When I searched for something outside my usual YA choices, I came across Tiger Lily. I must not have any luck with books with the word tiger in the title because I did not like this novel at all. The other tiger related books I read was The Tiger’s Curse series a while ago. I loved the first two books but hated the rest of them, especially the ending. I had high hopes for Tiger Lily since it was rated highly and a lot of the reviews were favorable.
I was really excited about reading this because the storyline is similar to the movie “Just Like Heaven” starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. I don’t care what IMDB says. I thought it was a good movie. Anyway…my goodness, I was disappointed reading it from point A to point Cannot-even.
I found Lily to be incredibly annoying. As I read I kept thinking in the back of my head, “Man, I hate this girl” which raises obvious hurdles since she’s the heroine. I know my dislike is stemmed from the select group of people I grew up who had similar personalities as Lily. All of the characters were very…cookie cutter. The characters themselves weren’t as developed as I would have hoped. I was expecting huge character self-realizations.
I hate stereotypical characters. For example, Josh is the typical golden boy. Quite literally, I might add. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and a sun-kissed tan. Another example is this:
“…He had dark hair that fell across his forehead, brown eyes…dressed in black from head to toe and looking like trouble…[G]ood looking in a bad-boy-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks sort of way…”
I didn’t realize how much I hate this character description until I read this.
What irritated me the most was how the Asian characters were written. I’m not going to delve further because it will turn into an even longer rant.
There are a few things I liked about this novel. I liked the Chinese proverbs at the top of the chapters. I even wrote a few down on a sticky note for me to read later. I liked how the ghosts are black fuzzy blobs instead of the usual translucent beings. They reminded me of the soot sprites in Spirited Away. Also the name of the salon, Wan Fine Lady, was clever.
I know I didn’t touch on the actual storyline and my review is one long complaint about the characters. But well-written characters are a must. My former high school principal (one of the most brilliant people that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing) was also my director for the plays I was in during high school. He (roughly) said regardless of how great the story is, a play is only as great as its actors.
For me, I sometimes find a piece of myself in the characters of the books I read and lose myself into the story. I almost didn’t finish the book because I was so annoyed but I wanted to know how it ended since it’s a standalone.
An extremely random tidbit: there have only been two books that I’ve only read halfway and stopped. The first one still irritates me because the main love interest was introduced in the halfway through the third book of the series. I didn’t realize he was the one until they bonded or whatever. So the first two “love interests” of the first two books were just there for the crazy ride. In the second one, the heroine is throwing a stupid tantrum and needs to get over it.
I do not own any of the photos I use unless stated otherwise. Credit to Goodreads for the book cover and book summary. I am not compensated or endorsed by anyone to write these reviews. These are simply for enjoyment.