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.
I have always loved Tiger Lily and thought we really should see more of her. So a book all about her side of the story? Yes please! I adored Tiger Lily, she is a fantastic character with all her odd quirks, not fitting in with the girls but not allowed to hunt with the boys, not to mention her glaring imperfections like her internal struggle with traditions and what she wanted, and her unconventional and forbidden love for Peter. But above all she was achingly loyal and this really came across in her relationships with her tribe, and with Tink and Peter.
I really liked how we saw Tiger Lily's village and their stories of Peter Pan before we met him. It was a nice introduction to the world, especially since it was a new take on the story. Even though I recognised little bits, like the Lost Boys' burrow and Hook's missing hand, I liked how it was different and original. Speaking of original, I was not expecting Tinker Bell to be narrator but it worked so well! I loved that Tink was this all-seeing narrator that couldn't speak but played a huge part in the story, even if she was just hovering in the background. I also deeply appreciated that Tinker Bell was not portrayed as jealous and mean like she normally is, but as caring and just as loyal as Tiger Lily to her and the boys.
As Neverland was an island in a remote, mostly unexplored part of the world, occasionally there were visitors. Some were pirates, which is how Hook gained his crew; some were Englanders and though they were welcomed into Tiger Lily's tribe, I really disliked how they, Phillip especially, pushed their beliefs onto the island. This escalated into something awful for Tiger Lily's father Tik Tok and I felt so ashamed of my race at that moment. Wendy was part of one of these explorer ships and if I had moments of dislike in the Disney movie, then I really hated her in this! Both Tink and Tiger Lily feel threatened by her, not just because she is incredibly beautiful, but because she is poised to ruin the dynamic they had with Peter and the lost boys. They were everything to Tiger Lily but to see them throw her away for the prettier model was heartbreaking. I could completely understand Tiger Lily wanting to get a little revenge.
Tiger Lily was a romantic and enthralling re-telling of Peter Pan which stands in its own right as part of the legend.
Published 3rd October 2013 by Orchard Books. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.