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unconventional and satisfying

  • Dec 24, 2012
Rating:
+5
"Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you've heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn't win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case."

Neverland is a beautiful, dangerous place. It's an island where aging can be contagious, mermaids can drown you, and pirates terrorize the Lost Boys who are so savage they might eat you--boys who, according to rumors, might even fly. There are also the Cliff Dwellers and the Bog Dwellers. And somewhere between the two, the Sky Eaters, who remember every sunset they see and fear the wrath of their gods as much as the dreaded aging sickness.

For a place that is so small and hidden away, Neverland can be a very large place. Especially for a fairy. Fairies are mute, unable to speak but also empathic and tuned to everything around them. Before she was called Tinker Bell, she knew Tiger Lily and her history--part of the Sky Eaters but also half feral and hungry for more--as much an outsider in her tribe as one stubborn fairy.

Like everyone else, Tiger Lily (and Tink too) know to stay away from the Lost Boys and the fierce boy named Pan who leads them.

But when Tiger Lily saves one life it sets her on a path that will lead her directly to Peter Pan and threaten everything she holds dear as one small fairy tells the story of a love that might always have been doomed and her own small role in Tiger Lily (2012) by Jodi Lynn Anderson.

If you haven't guessed already, Tiger Lily is a retelling of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan. This version, however, focuses on what happens before Wendy ever arrives in Neverland. It is also narrated by my favorite character, Tinker Bell.

While it seems strange, giving a mute character the chance to narrate a story, it works well in Tiger Lily. Able to observe many things and intuit emotions, Tinker Bell is almost an omniscient narrator who often fades away until something important must be told.

Tiger Lily builds Neverland into a place that is both marvelous and monstrous as Tiger Lily and Tink explore all of its dangers and beauties. Part-retelling, part love story, this novel is also a complex examination of how colonization and industrialization changed the world.

Anderson expertly separates Tiger Lily from its source material to make Tiger Lily a complicated, flawed character who finally has her own voice. Tinker Bell is equally well-realized as the novel focuses not just on Tiger Lily and Peter's difficult romance but also Tink's evolving relationship with the characters. Tiger Lily is an unconventional, satisfying story that starts with Peter Pan but becomes much more before its conclusion.

Possible Pairings: Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron, Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff, Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

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December 26, 2012
Thanks for sharing!
 
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About the reviewer

Ranked #204
Reader, writer, blogger.      I have a master's in library science and information systems and am currently searching for a librarian position.      You can … more
About this product

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“Funny, free, and utterly imaginative, Jodi Lynn Anderson’s writing is packed with loveliness.” (Ann Brashares, national bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants on Peaches )

“Guided by fragile, insect–size faerie Tink, readers are drawn into this richly re–imagined Neverland. Working with the darker threads of Barrie’s bittersweet classic, Anderson weaves an enchanting tale.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) )

“The mythology of Neverland is eloquently woven into the story, and characters are reborn in fascinating ways…[and] Readers will find it hard to resist being drawn into Tiger Lily’s world, where dangers and emotions are painted several shades darker than in J.M. Barrie’s classic fantasy.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) )

“Its many layers create a place of dangerous wonder. Tiger Lily has been reinvented with a complex backstory, giving her a credible source of deep strength and dark emotion.” (School Library Journal (starred review) )

“Serious and moving.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review) )

“This unique retelling of PETER PAN by J. M. Barrie has a literary feel, lush descriptions, and a mysterious but sympathetic main character…A sophisticated fantasy, a new spin on a classic tale.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) )

“In expressive, graceful language, Anderson tells the ...
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