Posted on October 13, 2013 - by katy
Random House, October 2013
Never, ever cry . . .
Seventeen-year-old Eureka won’t let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean.
And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother’s death and Ander’s appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don’t make sense.
Can everything you love be washed away? (Synopsis from Random House UK)
You know that when a book opens with a bridge collapsing, tumbling the main character and her mother into the estuary below, that you are going to be in for quite a ride, and so it is with Teardrop. Not only must Eureka struggle with the reality of her beloved mother’s drowning and fitting in with her father’s second family, but the mysterious boy she has started seeing in unexpected places is far more than just a newcomer to the town – he is a link to the ancient legend of Atlantis which lives on, the tragedy at its heart endlessly repeating itself throughout history. I love this kind of mythic element to a YA novel – it’s in a similar vein to the endlessly-repeating horror within the legend of Blodeuwedd in Alan Garner’s The Owl Service. And yet, to be completely honest, I would have been just as happy with Teardrop had it not contained a single mention of the legend of Atlantis at all. That might sound odd, considering that the plot revolves around a re-enactment of the tragedy that destroyed the lost island, but for me, what really sang out in this book were the gorgeously invoked small-town bayou setting – you could practically smell the spicy crawfish simmering – and Eureka’s coming face to face with the dreadful finality of her mother’s drowning. I thought the treatment of her stepmother and father’s behaviour was utterly gripping – both superficially meaning well, but actually behaving with such horrifying insensitivity. The moment when Eureka’s stepmother decreed that she should pay for her own therapy to see the “value” in it left me breathless. In the past, I have loved the way Lauren Kate deals with huge metaphysical themes and makes them real for her readers, like the Fall, and the nature of true love, but although I hugely enjoyed Teardrop, it left me craving for a novel by Lauren in which ancient myths and legends don’t take so much of a part in the story, and her considerable talents in writing about family relationships, first love, and her wonderful ability to bring a backwoods setting to life are all left to shine on their own.