Tiger Lilly by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lilly is a retelling of Peter Pan, and we all know how much I love retellings AND Peter Pan so having them both in one book is a must read for me! This book was really too short for my liking but then again I could read about Peter Pan forever. One thing that caught me off guard from the start was that this book is told from Tinkerbell’s point of view. Which is great because she is a very overlooked character in Peter Pan I feel like (Not including Disney’s fairy series about her). Reading from her point of view was a very interesting take but sometimes I felt like it wasn’t enough. I picked up the book because I thought I would be reading about Tiger Lilly and I was, just not her thoughts and feelings. Which some of it is included but still it was like swimming underwater but never fully reaching the surface. I was there but just barely. With that being said from what I did read of her I liked her complexity. She is supposed to be this strong warrior and daughter of the tribe but she was still shown with the basic level of humanity that has fears and uncertainties. She was confident but also shy when it came down to the important things. This book is a retelling but more importantly it is a book about first loves and first heartbreaks. Yes the author incorporated all the best parts of the original Peter Pan like the mermaids and the pirates and the tic tok croc, but the main plot of the book is the relationships between Tiger Lilly and Peter, and Peter and the lost boys, and Tiger Lilly and Tik Tok. I loved reading about their interactions and the way the author made them all feel like one big connected family. The characters all had the names that I know and love but they were completely unfamiliar, when reading this book I saw them all in a new light and had to reevaluate what I knew of them. Which thank you Ms. Anderson because I love it when a book makes me question myself and my beliefs. On the other hand since these characters were almost brand new to me I had to momentarily forget everything I knew about the characters from before while reading this book because more often than not those two perspectives clashed. For instance, when I think of Hook I think of a murderous man with no conscious or morals and is really impulsive and quick to anger. The Hook I read about here was a lonely gentleman with a head and senses. He also didn’t have the typical villain complex where he thought he could be the only one to hunt and hurt Peter, he knew that there would be the same result no matter who got to him first (Which I applaud because it saved me the eye roll). Peter was more of a shock I still got the same boyishness that Peter embodies but I also saw some compassion and caring and human emotions that other portrayals like to leave out. Just because he never grows up doesn’t mean he isn’t human. All in all I loved this book and it will go to a special place in my heart where all the other Peter Pan retellings are safely locked away. Not a huge fan of the cover but I can kind of see where they were trying to go with it.
Favorite Quote:
“Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn’t happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn’t seem broken at all.”
~ Peter Pan
So, like I said above these characters were new to me, especially Smee. I never thought he would have a murderous bone in his body from all the other media on Peter Pan. He kept surprising me with his need to kill Tiger Lilly. Also, I’m glad Moon Eye took it upon herself to kill the big oaf Giant after what he did to her. I liked how this book could be very dark without ever specifically stating what happened. It kind of hinted at it and you would miss it if you didn’t pay close attention. I didn’t like Wendy in this retelling because it made her seem like a wannabe barbie that always needed to look and be perfect. I was really sad that Peter ended up with her, even though their love was unconventional him and Tiger Lilly could have been happy together. It makes me feel like he picked the easier route to be with Wendy because technically he didn’t know what (romantic) love was until he met Tiger Lilly. Wendy just showed up and seemed to make everything easier for him. And I can’t fathom that Peter would ever even think of leaving Neverland (#NotMyPeter). I guess that goes back to the new characters thing, and I guess I can also see he did it for the lost boys because that is what they wanted, and he loved them enough to care for them and do what they wanted. I also don’t believe for a second that TinkerBell would survive in London for more than two seconds. She is too small in a world she knows nothing about and I’m betting she glowed too so that puts a target on her back, because like she said, “Englanders like to study things to death” or something like that. She would have been too exotic to not go unnoticed. The Englanders are always thinking of themselves and considering only what they want like when they just came strolling into the village and acting like they already owned it. That bring me back to Tik Tok, I hated how weak he was in the end. He clearly saw where the village was going and he did nothing to stop it or talk any sense into them. He also allowed Philip to cut his hair and shame him into a depression enough that he killed himself. He was selfish he didn’t like the path his people were going down so he end his life so he doesn’t have to see the consequences. I think he gave up too easily, if he really cared about his people he would have fought harder and done more to steer them right. My last thought is that Maeryn was the whole puppeteer of this plot. She seemed to always be there whether it be in the actual scene or at the back of someone’s mind. Now looking back she seemed to have her hands in everything and conducting everything to benefit herself. I really hope Tiger Lilly really did end up killing her.
Thank you for reading my review and I hope you will comment down below to share with me your feelings on this book or to simply ask me some questions. Please put a warning before your comment though if it contains spoilers, lets respect everyone else in case they haven’t read it!

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