Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

I finally got around to finishing my Random Reads book for this month! I really enjoyed Tiger Lily and will try to read the Peaches series, because I enjoyed Jodi Lynn Anderson's writing.

Tiger Lily is Anderson's take on the story of Peter Pan, before Wendy. It is told from the perspective of Tinker Bell.Tiger Lily is the daughter of Tik Tok, shaman for the Sky Eaters. She is wild and unkempt and not your usual girl and her tribe both fears and respects her. As daughter to the shaman, her life and marriage is important to the tribe. In Neverland, no one ages, except for Englanders and others who land on the shores. For fear of the aging disease, the Sky Eaters and other tribes do not help the Englanders, so when Tiger Lily saves one of them, the tribe determines to tame her. She is to be forced to marry Giant, the worst man in the tribe at the end of the dry season and in the meantime, she escapes to the forest and meets Peter Pan and the feared lost boys. Tiger Lily learns that Pan is not what everyone fears and falls for him and him for her. Pan has his enemy in Captain Hook, who is angry at Peter for stealing away his cabin boys aka the lost boys. As Hook plots for Pan's life and Tiger Lily's marriage draws near, their relationship and their lives are in danger, but the main danger may lurk where the two least expect it.

I enjoyed Anderson's take on the Peter Pan story. She also deals strongly with the themes of good and evil and decides no one is truly good or evil. The romance between Tiger Lily and Peter in the story did not appeal to me as much as Tiger Lily's character and the struggles of some of the minor characters. Tinker Bell is a great narrator and it was nice to see her as not an irrational female as she is often portrayed, but as someone who cares for her friend Tiger Lily enough to overpower her love of Pan. Pine Sap, one of Tiger Lily's few friends, was another great character, because he truly loves her for who she is.

Her theme of good and evil often flips what we see as good and evil; she shows how 19th century "Englanders" used Christianity to replace native beliefs that lead to some evils occurring to the natives. At times the book seems anti-Christian, but I think it is really just a judgment on 19th century expansion and colonization and not necessary Christian beliefs. The one character of Tik Tok was an interesting way to show transgender people and talk about why saying things like, just change one thing and you are great are not ok. The ending shows the danger of this. There are many different topics that could be discussed with this book.

Favorite Character: Tinker Bell. I loved seeing a side of her that wasn't just a jealous, for lack of a better word, cougar woman. She has feelings and her love for Tiger Lily and Tiger Lily's for her was one of the best friendships I have read lately.

Favorite Quote: There were several I liked. "Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we're only what we've done and what we are going to do." "Sometimes love means not being able to bear seeing the one you love the way they are, when they're not what you hoped for them."

There were a few things I had to think about with this book, before deciding on a rating. I did enjoy it, but a few things mentioned early did bother me. I give it 4 bars of chocolate, because I think it would generate interesting discussion and I loved Tink as the narrator.

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