Publishing Info: July 3, 2012 by HarperCollins
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 29, 2012
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .
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.
Wow. Simply put, wow. I haven’t felt so many things from a book in a long time, and if I hadn’t seen the reviews from my friends and fellow bloggers, I never would have expected it to come from Tiger Lily. Peter Pan was never one of my favorite fairy tales. I had nothing against it, but I was much more captivated by several other Disney movies. I never expected to be quite so wowed by the story of one of the supporting characters, and one I had never been interested in.
I absolutely loved how natural the book felt. I was totally immersed in Tiger Lily’s tribe, the Sky Eaters, and their ways of life. Everything seemed to perfect, harmonic, and peaceful. Tiger Lily was quite the opposite of what I expected her to be too. In Peter Pan, I kind of figured her for a brat (Tink too, for that matter) and here we see a very strong girl yet also made strong from being an outcast in her own tribe. Maybe that’s why she ended up falling for Peter.
Peter’s story is more or less what we know from the Disney version, except that everything on Neverland (with the exception of the mermaids and faeries) is more realistic and less magical – and that’s something I really enjoyed about the story. I felt like it was a real story and I felt much more connected to it because of that realism.
Then the story takes a much more series turn — and one I never expected or even expected to be so moved by once we were led there — as we follow Phillip and how he beings to seriously affect the Sky Eaters and their core beliefs and ways of life. I was incredibly moved by Tik Tok, which was something I didn’t expect either. Like Tiger Lily, he has his eccentricities, although they are quite different than hers (he’s quite feminine, down to long hair and wearing dresses – yes, cross dressing. It’s true), and — mild spoiler alert — the tribe just never really cares or questions it… until Phillip arrives, preaching about God and the English ways and the way things are supposed to be. I was quite shocked and found myself deeply troubled by the almost mob mentality that quickly came over the tribe and felt so saddened by it. I don’t want to give things away, but it was quite a surprising topic and I was very surprised at how involved I felt in it.
Then we have the romance between Peter and Tiger Lily. And Tink. And Wendy. Oh the stubbornness, the heartbreak, the conflict. It was all beautifullly and elegantly narrated and I found myself fully engrossed in this book.
My review really doesn’t do it justice at all. I’d really recommend you just go out and read it for yourself! I understand all of the reviews I’ve seen out there now and after finishing, I only want to do two things: First, go back and read other people’s reviews. Let me tell you that you can’t fully appreciate them until you’ve read the book. And second, go buy my own copy of the book. This one was a library copy and usually I’m happy just reading and returning to the library, but this one I want to keep this one with me — and maybe gently loan it out to other people so they can share in this magical story as well!
Tiger Lily: Wow, just so different than what I expected of her. She was strong, yet vulnerable in a way that no one else could ever know except for Tink. Her relationship with Peter Pan made me nervous because I was scared that right from the start it was destined to fail. I absolutely loved her courage, her bravado, her strength, and her way of life. It was such a joy to hear this side of the story.
Tinkerbell: A fantastic narrator for this story. It was so much better having Tink narrate because we got to see everything that was going on and then some. Tinkerbell being a faerie lets us flit about Neverland but still be connected to the story in a different way than a simple third person narrative would. Also we have a bit of her own story woven in to add that extra bit of oomph to the plot.
Peter Pan: Pretty much what I expected of Peter and it was quite interesting to see how his relationship differed between “all of his women”: Tiger Lily, Wendy, even Tinkerbell. It’s like things were so simplistic with Peter that even he didn’t know what he wanted or what he thought half of the time. It made for quite an interesting angle of the character connections.
Reginald Smee: Smee actually played quite a large role in the book – at least, a lot more than I thought he would. And quite the sinister side of his character instead of the typical lackey we think of him as.
Captain James Hook: Another interesting take on Capt Hook as well. He was much more… human, I guess. We got to see a little more of his backstory (and the “real” story behind the hook) and it really made him much more of a vivid character. I actually loved it!
Quotes taken from Goodreads.com — Criminey, I was way too involved in this book to stop and keep track.
“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.”
“Sometimes love means not being able to bear seeing the one you love the way they are, when they’re not what you hoped for them.”
“You have to be careful who you meet. You can’t unmeet them.”
Wow, this book was just soooo good. I’m so impressed, I’m so in love, and I’m so going to recommend this one forever.