The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones
author’s website: Patrick Jones
release date: September 1, 2009
appeals to: Young Adult (high school)
genre: Contemporary/Urban Fantasy
length: 272 pages
overall rating: 4.5 stars
*the inside flap*
Between hookups, makeups, and breakups, there isn’t a day at Lapeer High School without drama turning to trauma turning to tears.
And tears are just as essential as air for Cassandra Gray. She and her family are vampires who thirst for human sorrow, and the energy that they soak in from a good crying jag can keep them fueled up for days.
Anytime a friend needs a shoulder to cry on, Cass is there. Anytime a boyfriend gets too secure, she breaks his heart. Cass’s work as a school peer counselor and hospital volunteer also provides the perfect cover and access to her family’s energy source. But she is getting tired of all the lies and manipulation – especially now that she’s actually fallen in love with a human. Can she bear to betray her family for a chance at happiness and a life lived with joy?
I began this book intrigued by the concept of a vampire that feeds on tears instead of blood. And as I read, it made more and more sense to me! In most stories, vampires feed on blood, which is what keeps people alive, but really, aren’t our emotions what make us human? As Cassandra collects tears from her fellow students, you begin to understand that those tears represent so many of the emotions and feelings that actually make people who they are. There is a lot of depth to Cass’s character, mostly because of the conflict she experiences throughout the book. That conflict is fascinating! Cass knows that she has a duty to fulfill for her family, but as you read, you see her start to develop feelings of both love and anger –two very strong emotions for someone who can’t feel empathy. Her relationships with Robyn, Becca, Samantha, and Scott end up teaching Cass a great deal about humanity.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It wasn’t your traditional “vampire” novel. Instead, you meet a girl who has only one job – to collect the tears of anyone she can – and you realize that life without feelings and emotions isn’t much of a life. This is definitely a fantasy story with a vampire twist, but even more, this is a story of coming to understand yourself. It is a great read, and has a fantastic ending that leaves an opening for a sequel!
*short and snappy*
writing: engaging – I felt like I was experiencing Cass’s story first hand
plot: twisty – as soon as I thought I had figured everything out, something would change. (The ending is a fabulous twist!!!)
characters: multifaceted – Cass develops in ways she didn’t even know were possible
judging by the cover: love it! I think the cover could draw someone to pick up this book (which of course, is the point of a good cover) and it is directly related to the story too
miscellaneous: I’ve read quite a few negative reviews of this book because they think that the main character is too cold – but (for crying out loud) Cass can’t feel emotion! When you can’t feel emotion, what choice do you have BUT to be cold. I thought it was a fantastic story!