Beautifully written, highly original, entirely frustrating.
This was my first Lauren Kate book. Though my husband has had her books on his shelves for years, I wasn't planning to read any until I spied this one in the flesh (Ahhh a REAL book!) and was delighted by the cover, which to me runs a close 3rd to 'The Selection' series for drop-dead pretty. And of course the colours made me think it might be mermaidish and because I was torn between all of the other mermaid books I intend to read, I opted for the one right in front of me.
This story has an incredible premise-one I will not hint at or spoil for you because it takes 50% of the book to find out what it was actually about but I will point out that it's not mermaids.
Um...I don't think so anyway. But it is about water. However the heroine is not blonde as picture on the cover which strikes me as odd. Authors slave over their covers so why you'd misrepresent confounds me a little. That takes the review down from 4 to 3.8 because I think it's a huge factor. If you're going to feature your character's face-make it relevant please.
The fact that I didn't know what the point of the book was irked me. A lot of the thrill of reading is turning those first 50 pages and scrambling to ascertain what the story is about. But in the case of this one...by the time I got to the 120 page mark I'd come up with so many theories that I stopped actually paying attention to the story and had started writing another in my head based on my own imagination. It was tiresome, I have to say it. HOWEVER when the other shoe drops you're like:
I think it's highly original. 6 star original. But I haven't read a lot of the recent YA so maybe I'm wrong. But I was certainly alert after that!
The characters in this book are very likeable. There are a few that are somewhat vilified but you like them anyway. There is a love triangle, but it's more hinted towards than actually developed. The guys involved are wonderful, the heroine just flawed enough to be believable but I don't think I'm on the 'right' side of this particular triangle. I almost always pick wrong, so here's hoping.But at the end of the day, I'd court either as a potential book boyfriend ;) Ander is lovely but Brooks has that sexy vibe goin' on which will probably win over the creepy thirty-something women like me who read YA.
There is so much that is wonderful about this book. I love Lauren Kate's description of things-every setting is original and beautiful. It made me long for a Bayou I've never seen, and I like the way the south-east setting completely clashes with the origin of the legend involved. The dynamics of the relationships are all wonderful and questionable. You get the feeling that you can't trust anybody and I like that because I hate being able to pick the ending of books. I love the premise, and thought the story-telling sections of this book (the story within the story) were perfectly placed and so well written that it already seems like an old fairytale I've known for years. I could read a whole book about that alone! The pacing and POV (Third person, 2 perspectives) are brilliant-top rating there too!
In fact, the execution of this book is almost flawless and could have become a favourite of mine if not for a few needling factors. The story revolves around our heroine of course and from the first page-weird, paranormal stuff is happening to her-stuff she remains absolutely oblivious to. That's okay...for awhile. But she takes sooooo loooonnnggggg to wrap her head around her involvement that I was rapidly losing patience with her. People tease Twilight a lot, but I loved the fact that Bella puts 2 and 2 together so rapidly. After awhile, when it came to Eureka's lack of understanding, or even her lack of curiosity, I needed a time out.
I listened to this on audio and though the narrator is awesome, around the 80% mark I had to double-time it for a chapter out of frustration which might not have occurred if I'd been physically reading it-so that's always something to take with a grain of salt with audio-it's paced so slow that the irritating sections seem worse than they might be in your inner monologue.
Towards the end all of the pieces are in place and things get exciting fast and it was going SO well and then all of a sudden-up pops my pet peeve-Violence against children. I have to mention this in my reviews because it is really important to me-I can't abide it. Sure I can know it's happened but if it's too intricately described, my 'mummy' hackles rise.
And then of course it opens that scary door-if THAT isn't off-limits then how bad could it get and now...I'm nervous about reading the rest of the series. But then again, I probably have awhile before it comes out so I'll get over it.
Teardrop goes out with a bang-a bang with a cliffhanger mind you and I am very excited to see how epic a scale she finishes this with. By the look of things, it could be huge-not some little paranormal secret hidden from the townsfolk but a BIG world-changing apocalypse thing which is very cool. I recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal romance-and not just necessarily YA. Fans of anything PNR from the Vampire Diaries to True Blood to Supernatural will probably like this a lot. Just so long as you can tolerate a very depressed heroine who suffers from a touch of insta-love, is slow off the mark and a bit bitchy :) Under all of that, she is sweet and heroic and has a damn good reason (several) to be depressed.