I love a good fairy-tale retelling, and this was absolutely no exception. In all of the Peter Pan stories, you never really hear much about Tiger Lily. She's just a minor character who may or may not have been important to Peter, and who seems like someone the story could do without. I was so excited to finally see a book about her that told us about her back story and her relationship with Peter.
You might think that having Tiger Lily's story told by an outsider would water it down and make it something less than what it should or could be. However, in this case, I think telling this story from Tinkerbell's point of view was brilliant. I never realized that I never really knew much about Tink either, and Anderson is able to pretty much reconstruct both Tiger Lily and Tinkerbell in such a way that they're both relateable. I love that Tink reveals Tiger Lily's weaknesses as well as her own, and I feel like if Tiger Lily had told us her story we wouldn't have learned as much about her.
It's been a while since I've come across a YA novel where the romance didn't really work out the way you wanted/hoped it would (the last one I can remember was Girl of Fire and Thorns), and I really appreciated that about this book. Everyone knows that Peter eventually ends up with Wendy, but the way that Anderson gets there is both gorgeous and heartbreaking. There were times when I just wanted to wrap Tiger Lily in a hug even though that would be completely against her character. There were also times that I wanted to just slap Wendy and send her back to London (oh wait, that was every time she was there...) with the Englander, who I also didn't like.
I felt that the pacing and the flow of this novel was done very well too. I never felt like things were too rushed or dragging. The only thing I do wish is that some of the characters were a little more developed, or that Tink had gone further into their minds and hearts. Tik Tok, for example. I loved the idea of his character - he reminds me of Lady Dela from Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, and I was really hoping we would get to see more of him and get to know him better.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves the original Peter Pan story, and to anyone who knows it and would like to know more about the minor characters. I would also recommend it to anyone familiar with any version of Peter Pan who also enjoys retellings of classic tales. Even though this is technically a YA novel, I think many adults would also get quite a bit out of it and would very much enjoy it.
I would rate Tiger Lily 5/5. It was definitely one of my favorite books this year, and definitely my favorite summer release so far.