something extraordinary happens to them and they just stop. Tiger Lily is 15 when the story starts and she one day meets Peter Pan. He is feared by the rest of the island because he’s fierce and kills pirates and other people. In Peter Tiger Lily finds someone who appreciates her wildness and untamed personality, and they fall in love, disrupting her life and upsetting the balance. She spends her time with Peter and the Lost Boys even though she is meant to marry another man in the tribe and her father is disappearing into his depression. Then Wendy Darling arrives from England and upsets the balance of Tiger Lily’s life again. The story is told by Tinker Bell, which is really cool, because we get to hear hers, Tiger Lily’s and Peter’s points of view. It has a very interesting side story of the English coming to the New World and disturbing the peace and life of the Indians or Native Americans.

Tiger Lily
The main character is Tiger Lily, who is 15 when the book starts and the adopted daughter of the shaman. The shaman is called Tik Tok and he has sort of raised Tiger Lily to think she can be whomever she wants. Like her Tik Tok is also different, he likes wearing his hair long, and wearing dresses. Tiger Lily is tough, fierce and strong, she is different from the other girls and she spends most of her time with the boys, who only sort of tolerate her. She is stronger and tougher than them so they find her a bit difficult to relate to. She’s also shy, and she knows how different she is, which she finds troubling. She meets Peter Pan and suddenly she finds someone who is her equal and who loves her for it. Even though she’s meant to marry someone else she spends as much time as she can with Peter. She loves him even though she has trouble expressing it to him. She also has bad qualities, she’s a bit vindictive and she’s angry. She’s a very believable character and she’s amazing.

Peter Pan
Peter seems to be an English boy who has come to Neverland with the pirates, Captain Hook and his crew, and he has sort of escaped. He leads the Lost Boys, boys he rescues from the pirates, and terrorizes the island. He is a sort of nefarious boy who is rumoured to be a killer, cannibal, and all other kinds of terrible things. They also think he can fly. He is tough, he’s strong, he’s impatient, and he is very serious about helping the boys he lives with. He is friends with the mermaids because he seems to have something that sort of draws everyone in and makes them want to be around him. Evidenced by both Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell falling for him. He falls in love with Tiger Lily, because he wants a girl to hang around with. His life is full of boys and strange creatures. Tiger Lily is sort of his equal, they’re fast and strong and they challenge each other. Peter is a little better at expressing his love for Tiger Lily than she is. He also obviously wants someone who isn’t as strong as him. When Wendy appears he likes her for her submissiveness and her adoration of him, and her mothering. Wendy upsets Tiger Lily’s world, but she is what Peter needs.

Tinker Bell
Tinker Bell is the narrator of the story. She is a faerie and she abandons her faerie family because she finds Tiger Lily interesting and she needs to know her. It upsets her faerie friends and family, but she stays with Tiger Lily. She seems to assume Tiger Lily doesn’t even notice her because faeries can’t speak, they hear thoughts, and they are the size of bugs. She loves Tiger Lily. She also falls for Peter Pan and the book sort of explains why she acts the way she does in Peter Pan, because she doesn’t want Tiger Lily to get hurt, so she acts like a bitch to Wendy. She’s strong and tough and she is very protective of Tiger Lily. When she discovers that Tiger Lily actually knows she’s there and cares about her she seems to care even more for Tiger Lily.

What I thought:
I really, really liked this book. I’ve never read Peter Pan, but I really loved the Disney movie and I’ve seen it many times. I liked Tiger Lily, she’s hard to understand, because she’s so un-feeling. She shows very little emotion, she sort of seems like she doesn’t care, but it’s mainly her awkwardness. Her tribe seems to think she’s cursed, the children in her tribe finds her different and annoying, and she’s different, like her father. And I loved Tik Tok, and I loved the way Anderson describes the English coming over to America and ruining the peace and calm of the world of the Indians, just slamming down on their religion, or Gods, and oh my God the way the English treat Tik Tok. It just made me cry. Tik Tok has basically lived his life as a different person, who likes dressing as a woman, and who has been left alone because he’s a shaman, and he has the respect of the village. And the Englishmen’s insistence that everyone conform to “normality” sort of ruins him and it is heart breaking. Anyway, I really loved this book. The way it’s told, with Tinker Bell telling the story is really beautiful. She can hear everyone’s thoughts so she knows how Tiger Lily and Peter feel about each other. She also constantly tries to warn them about issues, like pirates and mermaids, but no one ever cares. And the writing is just amazing, Tinker Bell is just so lyrical and beautiful. She’s amazing. I loved it, I thought it was great.