A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
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