Cover Image: The Tearsmith

The Tearsmith

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Member Reviews

The bestselling international sensation, coming soon to Netflix, now in English for the first time—a dark, sexy, haunting novel of two very damaged teens who are taken in by the same family and forced to reckon with a destructive love that could be the undoing of them both

Well, that sounds very interesting. And it is.

This is the story of Nica and Rigel. Two orphans growing up in an orphanage under the terrifying warden in charge. They deal with abuse differently. Nica lives in imagination. Making friends with the smallest of creatures on the grounds.

Rigel is something of a puzzle. Does he hate her? Does he love her? Something is definitely wrong.

As teenagers they have lost the hope of being adopted until they meet Anna and Norma. They take them both and life gets better a bit at a time. But Rigel doesn’t. He seems to hate her even more. And the violent attacks on others is something she doesn’t understand.

Sharing trauma is a strong connection, but the connection these two have is magical. Haunting, and beautiful.

Unfortunately, they will have to face the past that haunts them before they can move forward.

I thought this was a sad and hopeful story. A fairy tale of what love and hope can do.

NetGalley/ Random House/Dell February 06,2024

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I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dude, where do I even begin with this book? There was no plot line to this book. Absolutely no substance. Every chapter was Nica explaining how dark and dangerous Rigel was in a different way. Talking about this dark past they have but never going into detail about it. I don’t like DNFing books but I had to at 23%. It may be for someone else but it was not for me. I literally kept asking myself what is the point of this book? There’s pointless side characters who are very one dimensional who add nothing to the plot. They are just there to take up page space. Overall, I don’t think I’d ever recommend this book or give it another shot.

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The formatting of the kindle version was broken. I couldn’t read it. Leaving five stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the ARC.

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“I wondered if it was better to be hated or loved by a monster.”

“The Tearsmith” by Erin Doom is about two orphans learning to live with their dark pasts. Nica, always the sweet girl, the one who cares for everyone and everything. Her only desire is to be adopted even though she is almost an adult, she will do anything to have her new parents want to keep her, because she is a good girl. Rigel, an introverted and talented orphan who hurts everyone near him. Both get adopted by the same couple and their hostility to each other might split apart their new family.

I seriously loved this book so much. It was so long, even though it didn’t need to be so big, but I was glued to every page. I found the plot predictable but not in a bad way because I liked how the author wrote the characters. Nica and Rigel’s backstories are so heartbreaking, and I just wanted both of them to get everything they wanted. I disliked how meek Nica was, but I understand it’s her trauma that was causing it. It’s a really good non fantasy romance and I would love to see it on tv. I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars.

-Multi POV
-Child Abuse/Trauma
-Mental Illness
-Bully Romance
-Forbidden Romance

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This book is unfortunately not for me. I'm not sure if it's the translation or how slow it moves.

This is a character driven book and I did enjoy the characters. The prose is lovely and I love a book with description. However, I think with the translation everything feels disjointed and stilted. It was hard for me to get into the book and connect to the characters.

I had to dnf this at 20% because it just wasn't going anywhere, causing me to loose interest. While it isn't a book for me I feel others might enjoy it.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this title for my honest review.

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I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The Tearsmith by Erin Doom is a contemporary dark romantic story about two teens, Nica and Rigel, who grow up in the same orphanage and are taken in by the same couple. Nica strongly desires a family but she is afraid of Rigel because he’s been cold and distant for the entire time they’ve known each other. Meanwhile, Rigel is quietly obsessed with Nica but keeps his distance.

Going at a slower pace, The Tearsmith is very character-driven with multiple flashbacks, some switches from Nica’s first person POV to Rigel’s third person POV, and some heavy topics are featured. Rigel and Nica never felt like siblings to me as neither of them ever gave me the impression that they considered each other siblings or even really family.

Nica’s PTSD reactions to what happened in her childhood felt realistic to me as did Rigel’s reactions to his own situation. It can be hard to read and I did need to put the book down several times, but I never got the impression that the darker moments were for shock value or disrespectful to real life abuse cases.

Content warning for on the page depictions of child abuse and violence

I would recommend this to readers looking for a darker love story that is heavy on character and not so much plot and readers looking for slower pacing and longer books in the contemporary genre.

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This book was difficult to get into but got more easier to read about a quarter of the way through ( which is hard considering how long the book is). This did not read like a normal romance novel, I would describe the writing style more along the lines of horror or a psychological thriller. The beginning of the book was so dark and moody, it made it hard to connect to the characters, even Nica the main character. There is context presented later in the book about the backstory of the characters (abuse, neglect, basically torture) that would have made the characters more understandable from the beginning, otherwise it felt like all of Nica's trauma was rooted just in Rigel bullying her as a child. Throughout most of the book the only characters I actually liked were Anna and Norman.
Most of the actual romance plot felt incestuous considering that Nica and Rigel were living as adoptive siblings throughout most of the book, even though they were not biological siblings it still felt wrong. And it definitely felt wrong considering how much angst and a few spicy scenes they shared together in their adoptive family's house. I was admittedly not rooting for them. I won't give away too much of the ending but I will say that by the end the circumstances are more understandable.
I'm fairly sure that is book was originally released in Italian, and is now being released in English, at least that is the version I was given. I feel like this book may have lost something stylistically in translation, like something was off but I couldn't pinpoint exactly how. I also unfortunately noticed a few spelling errors (I received an advance copy of this book, so I hope these are resolved before final publication), like apologise and organise, instead of apologize and organize. While I hope this was caught and edited, it felt sloppy to have made it this far in the first place.
Overall, I would not say this book was for me. I would say that this review is on the critical side, but I truly appreciate and want to thank Erin Doom and Random House Publishing Group for giving me access to this advance copy.

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The Tearsmith by Erin Doom is a compelling young adult romance that delves into the depths of the characters' pasts and explores the risks they must face in order to build a future together. From the very first page, this enchanting novel captivated my attention and held it until the very end.

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This book was a journey. I mean it was long. Very long. But I read it in 2 days because I became so immersed in these characters. The growth of Nica was so good. The love that overcame disfunction of trauma brought me to tears. I was sobbing when Anna told Nica she was the Sun. Full on sobbing.

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Was this book for me? No.

Is this book for someone? Absolutely!

The Tearsmith is all angsty teenage slow burn with lots of depressing bits. I think the translation reminded me of watching a dubbed tv show, so this is totally going to slay for the Netflix audience. Sadly, reading it felt stilted and disjointing for me. So much of the book felt unnecessary for driving the plot. We do get a lot of insight into Nika and Rigel (love the names Btw) as it is written in dual POV but a lot of the “insights” weren’t there except for filler. What keeps you reading, even through the fluff, is the will they or won’t they. Wondering who will admit their feelings first and how it will affect their adoption. If you want to know the answers, you’ll have to read for yourself.

I would give this 2.5 stars because the author keeps you questioning and fans of After and My Fault will swoon for Nika and Rigel.

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The Tearsmith is a harrowingly heartbreaking yet hopeful love story. Now translated for the first time in english, this dark, alluring, haunting novel tells the story of two deeply damaged kids falling in love. Rigel fell head over heals for Nico the age of five, only he never truly felt he was deserving after being abandoned at birth. Nico is the light for all that is good as he nicknames her "the moth".

Unbeknownst to their new adoptive family, Nico and Rigel have endured a harsh and cruel upbringing in the institution. Rigel is mysteriously handsome, smart and torn with what his hearts desires. Together for the first time in a loving environment, the darkness that has overshadowed their lives begins to fade. Their love story is messy and emotional concluding in a fairytale ending.

I'm clutching my heart as the wolf slinks into the shadows to let the light in!

Thank you, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Dell

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This book did not work for me. I felt it could have been trimmed by at least 250 pages. It could have used some real editing as it is full of melodramatic, flowery prose and unnecessary metaphors. There are pages upon pages of it and none of it helped to move the plot forward.

This was billed as a forbidden love story but really it was a tragedy. Two teenagers grew up in an abusive orphanage and then were placed in the same home to be adopted. But they fall in love instead. They both need very serious therapy and that’s barely touched on in the book.

I ended up skimming a lot and didn’t miss anything as the plot took so long to progress.

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I'm certain there's an audience for this tale of Nica and Rigel but it wasn't me. I'm also certain this will do very well on Netflix. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A sad pass to others.

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Rating: 4/5
I received an audio for my honest opinion.

Wow this book was amazing for being translated, I can understand that all cultures are different and other places can handle different topics or different ways of telling a story. I thought this book handled hard subjects like child abuse, emotional trauma, coming of age, and understanding oneself.

This book is about two damaged teens, one is just trying to survive and the other really doesn’t care what happens to himself. Rigel really only cares about Nica, even though he will do everything to push her away, he still stands up for her and protects her against anyone who would dare to hurt her. If you can handle books that are on the darker side of YA romance, you should pick up this book and give it a try.

I thought the characters were well developed for this book, you can see the growth that they had to go through and continue to go through even later in life. I can understand Nica and why she would act the way that she does, and that is because she was put through hell and back when she was younger and raised to think that no one would want her or even love her if they knew what really happened to her when growing up in the orphanage and it wasn’t just her that horrible things happened too.

Rigel, I will be honest I thought of him as a dick at first but the more I read I started to see the young man that he was and later when you find out more about him you will understand why he sometimes acts the way that he does. However, throughout the book you can see the true love that he has for Nica.

I will have to say I wouldn’t have put up with Rigel like Nica did but I am happy that I finished the book to understand more because I think everyone, men and women, have stayed at one point in time in any kind of relationship: family, friends and lovers because we understand they’re hurting and need to be taken care… kinda like a stray cat or dog that just needs time and to be cared about.

This book will have your heartstrings pulled, but what a beautiful ending.

I want to thank NetGalley and Random House for the opportunity to review this book.

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This one was tough to get into and I don't know if it's because with translations somethings are lost or that they were changed to better fit the English language, but I couldn't get into it.

I could predict what was going to happen very early on, and I just didn't enjoy the book the way I thought I would. Overall the story is not bad but it wasn't my cup of tea.

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I want to start by saying that a lot of my issue was with the translation, and I'm having a hard time judging how much I disliked the book itself because of it. The prose was very clumsy and juvenile--it sometimes read like it was written by a middle schooler. Again, that could have been a translation issue, but when I realized, at the 20% mark, that I was only 1/5 of the way through and still had an estimated 7 hours left, I just couldn't push myself to keep going.

The book was definitely more character-based than plot-based, and I did like how sweet Nica was and her focus on saving animals, and I liked how Rigel was such a contrast to that. I was curious to see how their relationship would play out, but ultimately I just couldn't get into the book enough to finish it.

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This book was just not for me. The plot progressed too slowly for me, and I didn't think I would finish it but I did. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Dell for a copy of this book for an honest review.

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The Tearsmith by Erin Doom

This dark YA romance follows the story of Nica and Rigel, two orphans that had a toxic relationship growing up together in an Alabama orphanage and then are placed into the home of the Milligans at seventeen to potentially be adopted together. They begin a forbidden love affair and try to hide it from everyone around them.

The characters are emotionally stunted, dealing with abandonment issues, child abuse, and many other traumas. This causes many problems in their interactions with people outside of the orphanage as well as with each other.

The book is translated from Italian to English. But it is written as British English, so culturally, some of the words and scenarios do not make sense since the setting is supposed to be taking place in Alabama, USA. The way the dialog is written for the characters does not translate to Southern dialect. The dialog did seem very eloquent. However, in some cases, the verbiage seemed a little too mature compared to how a seventeen year old would express themselves.

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for the eARC for my honest review.

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DNFd around page 20. this one was not for me unfortunately, no offense to the author. nothing else to say, just needed to hit the character limit

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This was an intense novel. The author does a great job of portraying the tension between Nica and Rigel. They have both suffered trauma and abuse, but have reacted in outwardly different manners. Nica seems strange with her multi colored bandaids and her concern for small animals and insects. However, she is also tenderness personified. Rigel can be charming if he wants, but he has a propensity for cruelty and violence. He intentionally pushes people away. He believes he is a disaster and incapable of love or being loved. The problem is that Nica is the person he most wants to push away and yet also keep close to him.

The story prominently features abuse, trauma and abandonment, but also love and resilience. The story also deals a lot with fairytales and whether happily ever after is possible. In the Graves, the institution where they were raised, the primary fairytale was that of the Tearsmith, an artisan with eyes clear as glass which produced crystal teardrops. People came to him for his tears, which introduced the deepest and darkest emotions to them. More sinisterly for children, if you lied, the Tearsmith would take you away.

There is a great supporting cast (Adeline, Anna, Billie, Miki, Norman, etc.) who have their own fears, traumas, longings and loves. They will benefit from their involvement in the lives of Nica and Rigel, just as Nica and Rigel will benefit from them.

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