Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily By Jodi Lynn AndersonBook Title/Author: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
: HarperTeen 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling
Series: No.
Other Books From Author: Peaches series, Loser/Queen, May Bird series

Amazon| Goodreads | @jodilynna




We all know the Disney version of Peter Pan with Wendy, Tinkerbell, the lost boys, Captain Hook. It’s a favorite! Tiger Lily is basically a prequel to the story of Peter & Wendy that we know and revolves around Tiger Lily — Peter Pan’s first love. Told from the perspective of Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily gives us the story of how Peter Pan and Tiger Lily meet and how they fall in love in the face of an impending marriage to the town jerk, dangerous enemies on the island and the arrival of the English girl Wendy Darling.

This was perhaps one of the most unexpected reads of the year and possibly one of the most underrated. I honestly was so surprised by it. I read it during a majorly huge reading slump 2 months before the wedding & I just was so surprised by how moved I was by this.Β  I thought it was cool that it focused on Tiger Lily, a character I never got a sense of in the Disney movie, and I was just expecting a cute little retelling that was swoony and fun. I wasn’t expecting to feel ALL OF THE FEELINGS. I’m just saying…by the ending I was a hot mess. Seriously, there was gut-wrenching sobby feelings that stung deep down. Whew, I’m getting all emotional thinking about it and it’s been a couple of months since I read it.

I’ll say that it was slow moving in the beginning but I quickly found myself diving right in and wanting to know what happens to Tiger Lily and Peter Pan and the story was just so beautiful and magically told. Unlike jumping into most stories without having any previous knowledge of the world, most of us are familiar with Neverland and the basics of the story but Jodi Lynn Anderson makes you rediscover the allure & magic in Neverland but makes it a bit darker of a story and a world than we know. I just thought Neverland became even more of a real place in my mind and I rather like the visual Jodi Lynn Anderson created compared to my memories of the movie’s version of Neverland. I’ll say I didn’t understand a little bit of the whys to who didn’t age and who did and how all that worked but I was so swept up in the story and the romantical tension that I was like WHATEVER IT’S MAGIC.

And the way the characters are written? JUST WOW. Tiger Lily was a character who my heart just broke for and I just wanted to hug her. Peter Pan and the Lost Boys were just as broken as I’ve always thought them to be and Jodi Lynn Anderson really brought that out for me and I got a deeper sense of their brokenness. I thought Tinkerbell was interesting and I thought it was cool to have her as the narrator as she observes everything that goes down. Sometimes it was kind of confusing because I didn’t understand how Tinkerbell knewΒ  what Tiger Lily was thinking sometimes and some of those deeper emotions I felt from Tiger Lily I was surprised that I could get that from not being directly in Tiger Lily’s brain! OH AND TIGER LILY’S DAD IS AWESOME!


Tiger Lily was such an overwhelmingly moving book that I didn’t see coming at all! I couldn’t believe that I had tears running down my face by the end and my heart felt like someone had taken a hacksaw to it. What a gem this book was for me! I was just expecting a fun retelling but it really was much more of a magical, bittersweet and deeply emotional story for me. Definitely an underrated book that came out this year! It takes a little bit to get into at first but I couldn’t believe how incredibly invested I was by the end.


For Fans Of: Fairytale Retellings, Peter Pan, love stories that move you, magical stories


Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? What did you think if you have read it? Did you feel your heart being ripped out toward the end? WHAT ABOUT DURING THE LETTER??? I’m new to retellings so please give me some other recommendations for fairytale retellings!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Tiger Lily sounds like such an awesome read! I’ve always loved Peter Pan growing up and it’s interesting to see a story from a minor character.

  2. I’m so glad you say that it started slow, because I’ve been reading this off and on for about a week now and can’t figure out if I should let it go or push on — I’m only on page 40 or so (I think). But I’ll definitely continue now! I have heard wonderful things about this book, I actually don’t know anyone who didn’t like it.

  3. I WANT TO MEET TIGER LILY. I do have a copy of this sitting on my shelves, I need to pick it up ASAP. I love that it is darker and bittersweet and feely.

  4. I loved this book so much! I can’t believe it hasn’t gotten more attention. It’s one of my favorite reads of the year, particularly because of how much emotion it evoked out of me. I DID NOT EXPECT THAT AT ALL.

  5. ALL OF THE FEELINGS. Yes. Yes! What a superb review. When I wrote mine I was thinking how I just didn’t know what to say that would to it justice. The writing was so beautiful and bittersweet. I loved how REAL all the characters became to me and even Neverland itself. I like how the book took on a more realistic quality instead of more fantasy, but still included magical elements. Definitely one of my favorite reads this year!

  6. I loved this book SO MUCH.. it’s one of my favorite books ever. I completely agree with your review. Unexpected is definitely a great way to describe it because the way it affected me was so surprising. Just thinking about Peter’s letter, when they say goodbye and Tiger Lily’s moments with Tik Tok.. ahh I still get emotional. Lovely review πŸ™‚

  7. I checked this out from my library but had to return it since it was due! I’m going to try to check it out again, I’ve heard AMAZING things about this and your review made me even more excited. I love the books you don’t expect to blow you away.

  8. I’m really glad you liked this! And wrote a review. I read it and never wrote one. haha. I liked it a lot. I didn’t love it. It was VERY slow for me, and hard to connect at times. But towards the end it all sort of hit me like a ton of bricks and I was crying late at night in bed while finishing it. The end is powerful stuff. I think it was a well-crafted novel and a brave move to have TB as the narrator. I just wish I would have been able to drive into it a little bit faster.

  9. I’ve heard absolutely wonderful things about Tiger Lily, but it looks so sad, which is why I haven’t read it. I want to, but I need to be in just the right frame of mind.

  10. I’ve actually heard there are very problematic things about this book regarding portrayal of native peoples. I know that stems from the original text, but I wonder about it today. I need to read it to gather my thoughts fairly, but I’ve heard this from trusted sources like Debbie Reese and other librarians. What did you think about that?

  11. SO happy to see another Tiger Lily fan! This is my #1 book of 2012! My heart will never be the same, and neither will I ever see Peter Pan the way that I did. sniff!
    Great review, thanks for sharing it πŸ™‚

  12. Oh. My. Gosh. I read Tiger Lily this past summer, and your review is bringing back all of my emotions! You are extremely right in saying that this is an unexpected read…. Peter Pan is my favorite childhood classic so I was excited to read this. I went into it completely open minded, and I wasn’t disappointed in the least. And yes… Not only did the letter get me, but I felt my heart being slowly ripped out the whole story. Such an emotional and wonderful read!
    Great review.

  13. Oh wow. Just wow. I love your review because it’s such a strong, positive endorsement! You’ve definitely convinced me that I need to check this out soon.

  14. Great review! I’ve heard a lot of positive about this one. A book that makes you feel so much is precious. I’ll definitely have to give it a try!

  15. I don’t get very emotional with books, but I did love this book – definitely underrated! Loved how genuine it was, and your review does it great justice. As for other retellings, I think someone at TBTB did a Top Ten Retellings a while ago? That’s where I first heard of Tiger Lily.

  16. This book definitely did not get enough attention. This is the first time I heard about it. I feel ashamed, because I am fairy-tale & retellings lovers. o.O
    I love Peter Pan’s story and Neverland! I loved Disney’s cartoons (both ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘TinkerBell ‘), movie ‘Hook’ with Robin Williams and movie ‘Finding Neverland’ with Johnny Depp (such a wonderful emotional story) and movie ‘Neverland’ and… *takes a deep breath*
    Thank you for reviewing this book. I now can’t wait to read it! πŸ™‚

  17. I love reading re-tellings, can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for the fore-warning that it is a little slow getting into it. I do have a hard time with slow starting books but I’ll push through it for the great story and feelings portrayed

  18. I hope that “HOOKED” was meant to be a pun, though the alternative is that you’re accidentally witty and that’s awesome too! I can’t remember the last blog I read a review from about this book, but their opinion was that there was a lot of hype surrounding the book but they found it disappointing. Depending on my mood, and the amount of awesome books being released, that can be enough to turn my attention elsewhere. But not anymore! I trust your opinion so I’ll have to remember to get this one πŸ™‚

  19. I added this to my TBR list a while ago but because of the negative reviews (okay, and lack of time) I still haven’t read it. But now it’s definitely back on the list! Glad you liked it!

  20. I loved this book and I agree, it didn’t seem to get a lot of coverage. It was amazing, by the end I was so distraught. I just didn’t know what to do with all the feelings that this book brought up haha. It’s definitely in my top books of 2012. Great review!!

  21. This book normally wouldn’t jump out at me. I hated the Disney movie Peter Pan. I found it boring and was always pissed off when my cousins insisted we watch it. Plus, I didn’t like the gator. I remember having to leave the room when he was on. lol.

    However, everything that I have seen about this book, is readers being blown away. So I’m gonna have to give it a try. I love the cover too.

    Plus, tiger Lily dislikes Wendy, so I’ll connect with her pretty well I think. She was too whiny and high maintenance.

  22. Oh god this whole entire book I was on a state of misted eyes and I was all WAHHH PAIN IN MY FEELINGS WAHHHH! And then I got upset for Tik Tok. And ugh, ugh, this book totally gave me all of the emotions in the best possibly way.

    AND THE WRITING. Can we just talk about how beautiful it was and how every single page might have been worthy of highlighting.

  23. I heard about this book from this blog ! And I absolutely LOVED it !!!

  24. Leticia (@osoordinary) says:

    Oh my gosh! I so want to read this book now! I love books that actually bring you to tears! It takes some great writing to make that happen!! Adding to my TBR list!! πŸ™‚


  1. […] Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson — I just wasn’t expecting this book to be THIS good nor to make me cry. I just didn’t peg this book to give me an emotional response like it did. I also really was surprised by Bunheads by Sophie Flack — I was just curious by it but didn’t expect to really love it like I did. […]

  2. […] I just found myself so blown away by this book truly. 2) The other book this happened with was Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I picked it up on a whim after getting it for review and obviously knew it was some sort of Peter […]

  3. […] 8.Β  Tiger Lily by Jodi Lyn Anderson: One of my most favorite retellings ever! This book SHREDDED MY HEART at the end. It does start off a little slow but I had this slow burn love for this story and by the end I was just wrecked! Would have never ever thought a Peter Pan retelling would make me cry! ALL OF THE FEELS. (my review of Tiger Lily) […]