Monday, August 31, 2009

The Tear Collector~Patrick Jones review

The Tear Collector
Walker Books for Young Readers
272 Pages
September 1, 2009
(Hardcover)

Think all the teen vampire novels are the same? Then you definitely need to check out The Tear Collector, in this new tale, Patrick Jones really does find a new approach to the 'vampire' novel.

Cassandra (Cass) Gray and her family and not human, they don't burn in the sunlight or cringe away in horror when presented with garlic but they do need something extra to survive: human tears. And tears of joy or happiness won't do either, they have to be tears or sorrow...so you can just imagine what sort of life Cass lives, all the pain she is surrounded by.

But while the rest of her family is fine with this life, Cass has grown tired of it. Aching to be human and be done with her family 'duty' Cass has become discontent with the way things are.

The Tear Collector--which I find a hard book to summarize and still keep with my 'no spoilers' rule--is really a great twist on the recent explosion of 'teen vampire romance' books. The story is Cass's and her struggle keeping her identity secret from her friends and school (and dealing with high school drama like every other teenager) while still serving her family and deciphering how she feels about them and what they all are.

I really liked that there was Cass's family and her friends in fairly equal measure and not a 90/10 proportion because it was really need to explain who Cass was and why she had to deal with everything she did. Her family and friends were, though, where one of my few problems with one of the book came in. There were a few times where it felt like the storyline was at a sort of plateau to tell about both family members and different friends without really progressing to a peak/climax. Those parts weren't long or often, however.

I also really enjoyed that all aspects of Cassandra's life seemed to have been factored into the 'needing tears.' One hundred percent of her life (from the weather to her chapped lips and on) had something to do with her and her family's need for the moisture. It really added a lot to my enjoyment of the story that it wasn't, "Oh, Cass finds people when they're crying then her life is more or less normal."

It mirrored a traditional vampire story well in that there was still death that the characters had to deal with (in a high school setting no less). In this there weren't vampire killings, obviously, but I found it a nice symmetry to still have death be a part of the story and affect the characters.

One last bit, there was a character that added more drama to the story--and news reports interspersed with the story introduce that early on and that added another touch of drama and intrigue to the tale.

Overall, it was a great story that I'm very glad I added to my Waiting on Wednesday a) because it got me the book (Thank you, Patrick Jones!) and b) because I was right and I did very much want to read it!

8/10


There will be an interview with Patrick posted tomorrow (the book's release date) that I hope you'll check out as it's this blog's first interview :D

Thank you again to Patrick Jones for sending me a copy of the book!

4 comments:

  1. I love this idea. It's so different. Great review.

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  2. I really want to read this. Love the idea of vampires living off tears instead of blood. Great review!

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  3. Wow! I really want to read this one!

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  4. @Juju
    It really is different and very well executed :) and thank you

    @Casey
    It's really a great twist on the classic vampire myth...hope you get a chance to read it soon. And thank you :)

    @J Kaye
    It's really a gret story and incredibly original.

    Thank you for reading and commenting!

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