Sunday, 15 December 2013

TIGER LILY

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.

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If you need to take another second to stare at that cover photo to figure out what it's actually showing, I understand completely. Hint, I thought it was a nose surrounded by feathers for weeks. I just couldn't see it. I thought it was a stunning cover (this picture doesn't do it justice, especially since it doesn't show how shiny and gold the lettering of the title is) but I couldn't make sense of it.

I really, really liked this book. A whole lot. I'll be honest, I'm not actually all that familiar with the story of Peter Pan, I've seen the Disney movie, which I did not especially like, and Hook, a film that scarred me for many years of my childhood and which I still can't bear to watch. That's it. That is the extent of my knowledge of Peter Pan. I don't know if people who are fans of the source material would have a different experience to this book that I did, but I really did enjoy it and would highly recommend it.

The writing is both subtle and beautiful. I didn't notice it at first, but then I caught myself re-reading passages over and over again, which is not something I do very often. Anderson just has such a way with words, there are chunks which are absolutely stunning, but they don't stand out as incongruous from other parts of the narrative, which I often find a problem with pretty prose. 

Tiger Lily is not a character I've ever given much thought to before, but now I feel like I know her. She's so interesting and vividly drawn here, it makes you wonder how Peter could ever have chosen Wendy over her in the original story. Perhaps that's because Wendy's character is shadowed here by Tiger Lily's opinion of her, but I was just so engrossed in the story and concerned about the characters.

Of course, no book is perfect. The ending felt a bit rushed to me. I reached a point where I suddenly thought hang on, isn't Wendy going to turn up at some point? It all happens very quickly from that point, and I felt that she should have been brought into the story a bit earlier to keep the pace a bit better. My only other complaint about it - and I really do only have one - is that there wasn't enough of the pirates. Captain Hook fascinated me here, as did Smee, and I wish we could have seen so much more of both of them. 

That's it, though. I have literally only two complaints about the book, and they're not exactly huge issues. This was an excellent read, and one that I would highly recommend to fans of Peter Pan and those not well acquainted with the original alike.



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