Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan and Wendy...but what about Peter's first love: Tiger Lily? Told from the perspective of Tinkerbell, the otherwise mute pixie, the author weaves a story of magic, mystery, legend, and fear.

Tiger Lily is the adopted daughter of the Shaman, Tik Tok. She has always run wild, but she is allowed her freedom in large part because of who her father is, and because she can take care of herself. She can hunt as well as any boy, and fight too. She falls short of the expectation of a tribal girl, however, and she knows it.

A fateful rescue has far-reaching consequences. A human ship crashes against the rocks, but Tiger Lily is unable to let him die. Her people fear humans for their "aging disease," but Tiger Lily's kind heart won't let her abandon him. His miraculous recovery becomes a double edged sword, however, when his conservative Christian god threatens her own father's authority.

Meeting Peter in the woods after all the warnings scares her, but it fascinates her too. There is something about him that makes her think they are equals in a way. He skirts her boundaries, but he doesn't cross them...and he's the only one who's ever been able to sneak up on her. Slowly, Tiger Lily becomes a part of the Lost Boys' universe. She is stealing away in the night to see them and go on adventures. During the day, she attempts to maintain her outwardly appearance of tribal princess. All the while, Tink watches on.

Meanwhile, Captain Hook is on a relentless quest to find the boys. Rather than the polished gentleman pirate we know from Barry's tale, this Hook is a broken drunk. His obsession with Peter borders on mania, and his abuse doesn't stop with the boys. His crew know to give him a wide berth, or be caught in the crossfire.

We know the story doesn't end with the two together forever. The journey is soul-searching, and insightful. Their love is intense and passionate in a way that cannot be sustained. Tink's narration is a stroke of genius, and it paints the tale of Peter and Wendy in a whole new light. As a die hard Tinkerbell fan, I really enjoyed this book. The plot is secondary to the characters, but not in a way that is overbearing. If you are looking for a light-hearted tale, this is not for you. If you want a book that will explain the bittersweet joy and heartbreak of first love, this could be right up your alley.

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"A faerie heart is different from a human heart. Human hearts are elastic. They have room for all sorts of passions, and they can break and heal and love again and again. Faerie hearts are evolutionarily less sophisticated. They are small and hard, like tiny grains of sand. Our hearts are too small to love more than one person in a lifetime. Aside from rare instances, like in the case of my father, we are built to mate for life. I went back to the burrow many nights, and watched Peter. I tried to talk sense into my hard little heart. But it had landed on Peter, a creature two hundred times my size and barely aware of me, and there was no prying it loose," (Anderson pg. 105, 2012).
If you liked this, check out:

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry
Hook by Terry Brooks

Anderson, J. L., & Barrie, J. M. (2012). Tiger Lily. New York: HarperTeen.

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