Teardrop by Lauren Kate
I’m not sure why I gave Lauren Kate another chance. I hated her Fallen series. This series has many of the same issues with poor language, overblown teen love, fetishized female fragility, and romanticized creepiness. The story begins when 16-year-old Eureka and her mother are swept off a bridge by a freak wave. Her mother is killed but Eureka survives, only to attempt suicide in her grief. In flashbacks we learn that Eureka’s mother taught her never to cry, and she doesn’t, but she always seems on the verge of tears somehow. She meets this guy Ander and is instantly attracted to him. There’s also her oldest friend Brooks though, who’s into her. She’s inherited some mysterious objects from her mom. I think the worst moments were when Eureka’s two suitors meet each other for the first time and almost get in a fistfight, and when Ander describes his stalker behavior to her and she thinks it’s romantic.
This series thankfully doesn’t have the theological issues that the Fallen series did. (Although there was still a totally unnecessary passing reference to the Earth only being 6,000 years old.) Instead of dealing with angels and the Fall, it focuses on the legend of Atlantis and creates a mythology about its disappearance and return. This backstory was gradually revealed, but it seemed engineered to create a love triangle with maximum tension. Eureka carries the Tearline, which means that if she cries, the world will flood and Atlantis will return. Ander is a Seedbearer, from a family determined to kill all girls who carry the Tearline in order to prevent this flood. But he broke from his family because he loves Eureka and saved her. And he has gills. Brooks has been possessed by Atlas, an Atlantean who wants his land to return, and he’s trying to do it by acting like a jerk to make Eureka cry. But now that Eureka knows that Brooks has been acting that way because he’s possessed, she wants to save him. It’s pretty complicated and strange, like most fantasy novels.
I really haven’t decided whether I’ll bother with the next book in the series. Is there any reason to think Kate will improve the series with the later books? Is it my duty to denounce bad books? Or do I owe it to myself to spend my time only on books I am more certain of enjoying? Life is short and my stack of books to read is high. I don’t really care about the characters, but I am curious about what Kate thinks would be a happy ending for the scenario she’s dreamed up. For example, is it more romantic to end up with the guy you fell for at first sight, who’s stalked you and gave up his family to save you, or your childhood friend, who’s also hot and has suffered precisely because he’s so important to you? I guess a question like that can probably be resolved by reading some spoilers instead of the whole book.