Friday, July 8, 2011
Thyla by Kate Gordon
Good Reads Summary
My name is Tessa. I am strong. I am brave. I do not cry. These are the only things I know for certain.
I was found in the bush, ragged as a wild thing. I have no memory - not even of how I got the long, striping slashes across my back. They make me frightened of what I might remember.
The policewoman, Connolly, found me a place in a boarding school and told me about her daughter, Cat, who went missing in the bush.
I think there is a connection between Cat, me, and the strange things going on at this school. If I can learn Cat's story, I might discover my own - and stop it happening again.
My name is Tessa. I am strong. I am brave. I do not cry. These are the only things I know for certain..
Thyla may be my third book of YA in two weeks that touches on memory (either forgetting or being forgotten.) The first half is Tessa piecing things together. She is discovered in the bush, sort of adopted by this policewoman, and then sent to a boarding school. Her inability to remember and her numerous questions about what she didn't know had me divided. Sure, I found her refreshing at first; Tessa was like a blank slate and she wasn't ashamed to ask questions. But the way she worded her questions only made her stand out more, made her sound old. And it goes on and on like that; for the first half (third ?) of the book, it’s Tessa trying to fit in and piece her memory together, but I’m nitpicking, because that aside one's got to admire at how she tried to fit in.
You only get to experience the paranormal, later in the book. And it’s this bit that engaged my interest. Gordon’s are a different type of Were with their own mythology. On one hand there are the Thyla (tigers?) on the other, the Sarco (Tasmanian devils?) Natural enemies of each other, they are forced to team up against what appear to be a common “vampire” enemy. What’s interesting is how they came to find themselves in that position because that’s where the history of the place comes a little bit into play. For an outsider (me), things were a bit hard to piece together, but once done, I thought, “That was different.”
I think it would be fair to say that there are two stories in this one. One (the first half really) is of Tessa not remembering. The second is on the Thyla, the Sarco and another kind of "vampire" enemy. It’s the connection between the two that’s the mystery. Add the fact that there’s a teensy bit of forbidden romance somewhere in the book, well, you get a little bit of everything
In a word? Interesting… I’d say it’s a 3