Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: Lauren Kate "Teardrop"

Okay, let me state that I am a loyal die-hard Lauren Kate fan. Am I her #1 fan? No. Why? Well because realistically, I’m sure her husband, her mother, her father, any of her siblings, her dearest friends that close to her, and (in the future I’m sure) her daughter are all slotted for that #1 position.  However, I would like to think that I am a friend of Lauren’s as well as a big contender for the Lauren Kate fan club President, if one should be created.

That being said, I wasn't entirely sure about Teardrop. Not going to lie, I had to end up talking myself into pre-ordering it. But over time though with the release of the cover, blurb and prologue, my opinion changed and I was salivating to get my hands on this book.  I know the chances of getting one’s hands on an Advance Reader’s Copy are pretty slim, and I really didn't want to beg Lauren for one, so I was fully prepared to wait till October 22.  So you could probably imagine my surprise when Lauren Zurchin, the coolest photographer you could ever meet, brought me a gift. And inside, one of the last of Lauren Kate’s personal ARC copies.  I was...speechless, completely so too. And there might have been few tears too.

This is probably by far my favorite of Lauren Kate’s works.  As I was reading it, I was reminded exactly why I feel in love with her in the first place.  In a purely Lauren Kate way, it was like falling in love all over again.  Everything that you enjoy about Lauren and her works—whether it is the emotions invoked, the imagery that is detailed, the mystery that is so captivating or the fantasy that you’d wish you could live in—are all present in this epic novel.  There is sass, irony, betrayal, heartache, tears. There is even some foreshadowing (at least I saw some foreshadowing, but then again that might be me seeing things.)

Rating: 5 out of 5

The following four things I loved about Teardrop:

1. The Characters

Teardrop mainly is about the tale of a seventeen year old Louisiana native, Eureka Boudreaux.  In the prologue, we know that Eureka survives a rogue wave that was sent to murder her and yet only kills her mother.  Her psyche is delicate after this tragedy and she is majorly depressed that she nearly dies from a suicide attempt.  What she doesn't know, and what readers will find out, is that she has a power that could change the entire world.  I was only five or so chapters into Teardrop and already I felt connected more to Eureka than I could with any other character.  It might be because I have been in her shoes when I was fifteen, feeling the ugly darkness of depression and complete unworthiness and uncertainty it can bring.  I also have a few traits of Eureka that she does or has, which a few times, I wondered if I was Eureka herself.

Eureka’s love interest is Ander.  We meet him up front in person in the prologue and know more about him Eureka does, though not the reasons for or why.  He is a stalker, of sorts, if you want to put it like that.  Where ever Eureka is, he is there too.  He knows traits and habits and memories of Eureka.  And he informs her that she is in danger.  Besides this, he is a complete mystery and leaves Eureka, and readers, wanting more scenes that contain him in them.  He wants Eureka’s trust, a trust that isn't easily earned nor easily kept once it has been broken.  We will learn over the course of time more about his background that is slightly mentioned in the prologue, though maybe not everything. After all Lauren would want to keep a few things hidden for future books and just for herself.

You will also meet two of Eureka’s dearest friends.  Noah Brooks, simply known as Brooks, is sweetheart and someone who is there for Eureka to hold onto during her depression. Yet over the course of the four-hundred plus pages, Brooks becomes something darker.  In the last few pages and, especially, in the Epilogue, we’ll get a unique insight into his character and the troubles that plague him.

The other best friend is Cat Estes. And my God, Cat is HILARIOUS.  Lauren was correct in describing Cat as a “horn-dog.” She is flirtatious, always talking about guys.  She is comfortable in her own skin and doesn't mind flaunting it.  She also loves a good juicy romance too.  But don’t let this all distract you from the fact that Cat is brilliantly smart.

There are a few other characters, like Eureka’s family and a Madame Blavatsky, that play a role in Eureka’s life.  And what story isn't complete without those darn pesky antagonists? Who are they, I can’t say because that would spoil your desire to read this grand story.

Note: If you are a huge Fallen fan (like me) who would love to see one of your favorite character crossover into the world of Teardrop, they sadly aren't seen.  However, there are traits of your belong characters that you can see in the world that is Teardrop. For example, if you love the eccentric Arriane then you’ll love Cat.  If you love the mystery of our beloved Daniel that captivated Luce and us, then you’ll see the similar mystery cloak Ander.

2. Location, Location, Location

There is something about the South that you can agree on is just magical.  And it’s the prime location for Teardrop.  The way that Lauren describes Louisiana is glorious.  Limbs of oak trees that “embrace” Eureka, sugarcane mazes and the sound they make when they are ready for harvesting, and the way the air smelled of salt.  I could almost see myself standing in the bayou that Eureka loves.  The murky swamplands are picturesque and are just ideal for what goes down in this novel.  Needless to say, that doesn't mean that the rest of Eureka’s story will take place in Louisiana. Just like in the Fallen saga, which originally takes place in Georgia before we went to California and then the rest of the world, past and present.

3. The Mystery and The Inheritance

Besides the mystery that is Ander, Eureka has another mystery after she inherits four items from her mother after her death: a book, a locket, an odd stone, and a handwritten letter.  The letter is a typical letter that one might assume one would get after the passing of a love one.  Not to be sad and in pain, to live life full of love and purpose, and that she was always there, just not in the physical form to guide her.  The letter’s tone and message leave Eureka confused, and even more so the other three items.  The stone is very powerful and will come to save a few lives. How? You’ll have to wait and read to find out.  The locket refuses to open without a special touch, which makes Eureka wonder why was it closed shut for? But more importantly the book.  The book is writing in a language so dead that only a small handful of people could read it.  It’s a book worth being killed for and tells the tale of a woman whose broken heart and tears bring an entire kingdom to its death.

The question now is are how are these items tied to Ander?

4. More Adventures to Come!

As I stated before, Teardrop is probably the best I have read from Lauren Kate.  By the time I finished the last word of the last sentence in the book, I was already cursing that book two isn't finished.  And I have a million plus questions that I’m itching to ask Lauren about, already started and deleted a couple dozen emails to her.  (God help me if I do get a chance to as them.  She knows the type of questions I've asked in years past, how I catch details and clues.)  I’ll have to just wait and see if they will be answered in books to come or be left wondering.

If you want more details about Teardrop and be able to read the Prologue, click here.
To order from Barnes & Nobles or Amazon.

Many hugs! And happy reading!
~Nollie ♥