Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Mini Reviews: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson and Fire by Kristin Cashore

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Tiger Lily
    by: Jodi Lynn Anderson

Publication Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed from Library
Page Count: 292 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair...

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.

I had been interested in reading this one for quite some time now so I'm glad I made time for it! It was such a beautifully written story and I really enjoyed seeing Neverland from Tiger Lily's point of view and learning about her tribe, how she meets Peter Pan, and see how their relationship becomes what it does. This is a very character driven novel though and the pacing is on the slower side. It is very detailed and there's not very much in the way of dialogue until a bit later in the book. The reason for that is because of who our narrator is- a brilliant move on Anderson's part.
I was surprised by how affected by this book I was. The ending had me choked up and I definitely felt for Tiger Lily and our narrator. It was very bittersweet and I couldn't help but feel at a loss for the events that happened, even though we all know how the story of Peter Pan ends.
Tiger Lily and Peter Pan couldn't be more different and yet they are alike in their stubbornness. Tiger Lily is strong, but she is also dutiful and loyal to her tribe. She will make the hard sacrifices because of that loyalty, even though she wishes things could be different. Peter is selfish. He doesn't know any better, really. While he is the leader of the Lost Boys and his loyalty is to them, he is willing to make room for Tiger Lily and he lets her become a part of their band of misfits. He is open with his emotions and feelings, where Tiger Lily is not. She could be misconstrued as cold and detached, but that's not the case. She just doesn't outwardly express her emotions and that block became a part of their issues. It's like these two had a brief moment in time, before it flitted away on the wind never to be found again. It's heartbreakingly sad, but it wasn't meant to be either.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Tiger Lily's story, I loved the narrator and how that person tied into the grander scheme of things, and seeing how all the lore of Neverland, Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and the Lost Boys was presented and taken to a new level.
I like to think that nothing’s final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don’t, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I’ll see you sometime again, even if it’s not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand.”  

Fire (Graceling Realm #2)
   by: Kristin Cashore

Publication Date: Oct. 5, 2009
Publisher: Dial Books
Genre: High Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed from Library
Page Count: 461 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.

After 2 years of Heather Lyons telling me how much I needed to read this one, I FINALLY acquiesced and man, I am so glad I did. She had built up this book so much for me, I admit upon opening it I was a bit intimidated. What if I don't like it? What if it doesn't hold my interest? I was so glad that these questions were a non-issue for me. My one and only complaint about Fire is that I wanted more romance. I loved Brigan and Fire so much together and I just wanted- no, NEEDED- more with them. Their romance is a very slow burn and while I liked how it ended up becoming what it was, I wish we could have seen more of them together and happy because those two absolutely deserved it.
I loved Fire's character. She is fierce and strong, but she has vulnerabilities too. Her beauty is her curse and I hated how guarded she always had to be. She also has the very real fear of becoming a monster like her father and it's heartbreaking to see her worry and feel guilt over that. There is one thing she does that absolutely killed my heart and while I understood her reasons for it, I still felt so much sadness and hurt for her. Her best friend, Archer, treats Fire like she's this fragile, young girl and it was a bit infuriating, especially due to his love for her. However, I never felt that spark, that connection between them. Fire needs someone to be her equal and to balance her and Brigan is that person. He is not overly handsome, but he has such a big heart and cares for his kingdom and its people. That makes him beautiful in my eyes and I know it was the same for Fire. While their interactions are pretty minimal, they are certainly powerful and poignant.
There were so many secondary characters I grew to love in this one too- Clara, Mila, Queen Roen, Brocker,  Hanna... they were all so well integrated into the storyline and such an important part of Fire's life and journey.
I have not yet read Graceling, so Heather thankfully filled in some blanks for me, and I am excited and a bit scared, especially after meeting the crazy Leck. That kid... disturbs the crap out of me. I am also interested in exploring more of the world outside of the Dells, so I am definitely looking forward to continuing the series.

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  1. Tiger Lily has me choked up as well!!

  2. You know how I am with heartbreaking books. It's why I never picked up Tiger Lily even though I've heard nothing but fabulous things about the book. I'm glad you had so much good luck with it, Jess. It sounds like it was a wonderful experience for you. :)

    I never read past the first book in Kristin Cashore's series, but I want to. I even think I own all the books in the series. I love the sound of that slow burn romance.
    Glad this was also a success for you, Jess! :)

    Lovely reviews!

    1. I definitely understand girl. It was hard to read because I was so sad! It was a beautiful book though.

      I really liked Fire. I'm so glad I read it! I can't wait to read Graceling!

  3. I have heard great things about Tiger Lily but never got around to it. But Fire OMG! The romance killed me too I loved it but I wish I could have seen more. It needed more kissing. But I love that world. I loved Graceling even more. Gahh such an awesome series. I gotta make time for Bitterblue! Awesome reviews!

    1. I really need to read Graceling! I can't wait! I have it checked out from the library! I really loved that world too!

  4. Fire is one of my favorite books ever. I loved it so much. I also want to read Tiger Lily though, but I'm afraid that the bitttersweet ending may leave me with a few tears. The story of Peter Pan was always a sad one for me - I loved how Peter wouldn't grow up, but hated it that everyone else had to. And Tiger Lily, I didn't feel much for her when I read the original Peter Pan book but she did always intrigue me...I just think hte bittersweet ending might do me in. I don't like sad books.

    Great reviews on both of these!

    1. YAY! I'm so glad I read Fire! I can't wait to go back and read the other two now!

      I never thought much about Tiger Lily either in the original stories, but I really loved this retelling, even though it was a bit heartbreaking!

  5. YAAASSSS. I am so glad that you loved Fire! It is my favorite of all time! It's the book that I would recommend if I could only recommend one, or save if I could only save one, etc. Gaaahhh, I want to go reread it even though I have that memorized! Brigan <3

    I've not read Tiger Lily - that's quite great that it also worked for you, and it made you emotional at the end! I might give it a try, even though I didn't like The Vanishing Season (gorgeous cover though).

    Anyway, fabulous mini reviews, lady! :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Yes! Fire was so great! I'm really glad I read it finally! OMG, I love Brigan so so much!

      I haven't read The Vanishing Season, but that sucks you didn't like it!

  6. So I'm considering reading the Graceling series. Maybe. I've heard such great things, but I thought the romances wouldn't be for me. But now that you loved Fire.. will definitely think about it! I'm glad both of these books you ended up enjoying. Great reviews, Jess!

    1. Oh really? I think you might get a little irritated with Fire because there is another guy in her life before the OTP, but it's otherwise really great.

  7. I really wanted to like Tiger Lily more than I actually did. The pace killed it for me though. I'm glad you had a better experience with it! That quote you mentioned is fab though.
    I need to start Graceling!

    1. The pacing was a bit of a struggle for me too. Looking past that, I did really love it, so I'm sorry it didn't work for you!


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