Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book Review: The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones

Title: The Tear Collector

Author: Patrick Jones

Pages: 263

Summary (from PatrickJones.com):

Fans of urban fantasy should prepare for a new kind of vampire—one that feeds off of tears instead of blood. Descended from an ancient line of creatures that gain their energy from human tears, Cassandra Gray depends on human sorrow to live. Her job as a grief counselor at the hospital provides the perfect cover to keep this secret safe, and any time a friend needs a shoulder to cry on, she’s there. Only Cass has grown tired of living a lie and wants to live like a human, especially now that she’s found someone worth fighting for.


I had read and loved his previous novel, Things Change, so when I found out he was writing a new spin on the Vampire myth, I had to get a copy.

Cassandra is a heart breaker; she's had her fair share of relationship, all of which have ended in tears--which are the only thing keeping Cass and her family alive. What they are aren't human--they are creatures who live and feed off the misery of others. It's Cassandra's job to collect tears for her family, forcing her not only into positions as a grief counsler in the hospital and the school, but into relationships that she knows will only end once it becomes serious. She knows she will never find love, or happiness, only sorrow...that is, until she meets Scott.

I have to admit, I was a bit dissapointed with The Tear Collector. Maybe it was because, due to the premise, I had unreachable expectations. But I think it was mostly because Mr. Jones doesn't seem to...understand teenagers.

Now, I'm not saying I'm the ambassador to all Teenagerdom, but I am a high schooler, and I do know how kids my age talk. And this wasn't it. The dialogue was so...formal. Not even in the olden-times way...just really...I don't know. It's just not the way teenagers speak in general. I may sound critical, but if you read it you'd know what I mean.

Also, Cassandra's inner monologue is just so mellow-dramatic. Every few moments, it's strange descriptions of the world around her that would be more appropriate for a Gothic tragedy then an urban fantasy. I don't care how mature she is, NOBODY talks like she does. This could be a good thing or bad thing, but to me, it was a bad thing. I just don't like over-dramatic inner monologues.

Another gripe I had with it was that it was...how do I say this...cheesy. I won't elaborate but for one bit of dialogue:

"I thought you drowned, Swimmer Girl," Cody says, when I finally emerge.

"Only in your love," I say, then kiss him on the cheek.


I almost slammed the book down right then and there. I didn't, and I'm GLAD I didn't. but still. Mr. Jones, if you are still in the editing process, please, dear God, omit that line. I beg of you.

Moving on.

Other then some mellow-drama, atrocious use of the word "Shawty" (no matter how mocking), and plenty of awkward dialogue, I enjoyed The Tear Collector. It's different, the prose and writing is very elegant, and the main character was believable. At first glance, she seems vaguely stuck up and bitchy, but as you get deeper into the novel and come to see her reasoning, it's really easy to understand where she's coming from; sure, she thrives off of the unahppiness of others, but it's not like she can do anything about it. It is, after all, who she is.

The secondary characters were fine, some a bit thin for my taste, but entertaining nontheless. I especially loved Scott, Cassandra's love interest. He's--from what Cassandra says--probably the only boy in her school with depth, something going on under the hair. He's a normal guy, while Cassandra is the mythical creature--which is incredibly deviating from the norm in today's YA fiction. You all know what I mean. *caugh*EdwardCullen*cough*

Other then a few flaws, The Tear Collector is definetly a fun, entertaining read and I would absolutley suggest it to fans of urban fantasy and romance.

Rating: 6 out of 10--good.

Also: Be sure to check out Patrick Jones' other novels, such as Chasing Tail Lights, Cheated, Things Change and Nailed.

P.S. Sorry it's such a short post today, guys. I have to go to a party in like ten minutes, and I want to finish this before I go or I'll completly forget. *shrugs*

9 comments:

Faye said...

I really want 2 read this book. It looks really good.Great review!

Have fun @ ur party!

Sarbear said...

Dang! Good review and evidence as to why you didn't like it.

Jenny said...

The line you quoted made me LOL.

Jessica (BookLover) said...

Flaws aside, this book sounds interesting. I might give it a shot. Thanks!

Jessica Secret said...

I'm definitely gonna be reading this one, I love urban fantasy/romance!

shutupimreading.blogspot.com
Jessica

Patrick Jones said...

Hey, thanks for the thoughtful review. I wish people who get paid to review books for a living would spend as much time / as many words as you did.

It's your book now, not mine -- but let me explain what I was trying to do.

Cody's a jerk. You probably know this kid at your school driving his Mom's car / wearing his mall clothes / living in the burbs / thinking he walks on water, while trying to act like he's Lil Wayne's long lost cousin (thus, the Shawty reference; it is supposed to make him sound utterly foolish).

The cheezy line you quote was to show how Cody needs Cass to adore him and tell him that all the time. I also wanted to show how casual Cass is with the use of the word love. She uses it even when saying this absurd things to her boyfriend. It is a foolish thing to say, and only a fool would believe it. A fool like Cody.


About the rest of dialogue. Remember the two of the main characters (Scott and Cassandra) are both introverted, not use to talking to other people. And Cass may seem formal, but remember, she's "on" all the time using her words to manipulate. I had about ten teens read this in manuscript form, and they normally help filter out my 48 year old voice. I'd fire 'em 'cept I don't pay 'em.

The internal monologing I agree - in retrospect - is a little overdone, but she is a character in crisis: she hates her life / fate, but isn't ready / able to change it. In that way, even though she's supernatural; she's also like many, many 15 year old girls.

So, that's the backstory. Doesn't matter, but thought you / your readers might be interested.

Thanks for the 6; I'm glad I didn't make your eyes bleed because I don't know if soaking up that bloody eye fluid is a job for a vampire or a tear collector.

alana said...

I think I love Patrick Jones now.

I'm always surprised when writers actually take the time to respond to their readers (someone should give laurell k hamilton some tips). It's just all kinds of win.

Dannie said...

Patrick--Your welcome! I really did enjoy it, but some of the dialogue just bothered me a bit. Thank you for taking the time to respond, and thank you for the chance to review your book!

Alana--I despise Laurell K. Hamilton. Just...no.

alana said...

Her first 9 or 10 books were good I thought. They were the first urban fantasy books I really got into so I’ll always be thankful for the other authors she turned my on to (like Jim Butcher and Kim Harrison).

But besides that, I'm through with that woman. lol

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