Book Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily

Synopsis: 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.

First Impressions: I think this is a gorgeous cover. But Tiger Lily is not the girl in the beautiful dress. She is never that person, and not being that person is a huge part of who she actually is. And I think the cover designer really did a disservice to the book and character by not making a more honest cover.

Why I Chose This Book: My sister got me this book, knowing my love of retellings and Peter Pan. I will always be grateful to her for this. (Thanks, Sis!!)

What I Liked: SO MUCH. From the get go, this book is dedicated “For the girls with messy hair and thirsty hearts.” (Book hasn’t even started and the cover is already wrong, but whatever I’m not bitter.) This book is so gorgeously written, and it really keeps with the dark tone of the original work. Peter Pan has become so watered down in mainstream media, so I love seeing his portrayal in things like Tiger Lily and Once Upon a Time. He is so scary! And Anderson did a great job of staying true to that. Also, I’m not much of a Tink fan. Never have been. But this book is told from her perspective as she follows the characters around. And I love her!! She provides a more impartial view while still staying involved. I’ll include a few of the quotes I wrote down, but here’s one of the first things Tink says about Tiger Lily. “She was the most interesting girl I had ever seen, and I couldn’t resist staying near her to see what happened next.”

This book also covers some really intriguing commentary on current issues, such as the gender binary, murder, self-love, traditional gender roles. For example, Tiger Lily is cared for by Tik Tok, who “was born to be two genders…that’s the way he was made.” Smee kills those he admires most, and the more he admires, the more creative he gets. Tiger Lily struggles with loving herself so much, y’all. And it kills me. The whole tribe is pretty much against her because she doesn’t fit quite in. Here are a few quotes I wrote down just about that.

“…opinions by the dozen landed in each hollow track left by her feet.”

“Still, the longer I was around her, the more could see the colors of her mind and the recesses of her heart. There was a beast in there. But there was also a girl who was afraid of being a beast, and who wondered if other people had beasts in their hearts too. There was strength, and there was also just the determination to look strong. She guarded herself like a secret.”

“I’m not myself.” “You can never say that. You’re just a piece of yourself right now that you don’t like.” (Which I think is a crucial lesson for people to learn. You must address the aspects of your being to improve and be self-aware!)

“Everyone will think I’m ugly.” “That’s true. But we are a small village. We have narrow tastes. There’s no telling who else in the world would think you are beautiful.”

“Tiger Lily wanted to say it back. But she held on to the words greedily, too caught in the habit of keeping herself a secret. And Peter – half sadly, half expectantly – let her go.”

“I could never leave. Because I think people must be the same everywhere. Only these people are my bones.”

“She wasn’t sure what love was, but maybe she was supposed to bend.”

ISN’T IT SO BEAUTIFULLY WORDED, Y’ALL? I can’t handle it. I have so many pages of quotes from this book. Okay, fine, one more. But this one is about Peter.

“He never seemed to think over a decision, but merely plowed ahead, and somehow the earth always caught him in her soft hands. No one thought of doubting him.”

Also, the way Anderson included pieces of the original work brought so much happiness to my heart. Like the neverbird nest? I’m still swooning over how it was included. And if you know me, you know friendship love is my favorite kind. And we get a great BrOTP in Tiger Lily and Pine Sap!!

What I Didn’t Like: Not much, really. Oddly enough, I hated Wendy in this. And I am SUCH a Wendy, guys. Giant, the man TL is to marry, IS THE WORST. Ughhhhhh. But yeah, that’s all I don’t like. And they’re really just characters I didn’t like, not the actual book.

Ratings and Recommendations: For fans of Peter Pan, Once Upon a Time. For girls that don’t quite fit into what society expects them to be.

1. New Favorite Alert

Final Thoughts: This book is a love letter to girls that don’t fit in and refuse to change just to do so. I can’t wait to give this book to my kids.

Sound off in the comments: Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Did you love it as much as I did? What’s your favorite retelling/alternate perspective book? Let me know!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Couples I Don’t Ship

Top Ten Tuesday

As always, T10T is hosted by the cool cats over at The Broke and The Bookish!

This is a freebie week, and since I’ve been seeing a lot of these on tumblr lately, I thought I’d talk about the couples I don’t really see as being good together. DISCLAIMER: Ship whatever you want! There is no ship hate here. Just my preference. Also, feel free to make your arguments in the comments; I’ve come around to a few couples just from exposure and people convincing me there’s some good reasoning behind them (I’m looking at you, Dramione).

Agatha and Tedros

Typically, I love couples that start out hating each other. And maybe this would change if I was going to finish the series. But I don’t feel any inclination to do so and so this couple will never hit just right for me. Part of it is because I think the whole concept of the book is flawed (Seriously, Sophie acted JUST LIKE all the other princesses, but somehow she’s the only evil one? Whatever.) and without some serious fine-tuning, I’m not going to be okay with any aspect of it, especially the main couple that seems thrown together for the sake of a (predictable) twist.

America and Aspen

Wow, I hate Aspen SO MUCH. I don’t see how he can claim to love America so completely and still think that this independent woman should be dependent on him. WTF?! Not an ounce of me ships it and never will. I hate him so much.

Charlotte and Mr. Collins

No one can tell me that Mary and Mr. Collins were not made for each other! They would be simpering and high and mighty together! Charlotte deserved so much more than a marriage of convenience and so did Mr. Collins. I think Darcy should have let Lizzie hook up Charlotte and Colonel Fitzwilliam because they are both so practical yet fun and then Lizzie and Charlotte could hang out all the time with Jane and the fearsome threesome would never have to part. But maybe that’s just me.

Draco and Astoria

Draco, my dearest, why must you continue to suffer at the hands of an author that does nothing but use you as a vent for her bitterness? I’ll get into this with Neville in a little bit as well, but JKR seems to just throw people together at the end just to tie up loose ends with absolutely no history. As someone that stays in the potter world and says all the time how she loves and owes everything to her fans, she sure loves to skimp on the things she knows we want. Astoria is NEVER mentioned in the books, only a couple name drops of her older sister Daphne. But we’re supposed to be content because at least Draco is married. But was the marriage arranged? Does he actually love her? Is she good for him? Does she inspire him to be a better person? Are they good parents? Was Scorpius planned? Or just conceived so there was a Malfoy heir? Is it a loveless marriage or a joyful, loving one? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS and she’ll never answer them because she hates Draco and his fans.

Gatsby and Daisy

Oh, Gatsby. Oh, Daisy. I feel like this is the more contemporary version of the high school freshman that thinks Romeo and Juliet is a perfect love story with no irony or satire or anything. An amazing story, of course. But Gatsby puts Daisy on an impossible pedestal that no one can live up to, let alone a woman as smart as Daisy (seriously, how can anyone read the beautiful fool quote and NOT think that Daisy is totally aware of her position and how precarious it is?! She’s the Sansa Stark of the 1920’s). While I wish Daisy had divorced Tom and taken her child away to a life of independence, it just wasn’t realistic for the time period and it would only work out because it’s a work of fiction.

Josh and Rashmi

Obviously, this couple doesn’t last. But man, did anyone expect them to stay together? Is sex the only reason they hooked up in the first place? Terrible pairing. Just terrible.

Minuette and Will

Minuette and Dominic forever! William, though I love him, is a spoiled king that can’t imagine someone not loving him. Even though that’s exactly the case. Silly Will. Though also, stupid Min for not being honest that second and saving everyone a loooooot of heartache.

Neville and Hannah

Same as Draco and Astoria above. Just slapped together. WTF, JKR?!

Neville and Luna

Part of this is due to my absolute love of Neville and absolute hate of Luna, but this is the dumbest coupling ever. Neville has always wanted to just fit in and have the respect of his peers and Luna doesn’t care AT ALL (pretty much her only redeemable quality, imho). She would think he’s ridiculous and he would be embarrassed all the time by her. Friends, totally! I love that! But as a couple, bells no.

Peter and Wendy

Wendy is like many little girls in that she wants adventure, but she also wants it to be tied up neatly in the end with a wedding dress and happily ever after…which is the exact opposite of what makes Peter who he is. Never gonna work out, friends only, no thanks.

What couples do you think wouldn’t work together? Do we have any in common? Is one of your OTP’s on this list? What are your reasons for either? Let me know in the comments!

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What’s Up Wednesday 09.10.14

Hey y’all! What have you been up to lately? I’ve been crafting like crazy! I’ve decided to participate in a craft fair, and there are so many things I want to do I’m having a hard time getting anything else done. But at least today I finished my history for the week, so that’s something!

Just a few minutes ago, I fell in love with this adorable web series, The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy. Anyone who knows me is quite aware of my complete adoration of Peter Pan. I want all the adaptations and spin-offs in existence! This one shares the producer of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, another favorite of mine! Hopefully this series goes on for quite a while.

I’ve also hit a road block in my HP reread. I’m in GoF and can’t seem to find the energy to continue. I mean, when I do read I get sucked in, but I’ve been approved for other things I need to read and review, so it’s not my top priority. Also, Sis wants me to finish the Divergent series so we can talk about it. She’s just started the first book. It may be the kick in the pants I’ve needed to finish the last two.

In exciting news, I got a different review posted on Amazon and Goodreads in time to win a $5.00 Amazon gift card! I will also be doing an interview with the author that sponsored the giveaway, so look for that and the review soon!

My healthier eating quest is continuing, and hopefully I’ll be adding some exercise into the mix soon. With PSL season upon us, I need to do something to burn those calories. Luckily I don’t live near a Starbucks, so they’re a rare treat.

School is going well, but I really really miss my San Angelo family.

What’s going on in your life? Sound off in the comments!