Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: Thyla by Kate Gordon

Kate Gordon
First published April 1st, 2011

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.

After seeing many of my friends brag on Aussie books, I decided to see what the fuss was all about. I hope I can convince more people to delve in that world because it's full of awesomesauce!

Tessa, found in a bush and brought to a hospital, wakes up with absolutely no memory but her name. And I mean, NO memory. Of anything. The tiny people in the TV scare her! So she gets sent to this school… with this missing girl... duh duh duuuuuuuuuh...

What a great author! The writing is so wonderfully simple that it's easy to get lost in Tessa's words. The prose is truly unique. I don't think I've ever read a book where the main character is talking directly to me. Of course she's not - she's writing her story to her guardian, but it's a great way to narrate. It gets you feeling like you're part of the story. Part of her life.

I loved Tessa, the protagonist. She's so loveable and innocent, but you also know that there are mind blowing secrets that are hidden behind that wall in her memory. There is definitely a lot of intrigue and although you might think you have it all figured out, you don't. Another aspect I loved in the book, probably what I liked best actually, was the humour. It made me laugh quite often due to Tessa's ignorance. I mean the girl didn't remember what waffles were! It was all so amusing and cleverly fabricated.

So yeah, as my first Aussie book, I'm quite impressed. Really, other than the location, it isn't terribly different from american books - don't go comparing them like US vs Japanese horror movies - it just has this originality that stems from actual ingenuity, and not just "writing with the hype" to make fast money. (I mean, let's face it, who hasn't milked the Twilight cow?). That leaves us with a billion similar B-rated books that just… lack. And I'll admit that I do read most of them and they're still enjoyable for the most part, but this was straight-out original and just lovely, plain lovely. This will not be my last Aussie book.
4/5 hot espressos