Monday, April 15, 2013
Tiger Lily - 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.
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.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.
I am surprised this story is marketed for teens. I know that retellings of children's stories and fairy tales are typically the young adult/teen genre, and there was no adult material that would have made it adult literature (that being said there is plenty of risque material in teen fiction these days), but the general feel and mood of the novel just doesn't belong in the teen section. The novel is primarily comprised of introspection and observation - there isn't much action. I've found, generally speaking of course, that if a teen novel is introspective, it is mostly just very angsty, and this novel wasn't like that at all! I do wish I had read Peter Pan more recently - it's definitely been over a decade since I read the book and probably close to a decade since I last watched the Disney version, so I have only some very vague recollections of the original storyline.
Even though the book isn't action packed like I would have expected from a story with Peter Pan and pirates involved, this isn't a dull story. Anderson's writing is very beautiful and her insights into how humans interact emotionally and mentally are exquisite. The whole novel is told through Tinkerbell's POV, which at first I found very odd since the reader is mostly attuned to Tiger Lily's thoughts. Once I got used to it however, it was very effective. Tinkerbell can't speak, but it is explained in the beginning of the book that because they don't have verbal communication, fairies are extremely attuned to thoughts and emotions. This gives Tinkerbell a way to go in depth with Tiger Lily's thoughts, but at the same time she is often blocked out from them depending on how in control Tiger Lily is of her feelings. It gives the reader an interesting combination of third person omniscient and first person - all filtered through the biased, if reliable, point of view of Tinkerbell.
I found Anderson's depictions of what it is like to fall in love for the first time, as well as how the relationship progresses, and how teenagers deal with each other throughout the whole ordeal very realistic. Or at least significantly more realistic than much of what I'm reading in this genre at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I'm as addicted to fantasy love fluff in the teen section as much as the next person, but it just doesn't have any substance to it. This book is all about substance. It deals with every possible type of relationship - family, society, love, friendship. You name it, it's in the book.
Overall I loved the book. It just wasn't what I was expecting, which is hardly the books fault (although perhaps somewhat the marketing people's fault). I honestly believe this book is marketed to the wrong crowd, and I would have picked it up much sooner had I realized this. I thought the depth of characters, especially with a darkness not found (to my memory) in Peter Pan, was fantastically well done. The slow pacing of the book might not be for everyone, but again I think that is also fixed as people become aware that this book is not geared towards the people it is marketed for. The main reason I am not giving it an A+ is because I still have mixed feelings on using Tinkerbell as the narrator. While it gives the reader a larger yet more personal scope than using only third or first POV, it can be jarring at times, as well as the marketing issue (I know I am harping on this, but I think it is important that people come to this book without the preconceived notions I came to it with), but Anderson's characters more than make up for it.
Peter Pan Book Review Cinder Book Review