Last week, I embarked on the challenge of tackling a book in the fairytale retelling genre, and read Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, which is what you guys chose for me in last month’s Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone poll!
I was really hoping that Tiger Lily would win the poll, so I was super excited about getting to read it! I honestly didn’t foresee this happening…
Umm…no. Not even close. I really thought that I was going to love this book. Like, LOVE it. I can’t even believe that this is what happened. Ever since I became a part of the book blogging community, I’ve been hearing nothing but amazing things about this book. Everybody is constantly raving about it and claiming it as a favorite, so I was pretty much convinced that Tiger Lily was going to be a slam dunk. But, unfortunately, I had to stop reading after 90 pages.
…Everything? Ugh. I feel like such an awful person that I felt this way about a book that literally almost everybody else adores. But, I’m so sorry guys, I have to do this.
I knew after only a few pages that this wasn’t going to be a book for me. My biggest problem with it was that I immediately loathed the writing style. Before going into it, I didn’t realize that this story was told from a narrator that wasn’t Tiger Lily, and it irked me how distant I felt from everything because of that. In those 90 pages I read, I never felt like I got any sense of who Tiger Lily was as a person. She had no depth to her, and there was so much telling vs. showing. She didn’t even seem like a real person. And that was only made more apparent by the narration style.
I wasn’t connecting with any of the characters, I couldn’t relate to anything or even understand what the plot of it was supposed to be (did anything even happen?), and the narrator totally put me off right from the start. I am just clearly not the right reader for this book. But I’m so disappointed about that! I know that, for some people, Tiger Lily is beautiful and haunting and magical, but even though I really tried to see that part of it, I couldn’t.
I definitely wouldn’t say that I had a “favorite part,” but I did really appreciate the concept of both the book and Tiger Lily’s character. Even though I didn’t necessarily like how it all played out, I thought that the idea itself was a good one, and portraying Tiger Lily as a different sort of girl who’s actually got all these problems we never knew about, is actually kind of cool…in theory. I just think that it would’ve worked significantly better if it had been written from Tiger Lily’s perspective. Or at least third-person omniscient.
Absolutely! Just because I wasn’t exactly keen on this one doesn’t mean that the whole genre is a bust. I liked the idea of Tiger Lily so much that I think I’d definitely be interested in other fairytale retellings that are similar conceptually but maybe have a writing style that works better for me. You guys gave me a lot of great recommendations in the comments section of my original post, so I can’t wait to check out some of those! Maybe I’ll have to do a BOoMCZ Fairytale Retellings Part II 😛
Have you read this book? How did you feel about it?