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The Tear Collector
     

The Tear Collector

3.6 14
by Patrick Jones
 

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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

Overview

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. With a perfect blend of supernatural and romance, Patrick Jones treats his current fans to a different taste of storytelling and will have new ones scrambling to devour this unique offering.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Joyce Doyle
Cassandra is not a typical high school student. She is not even human. Cassandra, her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother have scaly skin and dehydrate easily. The only thing that sustains their lives are human tears, so Cassandra must create drama and tears wherever they go—a job at which she is good but despises. She volunteers at a hospital and as a peer counselor and has developed a reputation as a heartbreaker at school. Her family's one rule is to do no harm, but Cassandra realizes that someone in her clan is breaking the rule, suspecting her cousin Alexei to whom Cassandra is promised. At the same time, she finally meets a boy whom she thinks she can love, an emotion her kind cannot feel. As their family reunion approaches, Cassandra feels pressure to mate with Alexei as is expected and desperately looks for a way out of her family and their monstrous existence. Jones taps into the popularity of vampire stories by offering this parallel version. His writing is as strong as readers have come to expect, with well-developed characters. But the plot feels contrived and a little too far-fetched even for fantasy fans. Jones fails to weave in any lighter moments among the sad stories that induce the tears Cassandra desires, making it a depressing read. Still vampire fans—Cassandra does not drink blood but she does call herself an "emotional succubus or what you would call an energy vampire"—might find some interest in this take. Reviewer: Joyce Doyle
Children's Literature - Jennifer Waldrop
Cassandra Gray is not an ordinary vampire. Her family does not subsist on blood; instead they require the tears of humans. Cassandra attends the most drama-filled high school around in order to be a shoulder to cry on—literally—for her peers. She soaks up their sadness in a handkerchief and takes it back to her family, who needs it for energy. They live off the emotions of others, but cannot feel the most powerful emotion of all, love. Cassandra builds up and then disposes of boyfriend's frequently, all for the purpose of breaking hearts and eliciting tears. When her best friend dies and Cassandra's family is pleased about it, she begins to question their way of life. She is tired of doing everything for her family and knowing that her future is already dictated for her. When Cassandra meets Scott, she realizes that the ability to love is worth risking her family and her future, but breaking away from the other tear collectors could cost her everything. Reviewer: Jennifer Waldrop
School Library Journal
Gr 8–10—Beautiful and popular Cassandra is always available for anyone in need of a peer counselor at school, a volunteer in the hospital, or a sympathetic ear at church. She is ready to console and comfort those with a multitude of problems, from broken hearts to the death of a family member. But she doesn't do these things to be nice; she does them because her life depends on it. Cassandra has descended from a long line of grief vampires who need tears instead of blood to survive. She is expected to collect tears and produce the next generation for her family's survival, but recently Cassandra has become disillusioned with her life. She has made meaningful friendships, has allowed herself to feel, and, most importantly, has fallen in love. Jones presents a compelling story that redefines the term "vampire." Cassandra is a complex character who readers will identify with as she struggles to understand who she really is, where her loyalties lie, and how to take control of her own destiny. Those looking for a new spin on the vampire story should find this one satisfying.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Most supernatural romances match an everyday young woman with a dangerous and Byronic magical boy. In this twist on the vampire tale, our heroine is the vampire, and it's a completely normal boy-next-door type who's the object of her love. Popular Cassandra is the youngest in a long line of grief vampires, dependent on human tears to live. Her first responsibility is to collect tears for her family, and as an obedient daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter, she is always available to her friends with a shoulder to cry on. Whether it's weeping from high-school drama or from broken hearts, Cassandra is always there to console-and to make sure there's always a reason to cry. When Cassandra falls in love, she tries to break free of her family obligations, but they might be too strong. Though the story construction can be awkward-a schoolful of stereotyped teens mumbles constantly, while Cassandra's antagonist is too evil for belief-this reworking of supernatural romance will surely please fans of the genre. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802728180
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
17 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

PATRICK JONES received lifetime achievement awards from both the American Library Association and the Catholic Library Association for his work motivating young people to read. He is also the author of many teen novels, including The Tear Collector, Stolen Car, and Things Change. Patrick was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, and currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
www.connectingya.com
PATRICK JONES received lifetime achievement awards from both the American Library Association and the Catholic Library Association for his work motivating young people to read. He is also the author of many teen novels, including The Tear Collector, Stolen Car, and Things Change. Patrick was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, and currently lives in Minnesota. www.connectingya.com

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The Tear Collector 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Tiffany97 More than 1 year ago
This book was alright. Defintely not what I thought it was going to be. The story was very confusing at times. Especially when the best friend died and Veronica kept talking about it was Cass's duty or whatever. But other than that it was good. I would most defintely NOT read it again.
Juggalocoroni More than 1 year ago
First and foremost, I am not a fantasy reader. My teacher recommended this book to me, but I didn't think I would like it one bit. I caved and read it... The Tear Collector is an amazing book, and to my surprise, it's definitely one I would like to reread. It tells an amazing story of a girl who is caught between to worlds: Family or Love. She has to make a decision that could change her life forever. I recommend this book to all, even you are not interested in fantasy books, I guarentee that it will still move you in the same way as a realistic fiction book. Read! Read! Read!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Vampires, zombies, and werewolves seem to be dominating young adult literature, but Patrick Jones has created another life form with enough similarities to make it popular, but enough uniqueness to possibly make it a far more disturbing read. Enter THE TEAR COLLECTOR. News reports around Flint, Michigan, have been filled with reports of young boys disappearing, taken right off the street, from playgrounds and backyards. Even more mysterious is their return several days later, terrorized but alive. Someone paying close attention to these news reports is Cassandra Gray. She has an idea who, or rather what, might be responsible, but it is her duty to protect and serve the family that might be involved. Cass has been given the task of collecting the sadness and sorrow of humans in the form of their tears and bringing it back to a small circle of those dependent on her for their survival. Not vampires dependent on the blood of their victims, but another non-human form that draws energy found in the tears of its victims. Cass has always accepted her role willingly. She has become the trusted friend of many in order to offer her shoulder during times of crisis. In Lapeer High School the drama of everyday life provides tears aplenty. But Cass's family responsibility is becoming clouded by the sudden death of her best friend and the appearance of a boy who has her feeling things she never has before. THE TEAR COLLECTOR by Patrick Jones adds a new dimension to the current trend in YA lit. With the use of sorrow and tears, he has chosen a direction I found more believable than the vampire/zombie fare of recent years. Set in a high school where emotions run amok on the best of days, having tears represent the life-sustaining power required for this alternate life form seems more realistic than glistening fangs and dripping blood. Although this novel breaks from Jones's traditional genre, it reads well and will break open a whole new audience for his work.
Linda-Mai-Ellen More than 1 year ago
It felt like I was being dropped right in the middle of heavy high school drama. There's gossip and heartbreak. Later on, there's even death. I was a bit lost and certain bits felt contrived, but as I read on, the story got better. I felt the characters lacked in characterization, but the story was not short in heart-stopping events or tear-inducing moments. The story after all is about Cassandra, a tear collector who must place family before friends, honour and responsibility before her own wants, until she questions the nature of her very being when she meets Scott Gerard. Cassandra is popular in school because everyone likes her, not to mention that she is pretty and that all the jocks want to hook up with her. As a member of the peer counselling group, she's your go-to person whenever you need a shoulder to cry on, literally. Scott is somewhat of an enigma. Unlike the other types she has dated, he actually has a head on his shoulders. He is smart, kind, thoughtful, but there seems to always be something he's not saying. There's something about his eyes. There's something that's making Cassandra fall for him, but that's not supposed to happen. She has a reputation of being a heartbreaker because of what she is, but this time, it's different. Throughout the story, the question "what do you mean?" appears quite often. It's okay, but at some point, it get repetitive. What I do like in this book is the concept of a tear collector and the themes, like that of right/wrong and right/obligation. The idea of having a choice seems new to Cassandra too. There are some passages about having faith and others about reflections on how the world works (and how it's unfair) that are quite deep, but that's not to say that there aren't some cheesy teen stuff in between. There are beings who feed on human tears in order to survive? Now that's a first. This intrigued me, but I felt the book was somewhat short; there was so much more I wanted to know, but the ending is rather satisfying. I believe readers would want a sequel. Overall, it's an 'okay' read. If you're looking for a new kind of vampire, then give this one a try. (bambireads.blogspot.com)
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GOD DO U PEOPLE HACE 2 BE SO CRITICAL?????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Book Was Nothing But A Waste Of Time. The Writing Was Very Poor, And The Passages Were Too Repetitive. The Characters Were Obnoxious Morons, And Impossible To Care For. The Story Just Lacked Depth. Even When One Of The Characters Commits Suicide And Another Is Near Death It's Just Like Who Cares? It's Just REALLY Bad. The Phrases "Just Let It Out", "It's Okay To Cry", "You Can Trust Me", And "What Do You Mean?" Took Up About 60% Of The Book. It Was Just Endlessly Obnoxious And Frustrating. I Was Really Excited For This Book To Come Out But It Was Just Really Terrible And Not Worth The Price. If You MUST Read It Get It From The Library, Don't Waste Your Money On Such A Horrible Piece Of Trash. The Whole Emotional Vampire/Tear Collector Thing Was Really Stupid. The WHOLE Book Was Just STUPID And Filled With A Bunch Of Pathetic Little Nitwits. And The Whole Thing About Having To Kill A Human To Become Human Was Horrible. Just Please Don't Even Waste Your Money On This Piece Of Garbage.