Author: Lauren Kate
Series: Teardrop #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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 – and something about the story is uncannily familiar.
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.
From Lauren Kate comes an epic sage of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic…a world where everything you love can be washed away.
First Sentence: So this was it: Dusky amber sunset.
I’ve heard a lot of things about Lauren Kate’s books – a lot of bad things to be more specific. Here and there, I’ve seen my friends review Fallen and was scared of what I’ve seen. An idiotic heroine, a stalker, no plot, and insta-love all in one book (Fallen)? I mean, I was still curious about the Fallen series, but reading all those other reviews on it would surely influence my opinion once I actually read it, so in the end, I decided that no thanks, I’ll rather avoid it. However, when I heard about Teardrop right before BEA, I decided to give it a chance because hey, things can change right? Surely maybe Lauren Kate would learn from all the criticisms and write a better book right? As I find out later, no. It turns out that Teardrop is full of cliches and has a pretty similar storyline to Fallen (from what I saw from Fallen reviews).
“Eureka, you’re in danger.”
The way he said it, a reluctant rush of words, made Eureka pause. His eyes look wild and worried. He believed what he’d just said. (227)
The cover of Teardrop angers me. Before I actually held the book in my hands, I thought it was quite pretty on-screen. I loved the way the cover designers made the girl’s dress out of water to match the title of the book…until I received the book from the library and saw it face to face. Simply put, the body proportions of the cover model on the cover of Teardrop is wrong. There is so way the cover model’s waist could be that skinny when her arms are that size. The cover model’s legs are also pretty much non-existent in that water dress. Way to send girls the wrong message.
Right from the very second page, there is love. This guy has to choose between saving the world or saving the girl. From that moment on, I was wary. (Hint: If you have a choice to save the world or save your love and doom everyone else, save the world. It’s the only unselfish thing to do guys.) As if it wasn’t cliche enough, the guy has to kill her. Two pages later, that character also admits to stalking the heroine throughout the heroine’s life, ever since she was born. Along the way while he was stalking her, he fell desperately in love with her, but knew that their love can never be. Ladies and gentlemen, this guy’s name is Ander and he’s one of Eureka’s love interests. (This is the part where you guys applaud in case you don’t know.)
He knew everything about her. He would ace any exam on her complexities. He had been watching her since the leap day she was born. All of the Seedbearers had. He had been watching her since before he or she could speak. They had never spoken.
She was his life. (4-5)
Eureka isn’t much better. When she first meets Ander, right after he wrecks her car, she tears up. Ander captures her tear and presses it against his right eye, where it disappears. Is it only me, but won’t you also be freaked out when a stranger appears out of nowhere and does that to you when you tear up? I’ll be running away from him, screaming bloody murder all the way home. Or maybe I’ll just call 911 right there in front of him. But no, Eureka stays there and is flattered. To make matters even worse like this is not bad enough already, Eureka realizes and is scared that Ander is continuously stalking her, but feels regretful when she has to report him to the police. What is this logic?!
As if Teardrop isn’t bad enough so far, a love triangle is introduced later on in the book. This time, there is a guy named Brooks who is Eureka’s childhood friend, but surprise surprise, he has loved her all along. How cliche. But of course, Eureka prefers the dark, stalking, dangerous boy to the childhood friend that has always been there for her. Obviously. Why? Well, you can’t forget another cliche, insta-love. For some weird, unknown reason, instead of liking the childhood friend who has always been there for her, Eureka loves Ander when she barely knows him. Ahem, let me correct that statement, Eureka barely knows anything about him except for the fact that he lies and is constantly stalking her. I guess those are qualities she likes in a guy? As if things can’t get even worse than it already is, Eureka herself realizes that she hardly knows Ander, but she loves him anyway.
Unexpectedly, the phrase I love you sprinted to the tip of her tongue. She swallowed hard to keep it back. It was the trauma talking, not real emotion. She hardly knew him. But the urge to voice those words wouldn’t go away. (434)
Now let’s not forget about the character who’s always there to hate on the main character because of a boy. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we can’t forget about the pretty, gorgeous, Maya Cayce who lives for the sole purpose of hating on Eureka because she’s friends with Maya’s love, Brooks. That’s the only reason why Maya exists – to hate and bully Eureka. That is literally the only way I can describe Maya; she lives to torture and hate on Eureka. Otherwise, Maya basically has no personality.
The same goes for Cat, Eureka’s best friend. There are basically two and only two adjectives I could use to describe Cat: boy-crazy and gutsy. That’s it. I named her entire personality with two words. Whenever Cat appears in Teardrop, she’s either a) comforting Eureka and protecting her from the oh-so-evil Maya or b) going crazy over her making-boy-fall-in-love-with-her plan.
She was a senior, a roller-skater, a rumored Wiccan, a transcender of all cliques, a contralto in the choir, a state-champion equestrian, and she hated Eureka Boudreaux.
“Maya.” Eureka nodded but didn’t slow down. (68)
The characters weren’t the only thing I had a trouble with in Teardrop – I also had a problem with the writing. Lauren Kate’s writing is chunky and doesn’t flow quite well. Sometimes I’ll just snap out of reading a page because of her writing. There are just so many unnecessary words and phrases used. It just feels like the words would never, ever, end. (See what I did there?)
The most annoying thing of all was the fact that Lauren Kate loves to talk about each aspect of her character’s outfits and looks in slow, agonizing detail. I mean, I get how important it is to know how a character looks like because several authors have made that mistake before, but on the other hand, I also don’t need to know everything about how the characters looks like from their hair style to what shoes they’re currently wearing at that moment.
Maya Cayce had a voice as deep as a teenage boy’s…Maya Cayce was extraordinary, with thick, dark hair that hung in loose waves all the way down to her waist. She was notorious for her fast clip down the hallways at school, her surprising, slender grace thanks to legs that stretched for decades. Her smooth, bright skin bore ten of the most intricately beautiful tattoos Eureka had ever seen – including a braid of three different feathers running down her forearm, a small cameo-style portrait of her mother on her shoulder, and a peacock inside a peacock feather underneath her collarbone – all of which she’d designed herself and had done at a place called Electric Ladyland in New Orleans. (68)
Do you see what I mean? Everything about the looks of the characters is written in deep, painful, extraordinary detail.
Now let’s focus on the lack of plot in Teardrop, or, in other words, the romance overshadows the plot. About 386 pages are filler pages – the stalking, the so-called romance, the love triangle, the bullying, the suicide aftermath, and the family drama. Things finally get interesting in the last 60 or so pages of the book, but by then, it’s too little, too late.
Overall, compared with some Fallen reviews I’ve read on Goodreads, I can see some major similarities between Fallen and Teardrop. Simply put, they both have: stalking, insta-love, no plot, and weak characters. I can’t personally say anything about the writing of Fallen because I haven’t read it, but I do know that as authors write more books, their writing improves, so I doubt Teardrop‘s writing is any better than Fallen‘s.
Overall, there is no doubt that I would not recommend Teardrop to anyone, unless you like Fallen or any of the other aspects of Teardrop that I have mentioned in my review. I mean, I’m sure Lauren Kate is a really nice person in real life like one of my friends have mentioned and I’m glad that she has the author career she’s always been aiming for (I read about that in the Q&A portion at the back of the book), but her books just aren’t really my style.