Tyger, Tyger, by Kersten Hamilton
I first heard about this book over at The Enchanted Inkpot, where they have a delightful interviewed Kersten Hamilton. I am so glad I picked up this book! I hadn't heard of Hamilton before, but I will definitely be reading anything she writes from now on.
Teagan is a fairly typical high school student. She has a great after-school job working at a vet clinic; a mom who writes and illustrates children's fatasy books; a librarian dad; a music-obsessed younger brother; and a best friend she's known forever. Teagan's practical and goal-oriented; she's got a plan for her life and the action steps necessary to go after it. But one night her parents agree to take in Aiden, Teagan's cousin, who has been in and out of foster homes since his parents -- Teagan's mom's adopted brother and his wife who also happen to be Irish Travelers-- died in a car accident. What happens next has little to do with Teagan's simple and uncomplicated life, and a lot to do with adventure, danger, and a million-year war.
Tyger, Tyger is basically an interpretation and retelling of classic Irish legends and myths; which I'll admit I am predisposed to like. Hamilton does a good job of infusing the book with both a mystical and magical feel, as well as reminding us that Teagan has always been firmly grounded in reality. At least...reality as she knows it. I also like that Hamilton doesn't shy away from the creepy and sinister. The book moves along at a fairly quick pace, but I think that gives the book an appropriate sense of urgency. As far as characters go, I enjoyed everyone I met, and particularly loved Teagan's younger brother. Then of course there's Aiden: hot Irish guy. Need I say more? There's thankfully no love triangle; and while the romance had a bit of the "we're destined for each other" element, it wasn't overdone and there was still a lot of sweet, awkward first romance.
Bottom line: an excellent fantasy/fairy tale, with more to come!