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Teardrop

(i)

 

Louisiana setting best part of fantasy-romance series intro.

What parents need to know

Educational value

A few sailing terms sneak in here. Plus talk of Atlantis, its mythical origins, and Plato's dialogues. Also, in this Louisiana setting, recent hurricane history (Rita, Katrina) factors into the story.

Positive messages

Coping with loss is big here. So are acceptance of destiny, bravery, and using instincts to trust the right people.

Positive role models

Eureka shuts out life after her mother's death and almost commits suicide, barely explaining to herself why she did it. But she tries hard to pick up the pieces with the help of the items her mother left her. She's flippant and almost cruel to her therapist and her stepmom but sweet and understanding with her young half-siblings. Ander's all mystery and intense looks and uses strange methods to get Eureka's attention -- such as hitting her car and yelling at a tour guide. He keeps a lot of secrets.

Violence

Eureka's mother dies when a rogue wave hits their car and carries it into the water; Eureka is injured but survives. She tries to commit suicide with pills before the story begins. Eureka finds one murder victim after the fact, amid descriptions of blood and a dangling eyeball; she and her family witness another murder, this one from a fall. A major character goes missing at sea; children fall overboard and need to be saved. Hurricane weather floods the house. Eureka remembers past hurricanes that frightened her and that, when she was little, her mother slapped her and told her not to cry. Mentions of Eureka's parents fighting, yelling, and breaking plates in the past.

Sex

A teen stays overnight, but there are only a couple of steamy kisses, plus talk of students kissing at a party. A tow-truck driver is notorious for his roving eyes and hands; Eureka won't ride with him.

Language

A couple utterances each of "ass," "bitch," and "hell," plus one each of "Coon-asses," "s--t," "dickhead," and "WTF."

Consumerism

A handful of car names, Jeep being the most prominent. Plus quick mentions of Coke, Jax beer, Wrangler, Pop-Tarts, Lean Cuisine, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Tobacco products are used by two adults; the psychic regularly rolls cigarettes. Teens drink at parties, and a major scene includes a drinking game. A college guy drinks a beer in a bar. There's talk of Eureka and friends sneaking wine into a theater the summer before.
 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Teardrop is the start of a new fantasy-romance trilogy by the author of the bestselling Fallen series. Now, instead of angel romance we have Seedbearers, who have mythical powers over the winds. In the process of getting mixed up with a mysterious Seedbearer named Ander, a girl named Eureka loses her mother in a giant wave, almost commits suicide, and loses a friend at sea. She witnesses one violent death and sees the gory aftermath of another. She and Ander share a couple of kisses, and she wakes up to find that he stayed overnight in her room to protect her. More action happens at an annual teen party where seniors play a drinking game and couples make out in the bushes. The Louisiana setting and the wild weather inevitably bring up recent hurricane storms and then get whirled together with the myth of Atlantis.

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What's the story?

The rogue wave that sent Eureka and her mother's car into the sea was no accident. The Seedbearers -- controllers of the winds, Atlantis survivors -- were determined to get rid of them. But one Seedbearer, Ander, assigned to watch Eureka her whole life, can't let Eureka die. He's willing to take the risk that Eureka possesses a power that could destroy them. He saves Eureka anonymously, going against others of his kind. They hardly need to worry about her latent powers, as Eureka's grief over her mother drives her to attempt suicide, then to skip school and taunt the therapist trying to help her. Then, her mother's will is revealed, and she begins to discover her legacy. When the other Seedbearers realize she has an ancient book and the rare Thunderstone, Ander must step in to protect her. That means revealing just how much he knows about her -- and how much he cares for her.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This story doesn't gel in too many ways. Readers of romance-heavy fantasy can be pretty forgiving; if the fantasy guy in question -- vampire, werewolf, angel, or, sure, TEARDROP's wind spirit/something or other -- can pull off that ubermysterious, uberintense, uberprotective vibe while wooing the heavily brooding girl next door, the pages practically turn themselves. The Louisiana setting's a big plus here, but it would take a very heavy wind to make the pages fly on this one. Ander and Eureka's first (fully conscious) encounter is too late in the story and too bizarre, and then he's gone -- no buildup to a next meeting, no steady crescendo of feelings between them. There's also no buildup to the confrontation with the enemy. Readers barely know who these characters are, and then the big climatic scene hits a dead stop for a baddie meet-and-greet -- too little, too late. Book 2 seems set up to take a dramatic turn -- but, also, that's too little, too late.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about hot vampires and werewolves, hot angels, and now hot Seedbearers. Is the appeal of these romantic figures their mystery and "otherness"? Or is it something else? Also, of course, you need to ask yourself: Who's the hottest?

  • Eureka attempts suicide before the story begins. What help is available to those who make this irreversible decision? What help would you give a friend who tells you he or she is having thoughts of suicide? Is this something teens should take on themselves, or should parents and other caregivers be involved?

  • Are you hooked by Teardrop or not? What makes you keep reading a series? What makes you stop?

Book details

Author:Lauren Kate
Genre:Romance
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House Children's Books
Publication date:October 22, 2013
Number of pages:464
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 17
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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Kid, 11 years old July 1, 2015

Is beutiful but sad

Is a beautiful romance story but some scenes are extremely sad and depressing. I feel engaged with characters and the world created for Eureka, and it is very well developed. I found beauty in an extremely sad world.
Teen, 14 years old Written bykitty47 June 3, 2015

Good, but kind of boring

Kid, 12 years old August 21, 2016

Intense

The book itself is very intense and dramatic.there are substantial amounts of depressing parts that make you question thing in your life.I do not recommend if your child is at all susceptible to strong emotions in written or verbal form.
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