Christine: When I first picked up Tyger, Tyger, I thought it would be a children’s book because of the cover and the summary’s mention of goblins. Goblins seem more like a children’s plot, don’t they? Maybe I’m just too used to seeing faeries in every other book.
Caitlin: To be fair, what this author calls Goblins are very similar to the Faeries we’ve seen in other works. They’re beautiful and cruel and duplicitous.
Christine: Right, which is why I was pleasantly surprised to find out it is in fact a YA book with a teenage female lead. Teagan “Tea” Wyllston and her family are pretty average, aside from her mother writing and illustrating fascinating children’s books about goblins (see! I’m not crazy), her father being a major bookworm, and her brother’s ability to sing almost any song and unerringly find his way regardless of where he is. Strange things, well, stranger things start happening when Finn, a pseudo-cousin of Tea’s, shows up to live with the Wyllstons.
Caitlin: Finn brings danger with him and it isn’t long before Tea and Aidan get swept up in a centuries old feud between their family and the Goblin King. Their father is stolen away into the Goblin realm and it is up to the three of them to bring him home.
What I really loved about this book was Teagan and her practicality. She knew what she wanted out of life and she wasn’t going to get side tracked for anything. Especially not for a cute boy.
Christine: I liked Teagan, too. She was focused on her goals and very responsible for her age, especially when it came to her brother, Aidan. I adored Aidan. What is it about little brothers that are ten years younger that make them so adorable? My own brother is five years younger and I don’t ever remember him being as adorable as Aidan is. Of course, my brother wasn’t an all-requests, all-the-time radio station with a built-in GPS.
Caitlin: Aidan was rather adorable (the word is so synonymous with him, I could not think of another one) and kept tense situations light, and didn’t let the story be all about Teagan and Finn and their connection.
Christine: Ah, yes, the connection. That first meeting left me hoping they weren’t really cousins (they aren’t) because then they’d have to move to someplace like Kentucky in order to not get strange looks wherever they went. But the thing about Teagan I liked was her commitment to her goals and future. Yes, she may have felt a connection to Finn and him to her, but she rebuffed him (and continued to rebuff him) like a pro. I loved it. Usually teenage girls are the ones to go gooey and start talking about love and marriage whenever a cute boy looks at them. It was nice to see a different kind of teenager here.
Caitlin: I liked that as well. Especially as it was the type of mystical connection I’ve read about before, usually in adult romance novels, and doesn’t generally include the girl rebuffing the guy. So, it was nice to see her have some backbone, and I would say that Teagan shows much more commitment to her father and brother than she does to Finn. A lot of the story was about family and the different relationships that inspires rather than romantic relationships.
Christine: Family was a focus of the story, which I don’t see all the time. Usually there’s sibling relationships involved in the majority of books I read, but parent-child relationships are rarely touched upon, especially in the young adult books recently. I like that Kersten Hamilton did involve Teagan’s parents a lot instead of using the now-cliched idea of keeping them out of the picture entirely.
Caitlin: So, a fantastic family dynamic, a different type of love interest, and terrible yet beautiful goblins? Not to mention Teagan’s own struggle with…well I guess that would be a spoiler. What’s not to love about this one?
Christine: It was rather cute. It was easy and fast to read. I’m interested to see what comes from this series and look forward to the next book. I would recommend it to readers who like the fantasy/faery type of stories.
Caitlin: So, if you’ve given this one a read let us know what you thought in the comments. And check it out here on Goodreads.
Caitlin and I would like to thank NetGalley and Clarion Books for allowing us to read this book on NetGalley’s site in exchange for an honest review.