Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Tinkerbell narrates the magical, bittersweet love story between Tiger Lily and Peter Pan. Tiger Lily has never been truly accepted by her tribe, and now the elders have decreed marriage to a man she doesn’t love. She spends more and more time alone in the woods, where she meets wild, fearless Peter Pan, leader of the Lost Boys.
Tiger Lily is intoxicated by the freedom she feels with Peter, and falls under his spell. Their love is all-consuming, and she risks everything to be with him.
Then Wendy Darling arrives in Neverland.
(Little side note here...I have never seen Peter Pan. Not the Disney version, not a movie version even though we own the one with Jeremy Sumpter, not a play version, nor the real story version. Now, I do feel that I have at least seen the beginning of the Disney version, perhaps multiple times, but I never get very far in my recollections. Definitely never get to Tiger Lily. In fact, I had no idea she existed until maybe about a year ago, when I discovered DisneyBound and had no idea who she was. So I went into this story completely ignorant and unbiased.)
First off, I love that the story was narrated by Tinkerbell. Obviously, since she doesn't talk in the movies, we don't get much from her point of view. So I think that it's awesome that she gets to get a word in, but also since she's a fairy and can flit away and eavesdrop on things, we get a wider scope of view on what is happening. She is often portrayed as the petty little fairy, and here we see that she is so much more than that.
I also loved the characters and their portrayals. They were so different from how they are usually portrayed (unless I'm missing something because I've never actually watched it).
· Tiger Lily: She was strong, independent, and didn't need anyone or anything. But she also had a soft heart, with the way she cared for her father. And as much as she didn't admit it, she also had a certain vulnerability. One that we see when everything starts to go wrong.
· Peter Pan: I think Peter was actually still like the Peter we know, albeit maybe a little older. He falls for Tiger Lily because she is just as strong, independent, and invincible as he is. But soon he begins to realize that isn't enough. Peter has taken care of the boys for as long as he can remember, and we see a vulnerability also in him in the way that he's scared. He just wants to be the macho manly caretaker, and wants someone who can simply affirm that.
· The Lost Boys: The Lost Boys were so cute. They added a fun and cute dimension to a book that would have otherwise been too serious.
· Pine Sap: Can I just say, I loved Pine Sap. Seriously, he was so sweet. Even when it was obvious to everyone but her that he loved Tiger Lily, and she went off to be with Peter, he just stuck by her. Even after her lying to him, and hurting him, he was still there for her even when Peter wasn't. Even if it wasn't ideal, I love the way this book ended for him.
· Wendy: Anyone who loves Wendy will not like this representation of her. I can't really say that it's her fault, but still. Since the book is about Tiger Lily and Peter Pan, she wasn't in it until the end. Obviously, she plays her part in the story line, but other than that there isn't much to say about her. Except that Tiger Lily/Peter Pan shippers will hate her ;)
· Reginald Smee: This character representation surprised me most, so I had to include him separately. Smee isn't your cowardly, wavering first mate in this book. Slightly creepy. Although Hook has instructed him only to kill Peter Pan and to not touch Tiger Lily, his strange fascination with her makes him obsessed with wanting to kill her too.
"Reginald didn't kill because he had no heart. He killed to make himself cry, and he only killed people he admired." -page 58
· Hook: Hook is your typical Hook. Cowardly, drunk, miffed at Peter and bent on killing him and his lost boys. The origin is actually that Hook and Smee used to kidnap young boys to kill them, and Peter actually rescued quite a number of them. Hook would go around asking Neverlanders if they had seen his "lost boys" and the name stuck. Also, the story of how he got a hook for a hand is quite mundane and embarrassing :)
But also on the island, as Tinkerbell can tell us, are the pirates. Hook and Smee and the rest. Hook is plotting Peter's death, and Smee has an agenda of his own with Tiger Lily. But with the two lovebirds only focused on each other, will they not notice before it's too late? And then, Wendy Darling arrives in Neverland.
This story was very captivating and emotional. When everything was taken away from Tiger Lily, she lost herself. But she also finds herself again, and I'm glad. The majority of this book isn't too emotional. You don't even realize you have become invested with the characters until--wham, everything comes at the end.
Yes, this book is sad. The ending is probably not "ideal" (especially for Tiger Lily/Peter Pan shippers) but it actually is perfect for the story. But it's not a depressing book. It's filled with hope, love, sadness, a bit of grief, laughs, and a new view on life. I loved it, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone.