Review: Tiger Lily

When I kept seeing positive reviews of a Peter Pan retelling called Tiger Lily, I was quickly intrigued. I can’t say I’m a big fan of Peter Pan necessarily, but fairy tale retellings intrigue me so I wanted to check it out. And after all…

Peter_Pan_wonderfulUnfortunately, I didn’t really feel the magic. I imagined it as best as I could, and apparently I was able to inspire up my first bookish wedding inspiration post that so many of you enjoyed, but as I read, I felt that Anderson was glossing over delightful details of Neverland, and everything just fell flat for me.

GR-tigerlilyI feel the need to point out that each of the characters were unique and complex, they weren’t two-dimensional or flat at all. And yet, I felt zero connection to them. I’m sure part of it was because I couldn’t relate to them, but there have been characters I have connected with despite having nothing in common with them. I think part of the problem was also Tinker Bell as the narrator. She would say exactly what everyone was thinking and feeling (it seemed terribly convenient that she can could read their minds), but even still I didn’t actually feel with the characters at all. I was concerned about Tiger Lily and Pine Sap and Moon Eye in the sense I didn’t want bad things to happen to them because they’re human beings (fictional, but still), but I never connected to how they felt or cared too much about what happened in the end, so long as it was too terribly tragic (though early on I feared it might be, since that is the mood of the book).

And really, what was I supposed to want to happen? Like Seraphina, this book felt like it lacked a direction, a plot, a goal for the main character, except much more so. The world and the characters were much less interesting to me than that of Seraphina (even though had the potential to be so amazing!). I tried so hard to enjoy the ride, but everything felt so somber and flat and strange. What did I want for Tiger Lily and Peter Pan? I understood their connection, sort of, but I didn’t really understand when they formed it or why. *Highlight for spoilers* And I certainly didn’t care about them ending up together (though I did feel bad for Tiger Lily when Peter flaked out on her for Wendy, because really it is just sad in general when such a thing happens). And just when I thought their relationship might be interesting, like they go off on a three day journey, it was boring and felt ultimately pointless.

Maybe the point was *highlight for spoilers* was the betrayal that would come after. But that didn’t really make me feel anything either. It just confirmed both parties were kinda lousy people when you got down to it. I understand not wanting to make every MC a hero/heroine type, but at least make them likable or interesting or something. What happened with Peter Pan did affect me some, and then I was happy that Tiger Lily was finally able to love Pine Sap. But other than that, I just don’t know. 

But still, I don’t understand what the reason for the journey was, ultimately. Why did I read this story? What did I glean from it? The answer is I don’t really know.

The writing was lovely in some places. But in some places, as I somewhat alluded to before, I felt like there wasn’t a real richness to the prose. Almost all the character interactions felt so stiff to me, especially with them being explained to us by Tinker Bell instead of us actually getting to watch it unfold for ourselves.

I enjoyed reading it sometimes, but most of the time I felt like I was just trying to get through it, waiting for it to get better. Because of this, I am having a hard time giving it a firm rating. Based on how I have rated previously, it would be 3 stars, but I’m starting to think I have rated some of my 3 stars too high, so this book (and one or two other 3 star books I have rated) might actually be closer to 2.5. So, I’m remaining non-committal. Sorry if that bothers you. It actually bothers me too.

For a similar review (I’m not the only black sheep!), see also: Allie @ Little Birdie Books’ review of Tiger Lily

Content advisory: References to sexuality and rape

Bookish Wedding Inspiration: Tiger Lily

A while back, Asti @ Oh, The Books! did a post about doing blog features. I had never really considered doing my own unique blog feature before, but she mentioned how all you have to do to create a feature is follow this simple formula: books + _________. For some reason, books + weddings popped into my mind. I enjoyed doing a lot of research while planning my own wedding (though the actual execution of the planning was not as fun, especially when you had to worry about budget, boo!) and honestly the bug never entirely left my system. Now, I consider myself more of an idea person than an executioner, which is why you won’t see me going into event planning any time soon. But I absolutely love collecting pictures and ideas that fit a theme, and I thought it might be fun to try creating themed wedding ideas based off of books, and how the main character’s wedding might look. My first thought was definitely The Hunger Games, and I’ve collected a lot for it, but I’ve decided to save that one for another day. Today I wanted to share wedding inspiration for a more recent read for me, Tiger Lily.

TL-inspirationI will be mentioning themes in the book but will do my best to avoid any real spoilers!

Bridal Look

The Dress

TL-tan-wedding-dress2The people of Neverland pretty much only have natural resources to work with, so while this Vera Wang dress may be made of much finer material than their corner of the world has to offer, I thought the more beige color and the pieced together look was appropriate and might be at least somewhat similar to something Tiger Lily would wear on her big day.

The Hair

TL-hairTiger Lily wears crow feathers in her hair, and why should it be any different on her wedding day? To dress it up a bit, she might want to pair her usual style with a veil-like headpiece like this one available on Etsy.

The Accessories

TL-accessoriesI imagine that for her bouquet, Tiger Lily would choose lilies from the island of Neverland, including, of course, tiger lilies. There is a mention of wedding bangles in the book, so I looked for some bangles made from leather but also had a nice, dressy touch to them. And around her neck, Tiger Lily could wear a clock necklace. I won’t say anything else about the significance of the clock due to spoilers, but those who read the book will understand why Tiger Lily would want such a piece of jewelry.

The Groom

TL-groom-lookI figured a laid back look for the groom would make the most sense, and this picture was closest thing I could find to what I had in mind.

The Portraits

TL-couple-photo-boat TL-couple-photo-treeI felt these couple portraits were quite appropriate for a wedding in Neverland, and particularly for Tiger Lily.

The Location

TL-candle-lit-treeObviously the location of the wedding would be outdoors in Neverland. For the ceremony, I pictured something underneath a lit tree, much like the above picture. For the reception, a laid-back affair in a woodsy area.


The Cake

TL-cake-clockOf course, we can’t forget about the yummiest part of the wedding. I’m not sure what flavors Tiger Lily would favor, but as far as the look of the cake, this one features the themes of both feathers and clocks once again.

Let me know what you thought of this first installment of my Bookish Weddings Inspiration feature! What would you expect to see at Tiger Lily’s wedding or at one inspired by her and her story?