The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones (September 1st 2009—Walker Books)
Grade: 2.5 stars out of 5
Summary: “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 essential as air for Cassandra Grey. 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 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 betry her family for a chance at happiness and a life lived with joy?”
Review: I think there is a misconception for the Tear Collector. So far I’ve seen many call this book a new twist to an old vampire lore. “…she’s just like me now—not human, but not a classic horror movie vampire either. I’m more of a succubus that maintains a human form to get along in the world but is void of so much of what makes a person human—such as the ability to love.” This is where things throw me off track. I’m not sure if I can call this a vampire novel or not. There are certain attributes that make a vampire just as being able to transform into a wolf makes a werewolf. I’m grasping at thin straws right now; I guess it’s up to the reader to decide. Anyway that’s the least of my worries.
While I do think that The Tear Collector is unique within its idea and premise, the execution faltered. There seemed to be a lot of high school drama, redundant scenes, and many missing details.
I found the whole scenario of high school a bore actually. Jones starts a great idea then stops short from anything really excited. We have the generic mean girls, the popular but still nice cheerleader, the why-do-you-keep-mentioning-that-Cassandra-gives-blow-jobs-often-to jocks, the weird but deep Goth/Emo girl, and finally the not-the-best-looking-but-so-sweet guy. It’s a battle between which environment is dominate—high school or Cassandra’s family. There are times when they both intermingle but other times it’s more of a Monopoly game—pass Go and collect $200.
Cassandra hangs out in high school, comforts people, collects their tears, gives them to her great godmother, goes back to high school and collects tears again. This is where the redundancy comes into play. You can throw in random hissy cat fights but that doesn’t make it any better. I did, however, like the friendship with Samantha and Cassandra. We follow them when they were enemies to being something special. I thought her story was touching but had missing details to make it even more of a pow.
I couldn’t fully connect with many of the characters. I wasn’t as empathic to Cassandra as I would have liked, I didn’t like Scott as much as I hoped, and I couldn’t get the full intimate details of why they like each so darn much. I mean there were scenes that I thought “wow” but the conversations they had were very similar to other conversations she had.
Then there’s Alexei, her cousin whom she was promised to. A third of the novel was a build-up to this point and even then it fell short and anticlimactic. Again it showed promise, the chapter articles of children kidnappings, the suspense, and the anticipation but in the end all I could say was “that’s it”?
And the ending! Oh goodness. *no comment* I just wish we can get the inside scoop who her cousin killed….
Overall: It’s frustrating because it had so much potential not because it was horrid! I craved for something more.