Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: October 3rd 2013
Tiger Lily was another one of those books that I was unsure of whether I was going to enjoy it when I first started reading it. At first, I wasn't really enjoying it and I didn't see what all the fuss was about, but that quickly changed. I couldn't even pinpoint when I fell in love with this story because it happened so quickly. One minute I was considering giving up and the next I was so invested in the story.
Tiger Lily is such a unique story. It's narrated by Tinker Bell who is a fairy that observes everything that happens in this book. Fairies are mute in this story so Tinker Bell isn't really an active participant in most of the story, but she's always there. The fact that Tink was unable to interfere or help any of the characters in this book really broke my heart. Tink cares deeply for the characters in this book and it was horrible having to see her not be able to help. Tink never knew if her presence was noticed by Tiger Lily or Peter, but she cares for both of these characters and loves them deeply. She had a special bond with both of them, but her bond with Tiger Lily was my favourite. Her bond with Peter broke me.
Tiger Lily was an interesting character. She was kind of an outcast in her tribe and people were slightly scared of her. Tiger Lily is so different from all of the other girls in her tribe. She's not interested in sewing or boys. She'd rather be out hunting and fighting which makes her even more of an outcast. But I admired Tiger Lily. She stayed true to herself throughout the book and I loved her for that.
Peter Pan was intriguing and mysterious in this book. He was nothing like the Disney version of Peter, but this Peter is definitely my favourite. He's just a young boy who saved young boys from the pirates and they created their own family. Peter and The Lost Boys were my favourite part of this book. I always found myself anxiously awaiting Tiger Lily's next visit to them because I just loved how they treated her as an equal and she got to be herself with them.
Tiger Lily and Peter's relationship almost killed me. As soon as they started meeting I wanted them together so bad. Peter and Tiger Lily just had this amazing bond that showed they were perfect for each other and I loved the moments they had together. But, of course, Tiger Lily and Peter never stood a chance together because of Wendy. I always liked Wendy in the original Peter Pan story, but I hated her in Tiger Lily. She comes along in her fancy ship with her pretty face and pretty dresses and sweeps Peter off his feet. Not only is this hard for Tiger Lily, it's also hard for Tink. Tink also loves Peter but she was willing to ignore her feelings for him for Tiger Lily. But seeing Wendy with Peter makes Tink angry so she tries everything she can to get rid of Wendy and I actually found myself cheering her on. I always hated the way she acted in the original story, but I cheering her on and hoping she'd do something even more awful to Wendy and get rid of her for good. So Tink/Peter/Tiger Lily made me cry so many times. Mostly it was Tink that had me in tears. Since she was narrating the story it was her emotions and thoughts I was reading and seeing her heartache over Peter and her heart breaking for Tiger Lily made me lose it.
There were also a few inter-twining story lines that played important parts in the book. The whole story line with Phillip and the English coming into the tribe was a very important part of the book. At first, I really liked Phillip, but then he started spouting religious shit and confusing the people in the tribe. They became determined to make themselves better so that God would like them. This led them to outcast Tik Tok because he dressed like a woman. That whole story line was heartbreaking and the way it all ended had me bawling my eyes out. I'm even tearing up again just writing this. Captain Hook, Smee and his pirates were also in this book which I really enjoyed. I've always liked Hook and his pirates so I'm glad they were part of the story line. Hook was determined to get rid of Peter (like he always is). I really enjoyed the parts with Hook in them and he wasn't as awful in this re-telling as he usually is, but he's still a pirate.
I cried the most at the ending. That letter just tipped me over the edge. I was already slightly teary because of what had happened before and because my heart was still broken for Tiger Lily and Tink. But the letter was the tipping point and I just sobbed.
Overall, this is one of the most beautiful books I've read this year and definitely one of my favourite re-tellings. I'm so glad I listened to all of the amazing reviews for this book and decided to pick it up. It's now going to be a book that I recommend to everyone because it was unbelievable and I think that everyone should read this beautiful story.