Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tiger Lily (A Heartfelt Review by Alexis)

To the apples of my eye,

I'm letting Ash do the review for Catherine, as her journey to getting to read it was a difficult one. (I'll let her tell you that harrowing tale herself, lol.) But lemme squee over it really quick. *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE* Okay, I'm good now.

I'm doing the review for Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. Of course, like I said, we'll probably both be doing reviews for some books, and this will likely be one of them. See, this book encaptures a certain tale that I've always had a love for. More on that in a minute.

Presenting Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson!!!

I tried to think of a better cover, but couldn't capture the story at all. So I understand why this is so minimalistic...

This review is going to be part proper review, part emotional review, as this book punched me in the gut and twisted. So let's glaze over my past concerning Peter Pan.

I saw Peter Pan on stage first. Cathy Rigby's first performance was in Indiana, where I grew up, in Indiana University, I believe. I was two years old. My mom tells me that not only was I hooked afterwards, but it was the first time my mouth had been shut, haha! I then had the Mary Martin stage VHS that Raisinets had an ad in in the beginning. I bet that's why I love that candy. I watched it every day, and then as much as possible after I started school. Somewhere in there, I'd seen the Disney version, but honestly, I still am not a big fan. I never stopped loving the everything about Peter Pan, though. I got hooked on "Hook," and then sobbed like a baby in the theater while watching "Finding Neverland." Then there was the live action "Peter Pan" where, for the first time, a male (Jeremy Sumpter) played him. At fifteen, I went to what Cathy declared was her last show. It was in Dallas, not far from where I am. Is that a sign or what??? My little brother, mom, and I went, and my brother, 7, cheered on Hook. Well, still at my age, the love for Peter Pan surpasses even the one for Alice in Wonderland. I always dreamnt of being swept away by Peter Pan. It's still my dream.

As you can see, I am very attached... I just never thought anybody was going to be able to touch on Peter Pan and improve the story. So imagine my excitement when I spotted this book. Not only was it a beautiful and unique take on Peter Pan, but it opened my eyes to Tiger Lily and her view of the story. After reading it, I demanded that Ashley buy and read it, too. Every image, every character, every little thought, and emotion had hit me hard, and I cried. I recently bought it in hardback, started to read it, and began to cry again.

See, Tiger Lily is told by Tinker Bell, who is obsessed with the very quiet Tiger Lily. Tiger Lily has few words to say, but has an enormous heart and takes the teasing and torture she experiences in stride. In almost every way, I saw myself in her, and I think that's what ultimately had this story nestling inside my heart as much as it has. Though some may not believe that I'm silent, if one listens, I am very quiet when it comes to what counts, especially my true heart and feelings. Then there's the relationship that develops between her and Peter. The way she acts with him is moi. Not seeing things, not noticing what other girls would. And one of Tiger Lily's two friends', Moon Eye, silent suffering with her own destructive secret reminds me too much of my, and so many others', silence.

Jodi Lynn Anderson took my childhood story and made it more in-depth, more grown-up. And it is great. You truly can feel everything that goes on, walk in Tiger Lily's footsteps and do everything she does. Your heart and hers are one. And Neverland is more realistic than ever, feels like you can almost touch it, that it's out there if we actually look for it.

So read this book, if you ever loved anything that has to do with Peter Pan, and know the general story. My last post was Wonderland, but Neverland is much better (sorry, Wonderland fans). I haven't even begun to touch on all of the amazing characters that Anderson brings into reality. (Props for making mermaids what they are supposed to be.)

If you've ever slept with the window open for Peter, clapped because you believed, thought Wendy was stupid for leaving, closed your eyes and saw Neverland, wanted a Newfoundland to name "Nana," or have vowed to never utter the words "I don't believe in fairies," this book truly was written for you.

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