16/05/2014

Review: Tiger Lily {Jodi Lynn Anderson}


★★☆☆☆
Written by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Amazon | Book Depository 

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. When Tiger Lily meets the infamous Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland, she can't help but be drawn to him. He is the leader of the Lost Boys and one of the most feared and respected of Neverland's inhabitants, and he's unlike anyone she's ever known.Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily and when she is faced with marrying a terrible man from her tribe, she must choose between a life she's always known, and an uncertain future with The Boy Who Never Grew Up. A future that can be ripped apart in an instant, by the arrival of Wendy Darling. Tiger Lily is about to learn that the most dangerous enemies can live inside the most loyal hearts.
 
Peter Pan is one of my favourite stories. I love the books, the plays, the movies. Everything. It's a tale I've seen and read so many times, and one I never get tired of hearing. So, when I saw a retelling that focused on the elusive Tiger Lily, I was thrilled.

Told from Tink's perspective, the prose had a distinct rhythm, as though someone was reading the story to me. It was subtle and detailed and insightful; the kind of writing you can take comfort in. But that also meant that this was not an adventure. It was very much a story I was being told about, rather than experiencing, so I felt quite disconnected.  

I also found myself wanting more description. I wanted to see, hear, smell, feel the magic of Neverland, but all Tiger Lily gave me was a jungle and not a lot else. This book just did not capture its setting, or even try to explore all the wonders Neverland could have offered. It was as though Jodi Lynn knew she couldn't do it justice, so didn't bother. Like how Neverland was quite easily reached by Englanders, who seemed to come and go fairly often and without much trouble. What happened to 'second to the right, and straight on till morning'? Or it being near the 'stars of the milky way'?

The characters were a mixed bag. On the one hand, Tiger Lily was fierce and brave, and all that I imagined her to be. She's a girl of few words, and that's essential because it means everything she does say is important. 

On the other hand, Peter was pathetic. He didn't have that childhood spirit and wonder I'm so used to seeing with Pan incarnations. Instead he was sullen, needy and disappointingly ordinary. I wanted bravery and enthusiasm, but Peter was turned into every other whiny YA boy out there. It was dismal.

Hook was also disappointing. He wasn't as evil or cunning as the character I loved, plus we never got to see him interact with Peter. I get this is Tiger Lily's story, but come on. And the story of how Hook lost his hand was the ridiculous, so I won't even go in to it. Needless to say, I actually found it insulting to the original story.

Then there was Wendy's character, who was vapid, one-dimensional and pointless. There was no real connection between her and Peter, and it seemed random that he professed his love for Tiger Lily and then the next day was all see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!

Tink's character was the only one I really enjoyed. She was feisty, inquisitive and unrivalled in her loyalty; it was such a treat to have her narrate. But one of my favourite things about Pan's story is his relationship with Tinker Bell, and that was non-existent in this book. Peter barely notices her, let alone interacts with her and she is more Tiger Lily's pet than anything else. Though Tink is apparently in love with him, we never see any sort of kinship on Peter's end, and I missed the friendship between them. 

This book was a huge disappointment for me and the beauty of the writing is the only thing that saved it from a lower rating. The characters I'd grown to love were flipped over and turned into bland shadows of themselves, and I missed the magic of Neverland. I wish Jodi Lynn focused a little more on building some of that gorgeous world and a little less on Tiger Lily's 'hard knock life'. This would've been far more interesting if it was a story of unrequited love, rather than a poorly developed teen romance that fizzled out without warning or reason. 

"Sometimes I think maybe we are all stories 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." 

 

Allie has planned out a trio of marvellous desserts for Valentine's weekend. She'll be baking up a storm for love day! And that's not just a metaphor, because when she bakes, the kitchen ends up looking like it's been hit by a hurricane. But hey, the sugar makes the clean-up all worth while.
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22 comments:

  1. I like the quote you shared, but i'm sorry this one was such a disappointment for you. I've seen Peter Pan films, but I've never read any of the stories...

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    1. You really should! They're fantastic :) So full of magic and wonder and just pure awesome, if I'm being honest

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  2. Sorry to hear some of the characters weren't what they could have been.

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    1. Yeah, it sucks when you hype yourself up for a book and it ends up falling flat :(

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  3. Finally, someone who felt the same way! I think the idea of this book was really good, but it felt really flat for me. I nearly fell asleep while reading this one.

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    1. Haha, Aimee that cracked me up! It definitely did get quite snooze-worth though; I felt like hardly anything ever happened! Where were all the adventures?

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  4. I'm so torn about this one. HONESTLY. Peter Pan (second only to Alice in Wonderland) is my favourite classic/fairy tale of all time. I just...I just can't love the story enough. So it did bother me how this basically followed nothing of the original. Like they were on a fair dinkum island? No floating in the sky? No flying? I did love what they did with Tiger Lily and her tribe though! I mean, it was fleshed out SO well. I WAS SO MAD AT TIK TOK FOR BEING A WEAKLING AND SHOVING TIGER LILY OFF TO BE MARRIED. GAH. Words do not say how mad I was. >.>

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    1. It's my favourite too! I just love the story and the characters and basically every incarnation, which was why I was so surprised that I disliked this one.

      EXACTLY. The island? What was up with that?! And I felt really bad for Tik Tok when everyone was trying to make him dress differently and stuff :( it made me more forgiving for him basically letting Tiger Lily be married off

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  5. Oh no, sorry you didn't love it. I have this on audiobook but haven't read it yet. I've seen a lot of different reviews. Some loved it, some not so much. Sorry it work for you.

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    1. Maybe it'll work better as an audiobook? Sometimes that can be the case, so fingers crossed!

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  6. I so agree - I just wanted so much more than this book gave me, you are so right that the writing was good, the story just didn't have enough oomph!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. Definitely. The story was just . . . non-existent. The essence of Peter Pan stories are in their adventures and their journeys. This had none of that, so it lacked a certain childlike charm

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  7. Personally, this is one of my all-time favorite books, so I'm slightly sad you didn't enjoy it as much as I did. :( *sighs* But opinions are opinions... I guess I can see where you're coming from though. It would have been nice to see more of Hook and a bit more development in the world. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts Allie, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. Ooooh, forgive me? ;)

      I would've loved a bit more Hook and just to see him and Peter interact. It would've been great to see how Jodi Lynn Anderson would've handled their dynamic

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  8. Awwww :( I really liked this one, haha. I get what you mean about the characters changing though. Plus they are so different from the familiar versions but I think I kind of liked that. Some of the character's actions made me pretty mad. Hope you like whatever you are reading next better :)

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    1. So many people have loved it! I'm definitely the odd one out lol. I guess I'm just so used to the characters being a certain way, that seeing them like this was a big shock

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  9. I'm sad to see you didn't like this one, but it does sound a little disappointing. I love Peter Pan, Neverland, Hook and the whole story, so I feel this would disappoint me too. Neverland is such a wonderful place so I am surprised the author didn't explore it more in her story. I'd also be disappointed in Hook as a character, I love him as the evil, cunning character and would expect that from him in this. Great review :)

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    1. It's one of the key things that was missing; that sense of wonder and magic and beauty that fills Neverland. Here it just seemed like a not-far-off island with a big jungle, which was just really unimaginative.

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  10. Noooooo I'm so sorry it was such a disappointment! :( :( :( I ended up loving it, but I think that's because I'm not a huge Peter Pan fan so I was really into the book for the book and not really expecting much out of the retelling aspect.

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    1. So many people did love it, so I'm definitely the lone ranger on this lol. I guess I just miss the characters I've always loved and din't like these interpretations of them or their world.

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  11. Aww, sorry you didn't like this one, but yeah, I agree with you about Wendy and Hook. Wendy is just, ohmygodsoannoying and it feels like "Hey, I'm Wendy! You know I'll end up with Peter right. 'Kay, let's skip to just that right away" and we're all like "what the hell, bro" 0.0
    And yeah, the tinkerbell in this book is lovely, especially her voice narrating the whole story!
    Nice review, Allie!

    Neysa @ Papier Revue

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    1. YES! What was up with Wendy? She was so underdeveloped and like a caricature of those popular American girls you see in crappy movies. So disappointing :(

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