Waterfall, by Lauren Kate

After reading Stacey Jay's latest novel, I decided it was time to give Lauren Kate another shot. I've complained about Kate's writing before, but Jay's book left me feeling hopeful. Contrary to some previously-held fears, YA writers can improve over time... but, alas, Kate does not seem to be one of them. Actually, I'm worried her books may be getting worse.

Waterfall is the sequel to last year's Teardrop, which—I kid you not—is the story of a teen girl with super-powered tears. At the end of the first book, Eureka Boudreaux's heartbroken crying has brought about the apocalypse, drowning most of humanity and sentencing the rest to a slow death from starvation, as salty, plant-killing rain falls from the sky. Her tears are the first step in the rise of Atlantis and its evil king, Atlas. Eureka is determined to undo whatever damage she can, but things are steadily getting worse—food shortages, angry mobs, evil witches, and of course, her muddled feelings for both her best friend Brooks (now possessed by the spirit of Atlas) and Ander, her dour, otherworldly protector.

If the plot summary above sounds too ridiculous to be believed, that's because it is. Seriously, this book makes no damn sense. But while teen readers might be willing to overlook a lack of coherency (I didn't think Kate's best-selling Fallen series made much sense, either), they're less likely to forgive the central problem with this book: the love triangle sucks. While I give Ms. Kate reluctant props for her decision to end this book in an unconventional fashion, fans of either relationship are going to be justifiably irritated. Eureka and Ander's mopey romance is sidelined this installment, and her not-quite-platonic friendship with Brooks is given even shorter shrift. Instead, Kate focuses on action and world-building, both of which she handles badly. There are flashes of interest—I appreciated the imagery of a salt-soaked, mostly underwater world—but 90% of this book is a soggy mess.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


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