Author- Lauren Kate
Publisher- Delacorte books for Young Readers
Publication date- October 22nd, 2013
I should really stop judging books by their covers. I’ll be honest, the main reason I bought this book was because of its GORGEOUS cover. I mean- look at that waterfall dress and all those stunning, swirly shades of blue and purple in the background. How could I possibly resist that?! This was a lesson well learnt, for coming to the actual book- it was rather disappointing to be frank. Having heard a lot about Lauren Kate, I’d picked up this book hoping to be blown away. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
“Never ever cry”….17 year old Eureka never cries. After her mother’s freak car accident, almost everything she ever loved has ceased to exist, all she wants is an escape. Eureka uses her pain to push everyone away, right until Ander, the mysterious and gorgeous boy walks into Eureka’s life and changes everything she ever believed. Slowly, Eureka unravels an ancient tale about the lost city of Atlantis, and of the girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Somehow, this ancient story of heartbreak is connected to Eureka, her mother’s death, and Ander’s appearance. Her entire life is turned over, and Eureka is faced with the decision- will she save the entire world, or will she save herself?
What I liked:
The plot for this book was quite intriguing and fascinating. A book about mythology in modern times mixed with romance? Count me in. and as I didn’t know much about Atlantis, I was all the more eager to read this book. I also really wanted to know how someone can cry an entire continent into the sea. That seemed completely insane, yet quite interesting to me. Lauren’s writing style is really good and easy to read- she writes every detail of Eureka’s life, making me feel like I was standing right there, watching everything unfold in front of me. I loved that there was a small chapter from Ander’s perspective right at the beginning- it immediately made things clear and gave me a much better idea of the book.
Coming to the characters, I felt the side characters were much better than the main ones. I really liked Brooks and Cat, Eureka’s best friends. Although Cat is the perfect girl- beautiful, exceedingly smart, talented in all aspects of life with boys falling all over her- you can’t help liking her, even though she is an unrealistic human, she is a great friend to Eureka. She supports her through everything, and doesn’t pry into her life or push her about anything- she gives Eureka the space she wants and is basically the definition of perfect.
Brooks is also a very interesting character- sarcastic, funny and good looking, he was also a constant pillar of support in Eureka’s life, and was one of the few people she cared about, until the day he started acting strange, and changed everything between them. But then, there is a reason for that as well, but it’s a spoiler so I won’t be saying it.
Onto the romance, though there were many things which I didn’t like about it- something I’ll elaborate on in the next section of this review, I love the way Lauren has written about this romance. You can literally feel the attraction between Eureka and Ander- it’s like a force pulling them together and is quite electrifying. However, there were various things which I despised about the romance.
I loved the ending- Eureka and Ander finally have a plan, and it was the part of the book where things finally picked up and were fast paced. It was also quite unexpected, which is one of the only reasons I’m going to bother picking up the next book.
What I didn’t like:
It makes me sad that this section is longer than the previous one. I really wanted to like this book- but it had so many things that I hate about YA’s that it just never managed to hook me. For starters: the pace was so INCREDIBILY slow. Everything from the beginning right up to the last few chapters seemed dragged, after which things finally moved faster. I wish there had been more action, or more thrill or suspense, the book wouldn’t have seemed as monotone then.
I really disliked the main characters, which was a huge disappointment. I could never relate or connect to them- not much about then seemed appealing to me.
Starting with Eureka. Now I understand she was sad and depressed- she had just lost her mother in a freak accident and was forced to live with her despicable step mom Rhoda and her kinda spineless dad. I supported her for feeling angry and hating things- but, after a point, it had to stop! She just never grew up. It would have made sense if she sulked for a part of the book- but not all of it! She never tried to give anyone a chance and kept pushing people away, almost as if she isn’t interested in being happy either. She was nothing extraordinary- and when the fictional world is full of strong heroines like Annabeth Chase and Hermione Granger, Eureka just never stood out. She never let her anger or her sadness make her stronger- she just stayed sad all through the book.
Coming to Ander, okay this boy has been “observing” (a.k.a stalking) Eureka since the day she was born, as a part of the mission to kill her so that she doesn’t destroy the world. He and his family, better known as the Seedbearers, have been trying to protect the world, and Eureka is a threat to that- the only option for them is to kill her. But over the 17 years that Ander has been “observing” Eureka, he has fallen desperately in love with her and is now faced with the choice- save the world, or save the girl. I would have thought the choice is obvious- especially when Eureka doesn’t even know Ander exists, but OF COURSE he decides that the girl is more important than the world. Not to mention the fact that he knows EVERY detail of Eureka’s life (a result of all his “observing”) which though some may find cute, I find very creepy. the only thing which i found even a bit appealing about him was his turquoise eyes- but that’s about it.
As for the romance, it was basically a sum of everything I don’t like- stalker love on Ander’s part, love at first sight on Eureka’s part, and the love triangle between Ander, Eureka and Brooks. It was nothing special, just the same recycled content which makes me cringe.
This book had so much potential to be something unique and different, but it just ended up as a not so good mix of all other YA fictions, with the same old romance, characters and execution. It could have been so much more than what it is. There was no strength or resilience in the protagonists, and simple logic was defied when the girl was chosen over the world by a lovesick boy. Quite a disappointing read, and definitely not what I was anticipating from a Lauren Kate book.
I’m going to give this a 2.5 out of 5 stars- there wasn’t much which stood out or made me want to fangirl and scream in excitement. I’ll be reading the next book, only because I already have it and because of the unexpected ending, but it isn’t something which I would recommend other readers to spend their money on. i know this was a harsh review, but this is how i felt about this book. Sorry, but it definitely isn’t worth the hype.