Book: Tiger Lily, Jodi Lynn Anderson,
Release Date: July 3rd, 2012
Rating: 4 stars
Peter Pan is one of my favourite pieces of fiction. I’ve read the book, seen all the different movies about him, and am planning on getting a Peter Pan tattoo at some point in my life. And in every version I’ve seen, it’s always been Peter and Wendy who end up together. Tiger Lily has always been that Indian girl who has a crush on Peter and only stands in the way of Peter and Wendy’s happy ending. After reading this book, I will never be able to watch those films the same way again.
This book puts my whole perspective on Peter Pan and Never Land completely out of order. It’s narrated by Tinker Bell, the infamous faerie who follows Tiger Lily around and is able to pick up on her thoughts and what’s in her heart. Through her, we learn about Tiger Lily’s life and the kind of character she is; something we never really get a sense of from the movies. In this novel, Tiger Lily is an outsider in her tribe. An adopted daughter of the Shaman, Tik Tok, Tiger Lily is a free spirit, one who loves to hunt in the woods by herself and not speak to anyone. She finds it hard to voice her emotions and freezes up whenever anyone tries to hug her or tell her how they care. Due to the way she avoids everyone in her tribe; most people avoid her as well, and whisper to one another whenever she comes by. This makes her tribal life seem horrible, especially when her adopted father announces that she is to marry an ugly brute called Giant who is awful to her. However, due to her loyalty to her father, she decides to marry him anyway. This is when she starts her nightly visits to the alluring Peter Pan. The older members of the tribe always told the younger children that he, along with the Lost Boys, was dangerous creatures and to stay far away from them. However, this was just a myth which we see when TL starts spending time with the boys. She forms a tight bond with all the boys, especially Peter. All they do is mess about and have fun, just like regular boys. While TL still appears very antisocial and has enormous trouble expressing her feelings to Peter, you can tell she cares very much for them.
She had a lot of trouble balancing her duties to her father and tribe while wanting to spend time with Peter and the boys, and broke quite a few promises to both of them because of it.
Peter reminds me a lot of the boy we know from the book and the movies. He’s a troublemaker, sweet and just wants to have fun all day, every day. However he’s a lot fiercer in this book when it comes to the pirates, and you can tell that despite him saying he’s perfectly happy, he’s in desperate need of being loved. He starts to find that in TL, who is just as brave and fierce as he is, but is a lot less vocal in how she feels and I could tell Peter was never sure whether TL loved him, especially whenever TL couldn’t abandon her promises to her tribe.
And Wendy! While I loved her in the movies and book, I felt she was the villain in this book; sent to pull Peter and Tiger Lily apart. I knew she had to appear at some stage, but was dreading it because I knew she was trouble. But it had to happen, and I believe Jodi Lynn Anderson did a good interpretation of her character.
While I never cared much for TL in the movies, I wanted her to get her happy ending in this book. And when it comes to happy endings, they have to go one way, right? And every other way is wrong. That was the case in this book. I knew, because of the movies, that this book could really only go one way, and it was the way I didn’t want. We all know how Peter’s story ends in the movies, and we all know that Tiger Lily was never a part in it. But despite the raw ending, this book was definitely worth reading and I urge everyone to give it a go. It’s interesting to read a beloved story read from a minor character’s POV, and it will definitely make me re-evaluate how I view the movies in the future.