BLURB: “Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings…until she meets Peter Pan in the forbidding woods of Neverland. Immediately, she falls under his spell – holding him like a secret in her heart. Peter is unlike anyone she has ever known. Reckless and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. She will risk everything – her family, her future – to be with him. But Tiger Lily soon discovers that the most dangerous enemy can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.”
REVIEW: This twist on the classic tale of Peter Pan had me hooked from start to finish and I read the entire book in one sitting. Anderson turns the character of Tiger Lily, a mere footnote in the pages of J.M. Barrie’s book and the majority of the film adaptations into a protagonist in her own right, introducing the reader to a brave and admirable young woman who makes her own way in life regardless of the disdain of the rest of her tribe. Tiger Lily was raised by the leader of the tribe, Tik Tok, an extremely interesting character who seems to represent the transgender community in a way we rarely see in young adult fiction; he is a male noted as being extremely feminine, preferring to wear his hair long and dress in clothes usually prescribed to the female members of his tribe. The fact that he retains a position of power despite his differences is something I felt was really inspiring and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about his character, only wishing that we could have learnt more about him and his backstory. Tiger Lily may be the protagonist of the story, which initially revolves around her relationship with the parental Tik Tok and her closest friend, a young boy named Pine Sap who is clearly in love with her – but the story is, in fact, narrated by a far more famous character; Tinker Bell. Tinker Bell follows Tiger Lily from the beginning to the end of the story, as an almost unnoticed companion whose devotion for Tiger Lily – and later for Peter Pan – comes through with every word. Through Tinker Bell we learn of Tiger Lily’s daring exploits, such as her saving of the shipwrecked Englander Phillip and her later friendship with Peter Pan. Upon meeting Peter, Tiger Lily soon becomes lost in spending time with him and the Lost Boys, partly to escape her fears of the marriage that has been arranged for her with Giant, a frightening and violent older member of the tribe. The love that blossoms between Tiger Lily and Peter is gradually built up and extremely well written despite being told through the jealous eyes of Tinker Bell, who has also fallen for Peter but loves Tiger Lily too much to prevent her from losing out. Peter is also written extremely well – vulnerable yet arrogant, he is the perfect combination of wild and daring hero and frightened little boy, so that the reader can understand why Tiger Lily so wants to care for him. Things change dramatically with the arrival of Wendy, however, and as the Englander Phillip makes drastic changes to the lives of Tiger Lily and the rest of the tribe, Tiger Lily’s world begins to fall apart. This book is one of the best reimaginings of a classic story I have ever read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Each and every one of the characters was engaging and often bought a unique element of suffering to the story that made the reader keen to learn more about them. I would highly recommend this book not only to fans of J.M. Barrie’s original but also anyone looking for an adventurous, exciting, easy read that can be enjoyed at leisure.