Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.
To understand what it’s like to be a faerie, tall as a walnut and genetically gifted with wings—who happened to witness such a series of events—you must first understand that all faeries are mute. Somewhere in our evolution, on our long crooked journey from amoeba to dragonfly to faerie, nature must have decided language wasn’t necessary for us to survive. It’s good in some ways, not to have a language. It makes you see things. You turn your attention, not to babbling about yourself, broadcasting each and every thought to everyone within earshot—as people often do—but to observing. That’s how faeries became so empathic. We’re so attuned to the beating of a heart, the varied thrum of a pulse, the zaps of the synapses of a brain, that we are almost inside others’ minds. Most faeries tune this out by only spending time with other faeries. They make settlements in tree stumps and barely venture out except to hunt mosquitoes. I get bored by that. I like to fly and keep an eye on things. That was how I saw it, from the beginning. Some would like to call it being nosy. That’s what my mother would say, at least.
That morning, I was on my way to see about some locusts. They’d invaded and eaten all the good parts of a faerie settlement near the river, and I had never seen a locust before. I was flying along on a curiosity mission when I passed the girls in a manioc field.
They were out cultivating the tubers—in the tribe, a woman’s job. All in their early teens: some of the girls were awkwardly growing but still thoroughly in their skin, with gangly limbs that expressed their most passing thoughts, while others were curvy, and carrying those curves like new tools they were learning. I recognized Tiger Lily instantly; I had seen her before. She stood out like a combination of a roving panther and a girl. She stalked instead of walked. Her body still held the invincibility of a child, when at her age it should have been giving way to fragile, flexible curves. These were Sky Eaters, a tribe whose lives were always turned toward the river. They fished, and grew manioc in the clearing along its shore. A Sky Eater wandering far into the thick, unnavigable forest was like a faerie wandering into a hawk’s hunting territory. It happened only rarely. So when they heard the crashing through the trees, most of the girls screamed. Tiger Lily reached for her hatchet.
Stone came through first, splitting through the branches. The other boys rallied behind him. And Pine Sap, last and weakest of them all, brought up the rear. They were all breathless, shirtless, a muscular and well-organized group with weedy Pine Sap trailing at the back.
Stone gestured for the girls to come with them. “You’ll never believe it.”
The girls followed the boys through the forest, and I grabbed a tassel of Tiger Lily’s tunic because I, too, was curious, and she ran faster than I wanted to fly. And then we cleared the last of the trees leading to the cliffs, and the way to the sea was open, and I heard a noise escape Tiger Lily’s lips, a little cry, and heard it on the other girls’ lips too as they arrived behind her.
Copyright © 2012 by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in happy endings. Then she meets Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and falls under his spell. Soon, she is risking everything 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.
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 loving heart.
From Jodi Lynn Anderson, the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches, comes the magical story of a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn’t grow up. (Ages 12 and up)
Hardcover Book : 304 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers ( July 03, 2012 )
Item #: 13-603346
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Product Weight: 14.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)