genre: young adult fantasy
My experience with Peter Pan growing up was exclusively the Disney animated movie. In my head, Tiger Lily is just this proud girl with a feather in her braid, sitting in a boat, unafraid of Captain Hook. Truthfully, I don't think I ever even wondered about her and HER story. I probably liked Wendy better and wished Peter Pan would have just forgotten Tiger Lily. And Tinker Bell? What a little brat.
And then, you pick up this book. And that little brat Tinker Bell tells the story of Tiger Lily and Peter Pan and the story you knew is turned on its head. It's familiar, sure - it's just more raw, mostly because Tiger Lily and her world is a wild one and her people are both ancient and naive about the world beyond their Neverland island. There is a frightening boldness to this version of an old story - and Tiger Lily is a deep character, with amazing strength but that strength can sometimes be her downfall when she refuses to change her square self to fit into anyone's round hole. Not that we want to change the core of who she is - but we all have flaw, and sometimes even just a little bit of change can bring a great amount of happiness.
She figures it out, eventually, and I think what grabbed me most about this book is Tinker Bell's observations on love - how we love, how that love can change and yet never leave us. Sometimes the "bad" characters seemed to meet their end a bit conveniently, but I suppose she did have to stick with the original to some extent and I was always rather pleased when it happened. Sometimes Tiger Lily and her 15 year old self drove me a little crazy - but WOW does our author understand the mind of a 15 year old in love. I was actually reminded of my own selfishness at that age and I think her portrayal is pretty spot on. The writing is powerful and lyrical and even though it didn't end how I necessarily wanted it to, I believed it, and that really matters.
This isn't a perfect book, but its pretty dang fabuolus.
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