Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Release date: July 3, 2012
Published by: HarperTeen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Narrated by Tinker Bell, this is the story of Tiger Lily. She is a stoic and manly girl who doesn’t really belong or fit in with her tribe. Adopted by the shaman Tik Tok, she is often alone and likes to run wild and be free. The tribe also believes her to be cursed, which only lends to her individualistic, silent nature. One day, she discovers the most feared and dangerous lost boys, only to learn that they are simply lost and lonely, too. Peter Pan becomes her friend, and though she doesn’t plan to, she falls in love with him. (But he is destined to break her heart, just as her world begins to fall apart.)
Tiger Lily must face an arranged marriage, a distrustful tribe, and a boy who will never truly be hers, because as Tink says at the start of the story, “In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.”
My Thoughts: Wow *said with a deep sigh*. Here’s where I’ll start: This is not the fanciful and light Peter Pan I grew up with. This is ultimately a dark tale of lost loved, fear, death, and misunderstanding. My heart was heavy the entire time I read this story because the first lines of the book say it will end unhappily, and, people, Tink is not lying.
It took me awhile to appreciate the cold and silent girl, Tiger Lily, but the more I read, the more I felt for her and her hidden emotions: She loves her adoptive father Tik Tok; she stoically accepts the horrible arranged marriage set up by Tik Tok because a promise is a promise; she cares what people think about her but refuses to show it and be hurt; she loves Peter; she cares for Tink. She is everything BUT what appears on the surface.
This story holds a great lesson on judgment and beliefs buried in the events. Because Tiger Lily is a silent thinker, you become a silent thinker while you read. I wondered at each choice Tiger Lily made, and questioned the rightness of each action and motivation.
I’m satisfied yet saddened as I set this story aside and write this review. I know I’ll be thinking of Tiger Lily and her Neverland for a while before I let this story go. Thanks for the thinker, Jodi Lynn Anderson.