by Lauren Kate
by Lauren Kate
Genre: YA Paranormal
Hardback: 441 Pages
Publication: October 22, 2013 by Delacorte BFYR
Never, ever cry…
Seventeen-year-old Eureka won't let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean. And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother's death and Ander's appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don't make sense. Can everything you love be washed away?
◆ A copy was provided by Random House for review ◆
There are times when it's hard to connect with Eureka. There is her love for her mother and the immense grief she feels upon her mom's death to the point that she feels there is nothing worth living for. She feels alienated from her dad and doesn't try to reach out to him, and she seems to hate her stepmother Rhoda, yet she seems to have given up on being understood. She seems to have given up on most everything excepting her best friends Brooks and Cat and her adorable younger half-siblings. I understand how it can feel like no one gets you when you're going through a period of depression, and I know that when you're depressed it's hard to put in the effort to connect with others. However, it doesn't feel like enough time is put into the time following Eureka's mother's death to fully develop Eureka's feelings and make them relatable.
It's not only Eureka. None of the character are very well developed (many being clichéd); certainly not Ander, who continues to be such a tease until the end, appearing whenever he feels like it and being all stalker-like. It's no wonder Eureka finds it hard to trust him. Though I know from the Prologue that he means well, he went about things badly (like telling her things without bothering to let her get to know him and trying to win her trust). If not for the Prologue, I would have thought he was a creepo. A funny moment arises when Ander's in her house with her dad early in the morning, and Eureka realizes that she doesn't know much about him… and then she goes and realizes that she's in love with him despite not having spent much time at all with him. And she still doesn't know his last name. The insta-love is semi-explained by the parallel story of Selene and Leander, though it's not a wholly satisfying explanation.
The overall pacing of the story is slow. A couple times I found myself wondering why certain scenes were taking place, and Brook's actions began to be hard to follow. Though an explanation is provided later, it still causes some disconnect from the story, especially as Eureka's reaction to his change isn't fully explored. I'd have expected more of a reaction to what he says in front of most of the senior class during the Maze Daze. Most of the story pretty much sets up the stage for the end of the book. While I do allow for first books doing this, I still believe that a good first book should be able to stand on its own.
On the whole, this was a likable read, and enough has been provided that I'm curious about where Eureka's story takes us. I'd be willing to give Waterfall, the second installment in the Teardrop series, a try.