Title: The Tear Collector
Author: Patrick Jones
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.
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*