I came here to keep in touch with all my friends who left GR after the censorship debacle. I read a little of every genre. I co-blog at Musings of a Bibliomaniac.
Tiger Lily has all the elements of a good book. Lovely writing, fascinating characters, a place as wild and beautiful as Neverland, a tragic tale of first love. Yet, it lacks the one thing that is so crucial to making a book work, especially a love-story. It lacks passion.
This book was painfully lacklustre. It did not evoke any strong emotions in me. Even the parts that were supposed to be gut-wrenching barely made me bat an eyelid. I kept waiting for something to tug at my heart but the closest I came to feeling sad was when <spoiler>Philip cut off Tik-Tok's hair</spoiler>. In fact, Tik-Tok's story was the only part I found memorable.
How did such a sad story fall so flat?? I think it was the narration. I found Tinkerbell's voice completely devoid of inflections. She says Tiger Lily and Peter Pan are in love but I did not find it romantic. She says this is a sad story (and it is) but I did not feel it. She says the lost boys are terrified of the pirates but I don't see why, because the pirates in question come across as hapless drunk idiots. She says the forest is a dangerous place but again, nothing dangerous ever seems to happen.
I'm also not sure what Tinkerbell does, exactly. Can she read minds? Gauge emotions? Sift through memories? Sometimes, she seems to do all three. Sometimes, the conversations she narrates go like he-said-she-said-he-knit-his-brows-she-kept-her-gaze-level, which makes these exchanges so stilted.
I did not know when I started that this was a re-telling. I assumed Tiger Lily would be like a prequel to Peter Pan, that it would not change the original story in any major way so both could co-exist. But that's not the case. Not only does it completely change the original, it adds a twist that pretty much kills the charm of Peter Pan. I'm really miffed about that because Peter Pan was one of my favorites growing up.
Overall, I'm just disappointed. I really believed this was going to be something spectacular and even when the pace was off, I kept turning the pages hoping the next chapter would blow me away. I was so confused when I read the last page and realized I was nowhere close to crying. But it makes sense now. When I was never convinced by the romance in the first place, how could I possibly be moved by it's tragic conclusion?
I'd recommend re-reading Peter Pan.