Pub 10-2013, Delacorte Press
“Just before the wave exploded above them, Ander grabbed her hand. Eureka.”
Teardrop, by Lauren Kate, is an immensely enjoyable book by the bestselling author of the Fallen series. It’s a mythological, mysterious read that keeps the reader hanging on for a much-awaited sequel — a new, haunting story that brings Atlantis even more to life.
Eureka is sixteen years old, living in southern Louisiana and mourning the death of her mother. The one rule that Eureka’s carefree, traveling, archeologist mother had was never, ever to cry. Eureka has never broken the rule, but when a record-breaking wave knocks their car off a bridge and kills her mother, she wants nothing more than to cry. Struggling to understand why the world is so unfair, her only relief, in a life filled with sympathizing therapists assigned by her stepmother, and crashing thunderstorms, are her boy-crazy best friend Cat, her sweet twin step-siblings, and a guy named Brooks who might just be something more than a friend.
But Brooks starts being mean and going wacky on her. Then, an albino boy named Ander, who is irritatingly cute, tells her that she is in mortal peril and might be the key to bringing Atlantis out of the ocean. Eureka wonders if she’s taking a dive off the deep end.
Eureka’s mother left her some strange inheritances: a locket that no one can open, a rock that resists water, and a book written in a language that no one can read. Remembering Ander’s words, Eureka jumps at the chance to decipher the code, even if it means that Cat has to tag along. As they embark on this adventure, Eureka starts to think more and more that Ander might be right, and that a forgotten, sunken, magical island might be coming back as a result of her tears.
This book is probably one of the best books I have ever read. Eureka’s best friend, Cat, is definitely my favorite character. While Eureka is always zoning out, down in the dumps with self-pity, denying her feelings for Ander, or fighting with her possessed friend Brooks, Cat is oblivious to Eureka’s bad mood. Always upbeat, cheerful, supportive, and practicing the self-made religion of a “5 minute boyfriend,” Cat is definitely a prototype for a hero’s best friend. In all good books, the (usually ugly or wallowing-in-her-pitifully-low-self-esteem) heroine has a best friend who dresses her up for the big dance, or helps pull her out of her misery by partying until midnight. This is exactly the type of girl Cat is, except that in Teardrop, she’s a lot funnier because they both go to Catholic school, giving Cat an edgier feel by comparison.
While Cat was my favorite character, I also really liked Eureka. First of all, how awesome is the name “Eureka”? And even though she was in a bad mood in the beginning of the book, the author makes it understandable why she is so sad. Eureka and her mom were really close and it’s implied that this is the reason why Eureka dyes her hair and tries to attempt suicide. Nonetheless, Eureka’s interior monologue is humorous, like when she describes her past three therapists and their tendency to take their shoes off at the beginning of a session, and put them back on at the end.
Ander is also a very interesting character. The prologue is told in third person, from his point of view. The author describes him as kind of an albino, with blond hair, pale skin, and a haughty, rich-boy look to him. Eureka is always going on about Ander’s eyes, which she says are the color of the ocean. Ander is very mysterious, and has supposedly been stalking her since birth. Eureka finds herself entranced by his spell as she desperately tries to translate the book her mother left her. (I, personally, think that if someone were stalking me, I would freak out.) You’ll have to read the book to know what Ander’s secret is.
I also really liked the subtle humor that Lauren Kate included in the book, although most of it comes from Cat. For example, the words that best describe Cat are, “For such a smart, tough girl — Cat had a blue belt in karate, spoke non-Cajun French with an enviable accent, got a scholarship last summer to a molecular biology camp at LSU — Eureka’s best friend was also a horn-dog romantic.” These words really describe Cat as a person. Even though she’s super smart (she listens to talk radio, but swears it’s only to know what college guys are talking about), she takes the cover of a stereotypical “dumb blonde.” I think Kate did this because she wanted Eureka to have a good, smart friend, but also a funny, pretty one. So she combined two friends into one.
I also really liked the vivid verbs and great descriptive words in this book. Lauren Kate really paints a picture (actually, more like a movie) of all the scenes. This book takes place in a town in Louisiana controlled by Catholic, baking mothers, cheerleaders, LSU-loving football players, and a boy who has a tendency to stab her in the back when Eureka needs him most. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, and am hoping that the sequel has language as descriptive as this one. Teardrop is a highly-recommended read.
- Abby C, 13