Book Review: Teardrop by Lauren Kate

From the bestselling author of the Fallen series comes the story of a girl whose tears can raise the lost city of Atlantis… or drown the world and everyone she loves.

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The Book Jacket Blurb

The first in a new series by Lauren Kate, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen series, TEARDROP is an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux’s mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn’t, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn’t know Eureka’s darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined.

The Author

LAUREN KATE is the internationally bestselling author of The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove and the Fallen novels: Fallen, Torment, Passion, Rapture, and Fallen in Love. Her books have been translated into more than 30 languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

The Review

While I wasn’t head-over-heels in love with Teardrop, I was pleasantly surprised, having very much disliked Fallen. I’d be interested to see what happens later in the story, but I doubt I’d willingly spend money on a copy.

The Good

The mythology of Atlantis was the shining glory of TEARDROP, in my opinion. I’m a sucker for romantic reimaginings of fairy tales and myths, and the Book of Love (the story within the story) did not disappoint. I did want more, but I’m hoping that further parts of the tale will come in the following books.

I also thought she handled the love triangle very well. I mean, yes, I and the rest of the world are getting tired of being strung along on love triangles, but Lauren Kate made the turmoil believable instead of oppressive. I loved the confusion of the first kiss, and the truth about Brooks was a nice twist.

Kate made a great choice setting TEARDROP on the Bayou. The pressing humidity, the other-worldly feeling, and the penchant for hurricanes all added to that atmosphere and the building sense that something was coming.

Although she was stereotypical (and don’t get me started on stereotypical characters), I actually liked the mystical Madame Blavatsky. She was goofy and random in the best way, what with her odd quirks and obsession with social media, and provided great comic relief along with some of the best commentary in the book.

The Bad

I’m just going to say it. I did NOT like Ander. He’s too perfect, he’s overpowering, and he’s really kind of a jerk. And would someone please explain to me what it is that readers like about the whole trope of stalker = romantic. Ander basically tells her “I’ve been watching you since you were a baby and, now that you’re old enough, I love you” and Eureka just about swoons. Seriously, he just days after they meet, he says “Every moment of your life, I have fallen more deeply in love with you.” Umm, no. Just no.

I hated the characterization of most of the adults in TEARDROP, especially Rhoda and the counselor (I can’t remember her name). These two women illustrate a common complaint I have when reading YA… they are oppressive, authoritarian, and entirely unhuman. Yes, YA is from the mindset of the teen, but the author needs to keep in mind the motivation of the adult versus the way the teen narrator views them and their actions, and not just write them as heartless bitches and unfair monsters. The dad also grated on my nerves; never once did he stand up for Eureka, even when Rhoda was in the wrong.

Yet another trope pops up in Cat. Kate writes Eureka’s best friend as a sex-obsessed cardboard cutout. Every conversation with Cat ends up revolving around her latest conquest and how far they’ve gone. If Cat had served any other purpose or had any other defining characteristics, it wouldn’t have bothered me, but as it stands, Cat was simply set up as the mirror opposite of the previously chaste Eureka.

Lastly, the ending. I won’t say much for fear of giving it away, but it’s safe to say that the ending was an epic let down. Supernatural novels are so popular with teens because, at least in part, of their focus on the empowerment of the MC as she grows into her…well…power. But that is certainly not the case with Eureka, whose moment of weakness, along with her half-sister(Maggie?)’s chance discovery, saves the day and ushers in the new world.

The Bold and the Beautiful

“Love was a dance floor where everyone you loved left a mark behind.”

“Ignorance may not be bliss, but it is perhaps preferable to a life lived in shame. Do you agree?”

The Grade

2.5/5.0
2.5 stars
If you loved Twilight, TMI, or Fallen, but wished for more story and less world building, then you’ll enjoy TEARDROP.

If you, like me, cringed throughout Fallen, then steer clear, because this really isn’t all that different.

TEARDROP is the first in a new series from Delacorte Press and will go on sale October 22, 2013.

You can read the first 10 pages here.

Special thanks to Random House for this paperback ARC.

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