Aug 30, 2010
Tyger Tyger Review and Author Kersten Hamilton Guest Post
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Publish Date: November 15, 2010
Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.
Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.
Right off the bat..I loved Tyger Tyger. I was somewhat hesitant because I wasn't sure if I wanted to read about goblins, and such, but I'm so glad I gave it a chance.
Teagan's life has been a ordinary one until Finn Mac Cumhaill shows up. Things aren't quite right about him especially the way he's making her feel. Teagan is a great character. I really liked her because I felt she was scared but stayed strong. I'm a sucker for a strong independent female protogonist. What can I say about Finn? I loved, loved him. I like my male characters kind of rough around the edges, and boy does that describe Finn perfectly. His survival skills, and street smarts give him that bad boy image.
Tyger Tyger grabs your interest in the beginning and never lets go. I loved the Irish Folklore that pushes Tyger Tyger along. Goblins, and all the other creepy evil things really worked. How did I think I didn't want to read about Goblins? Bring on the Goblins!! The story of the Mac Cumhaill's is so fascinating. Everything really worked in Tyger Tyger, nothing felt rushed, pushed or shoved down our throats.
I'm definitely a new fan of Ms. Hamilton. Can't wait to read more from her. I highly recommend Tyger Tyger.
Kersten Hamilton Guest Post
Aristotle, Feminism, and Female Protagonists
Hi, Melissa! Thank you for hosting a stop on my blog tour! Today, I would like to talk about feminism, female protagonists in YA books, and one old dead philosopher.
There are so many understandings of the word ‘feminist’ that I think I should explain exactly what I mean by it in this post: I mean that I believe that women and men, men and women are completely equal.
I was born a feminist, and never strayed from it. Which is odd, because I had no strong female role model when I was growing up. No female role model at all, in fact. I was raised by a father who believed that women are less worthy than men.
I simply disagreed with him. From birth.
Women are not better than men; men are not better than women. All of us are human and all humans are fearfully and wonderfully made.
We are equal, but not the same. And in the tension of that statement stereotypes are born. I blame Aristotle. Yes, a two-thousand-four-hundred-year-old philosopher is dabbling his skeletal fingers in our books, our culture, and our lives. The man was a brilliant thinker; he helped form Western Civilization. But his views on women were wrong. I will paraphrase three of Aristotle’s teachings:
1. The male is better and more divine (godlike) than the female.
2. A female is a deformed male.
3. Since the male is by nature superior, he must rule and the woman be ruled.
These ideas in various forms have been thundered from pulpits, written into law, and absorbed by people who don’t even realize we are steeped in them.
They have create literary clichés: a girl who must always be rescued OR the reverse, a girl who fights and kills as efficiently as a man. The latter started showing up in the sixties, I think, when culture was reacting to the idea that girls were weak by making them just like boys and just as good as boys at everything. Instead of empowering girls, we simply fixed Aristotle’s deformed males.
The only way to avoid this is to make sure our characters—male or female—are fearfully and wonderfully made. Human.
One writer who has given female characters wings is Hayao Miyazaki. His female protagonists might win because they are kick-butt warriors—or because they have the strength to love even the ugliest of creatures—but there is always a distinctly female strength about them.
I would love to hear your readers’ thoughts on this!
**Great post, Ms. Hamilton! I've always been curious about what YA authors feel about female protogonist. I have a feeling in this day, Aristotle would need bodyguards!