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The Tear Collector Hardcover – September 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About 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.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens; First Printing edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080278710X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802787101
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,360,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of teen novels Things Change (Walker, 2004) and Nailed (Walker / Bloomsbury, 2006).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leah on September 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
**NOTE: This book has sexual scenes and cursing.

She's the perfect shoulder to cry on, the one people can turn to in crises. She volunteers at hospitals to be there for hurting family members. She devotes her time to her high school peer counseling program, which she also co-founded. She takes your sorrow and dries your tears with her handkerchief, encouraging you to let your tears come freely. She knows how you feel. Or does she?

"The Tear Collector" is a spin on the vampire myth. Instead of surviving off blood, the narrator, Cassandra Gray, lives off the pain of humans. She absorbs this through tears and, using her great-grandmother Veronica's special handkerchief, can gain strength for herself and her ailing family matriarch. It's a repetitive business: Cassandra has the reputation for being a heartbreaker at school, but also as a girl with a huge heart who cares about everyone. She has been trained since birth to do what it right for the sake of her family. She must collect energy for her great-grandmother. She must procreate and make sure the line continues. It's a duty she does with a few doubts, but those doubts grow when she finds herself attracted to--and possibly falling in love with--a boy from her class.

The writing style reminds of R.L. Stine's wonderful "Fear Street" series. No frills, just sparse language and clear descriptions of the way people look and act, which, for me, makes the story easy to read and get in to. We get to see how lying is so easy for her if she can get those coveted tears eventually. We also see the family life, if I can even call it that, which rules how she lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on March 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Going into The Tear Collector I wasn't sure what to except exactly. Since there has been an abundance of negative reviews for it. Sadly enough I'm going to have to agree with those negative reviews; because while I did personally find the Tear Collector to be an interesting book with an even more intriguing premise, it feel flat for me in a big way.

Cassandra was someone who I found extremely hard to like and sympathize with, which is odd for me because I can usually find the good in almost anyone I read about. Though, Cassandra felt like a complete alien to me, but I guess that kind of makes sense since she wasn't exactly human. Since not only was she an odd girl, but I hated how for 95% of the book she used people to her own benefit, pretending to be their friend so that she could get to their sadness in life, and in turn fed of the one thing she craved the most: tears. I get that was something she had to do in order to live, but the way in which she never truly cared about most of the people she fed off of bothered me. With saying that I did like the supporting characters, though, such as Robyn, Samantha, and Scott. All three where ones that I not only liked, but could feel sadness towards with the sad, lonely lives they were given.

As mentioned above, I did find the premise to be intriguing. I mean vampires feeding off tears instead of blood? I can't say I've heard that one before. Though while the book had an interesting feel to it that made it an easy read, at times the plot was predictable and the dialogue lacked emotion and feelings instead coming out in a clichéd type of way. With saying that I could still see promise in Mr.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By brookereviews on January 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Cassandra Gray is a vampire but not the blood drinking kind, her and her family live off of tears. She is also given the task of providing for her family. She must go out and feed off other people's pain, and take the tears back home. A huge problem for Cassandra is that she's been promised to a cousin for marriage, that way the family can continue their species and live on forever. But Cassandra is starting to have feelings of her own as a result of being so deeply involved in the human world. Her best friend dies leaving her unsure of how to feel, and she meets Scott who she thinks she's falling in love with. Cassandra is torn between helping her family and doing what is right for them, or moving on and living a life for herself in the human world.

You know, I thought this was going to be a good book since it has such a solid premise. I liked the idea of not living off of only EMOTIONS but the tears themselves. How does one go about collecting them? I wondered, so I had to buy this one. The Tear Collector was disappointing because it could have been so much better. The secondary characters were pretty awful. White boys who want to be gangsters, bitchy cheerleaders, and the sweet religious love interest. Alright, the sweet religious love interest wasn't too bad, but he was just too good. The bad guy isn't introduced for a while, he's mentioned but not an obvious bad guy until the end. Cassandra is almost impossible to connect with. I felt pretty bad that her family is so awful, but the emotional changes she goes through aren't that surprising.

The writing didn't pull me in, and I can only hope that his other books are better because he obviously has great ideas. Or maybe it was just me and I had trouble connecting with his voice. I'll have to check out his other book Chasing Tail Lights which has been on my list of want to reads for a while.
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