Cover Image: The Tearsmith

The Tearsmith

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Member Reviews

A huge thank you to the author, NetGalley, and Random House Ballantine - Dell for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

If you like dark YA romance between two damaged teenagers, where eventually they find their way to one another and learn to grow and change to remain together, this book might be a good fit for you. We follow two main characters who are 17 and about to be adopted into a new family - Nica and Rigel - who have a contemptuous relationship at the orphanage. Rigel is cruel and mean to Nica, who is extremely sensitive and hides from his treatment - but when they are forced to live in the same home their relationship is forced to change.

This book didn’t quite work for me as I felt our main character Nica was almost TOO sweet and innocent, to the point that she just annoyed me as a person. In the same way, Rigel was almost TOO mean (and somehow amazing at fights? Is he an anime villain?). I wasn’t invested in either character, nor their “relationship,” and to be honest if I hadn’t also been gifted a physical copy to more easily flip through I might have DNF’d this book.

In a way, they felt like stock characters for most of this book, where their entire interactions are “Rigel is mean to Nica, Nica runs to avoid him/cries/finds some random animal to help and talk to, Nica realizes that Rigel is kind of attractive?, we get a smash cut to Rigel’s POV where it’s revealed he’s horny 24/7 and obsessed with Nica.” Rinse and repeat. Quite literally nothing else had happened by 250 pages in this book.

I couldn’t get into their “love” or relationship, as even with the reveal that Rigel is trying to force Nica away from him because he thinks he’s too damaged for her, nothing between them ever really changed. The only advancements they get is when Nica decides to confront Rigel for his abuse, until eventually she decides she’s into him and forgives him - without him ever having to confront or change his negative behavior. It’s kind of alarming that there’s a negative love interest in this book for Nica, but yet basically all the red flags found in this boy (this is pointed out, many times) are found in, if not worse, in Rigel. Rigel spends the entire book as the same character he started as, except now Nica likes his “bad boy” self and isn’t bothered by his refusal to treat anyone else as a person.

In fact, Rigel so refuses to change at all, that even as the book ends he’s still obsessive and willing to/threatening to beat up any man that talks to Nica - which she just finds attractive now? Despite this being the reddest red flag of abuse there could be. The entire book Rigel is finding and beating up boys who say or do anything to Nica (bad or not), and then the book ends with him still threatening this same behavior to a classmate of hers. And it’s just seen as fine and a “quirk” of his, despite that being a negative earlier in the book. In the same way, Rigel refuses to talk or tell Nica anything, to the point that there’s a reveal about a character he used to sleep with during the LITERAL last like 5 pages - and when she’s like “hey it’s fine since that was before we were together, but I’m with you and her friend, why didn’t you tell me” and his response is the classic avoidance “I’ve been in love with you since I was 5.” ???? That. That answers absolutely nothing, my boy. Except of course this is the end of the book so Nica has to accept it.

I understand it’s a darker YA romance, and that Rigel can’t be suddenly “changed” or “redeemed” by the end - but an ounce of change wouldn’t be amiss. It just made me roll my eyes when he did the same thing to Nica’s classmate (as they’re now adults in their early 20s) that he did at 17. It almost made it completely pointless to have chapters of them as young adults - especially as there IS an epilogue at the end, and it’s strange that these chapters aren’t included as they felt VERY epilogue “nothing is going on and we’re living happily after”.

In the same way, this book avoids the whole “Rigel was cruel and abusive to people other than Nica” so much, that when they bring in another character who was harassed by him (in the last like 5 pages of the book) and he’s like “???? What do you mean you’re dating him?” it’s kind of just glossed over entirely. I think the ending of this book wouldn’t have bothered me quite so much if there was any actual development in their relationship, but as it is the only reason they get together is because one character almost dies and then when they wake up they’re suddenly like “well I guess we’re soulmates now” and now with the entire rest of their relationship they’re just riding off this belief while also not communicating to each other.

However, I think my biggest gripe is that this book was boring and nothing happened for the majority of the runtime - and then, near the end, suddenly the author decided to add some plot events (literally the last like 50 or so pages) and then just ended the book. And then, SPOILER, but had the dumbest ending possible where it’s implied that this book is a STORY told to her daughter about how her and her father got together (are we assuming the sexual stuff wasn’t told to her like 3 year old, or?) Also, the entire name of this book, and the “fairytale” of the “Tearsmith” was so barely there that I think removing it would have made this book make more sense.

I will admit that a big issue might have been that I don’t typically like just plain romances, but I think I might have enjoyed this if either character was anything other than a flat piece of cardboard and literally anything at all happened in this book. However, there are many people who enjoyed this book and I can see the appeal of self-inserting as a shy insecure girl who eventually gets together with the big mean bad boy - just as long as you can deal with like 300 pages of nothing before that.

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The Tearsmith was a dark YA romance between two very damaged teenagers.

I liked it, but the prose might not work for everyone and it’s quite a long book for a dark YA romance.

I feel like the demure character of Nica also might not work for everyone, but I knew this was a translation and Americans are very outspoken compared to other cultures. I liked her, but sometimes found myself wishing she’d be more demanding.

With that being said, this was a dark contemporary romance which 99% of the time meant it was riddled with situations that were huge red flags, but the kind that tend to work out in fiction. So just… know that about the book before you decide to read it. Rigel was awful to Nica for the majority of the book and yet he was clearly the love interest.

The Tearsmith reminded me of books like the After series, My Fault, and other kind of Wattpad sort of unhealthy romances that are my sometimes guilty pleasure, so if you’re in the mood for that, this book was great! I’ll definitely watch the Netflix movie, too. But if that’s not what you’re expecting, this might not work for you.

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This is an intense story of a love that grows out of desperation. Nica and Rigel grow up in an abusive environment. This shadows their formative years and later relationships. The story has great characters and good dialogue between them. It has some very poignant scenes as the two characters interact and go through a period of self discovery.

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The Tearsmith is about two children, one abandoned at birth, one who lost her parents. They grow up in a children's home called The Grave, run by a horrid woman. Eventually, when Rigel and Nica are 17, they are finally adopted into a loving home. There is only one issue - Rigel is a dark soul in love with Nica. Nica is a shining, innocent light, not aware of Rigel's feelings.

Throughout the book, Rigel protects Nica by pushing her away from him, but also standing up for her when she gets into tough situations.

Eventually, they end up together and have a happily ever after.

I had high hopes for this book but was sorely disappointed. The storyline was interesting so I stayed until the end, but other than that I wasn't impressed. The writing was terrible; the dialogue was extremely stilted and didn't seem plausible, especially for 17-year-olds.

This book is likely better suited for young adults (I'd say 14 and up, but there are a few "sexual" scenes - nothing too graphic, but I wouldn't want a younger kid reading it).

Overall, this book was just "meh"

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this romance was gothic, dark, at times quite... toxic and so on. the adopted brother thing should have tipped me off i think. it's definitely not the average NA/YA romance. but it definitely has its audience. thanks for the arc! 4 i think.

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Where do I even start with this review? My mind is just blown! In a good way. Nica and Rigel will go down as one of the top couples of time. These two characters were meant for each other. Even the stars knew this!

Nica will pull at your heartstrings with her tenderness and naivety. It melted my heart when she was moved in with her new family. Just watching her experience things we see as normal. I really related to her in the fact that she showed such care with living things. She personified them which some felt was a bit strange. There's an incident where she attempts to save a snail that is crossing the road. She doesn't think twice about it and almost is hit by a car.

Then there's Rigel. At first I wasn't sure what to think about him. He almost appeared like a siren in the fact everyone was so entranced by him. I felt like he was a bit more privileged than Nica until I was able to dive more into his life. Turns out he held a lot of guilt for being treated differently than the other children. While they suffered under the hands of an abusive matron, the woman kept him on a pedestal that could not be touched.

I do have to say Rigel is the strongest character I've ever seen in a story. The things that are brought out at the end we find out was to protect Nica. When she recounts the different scenarios in the past when she thought he was just being Rigel not realizing he was doing it all for her.

The only negative I have to say about the book is the length but I'm not sure if this beautiful story could be told in less words.

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Sadly I couldn't connect to the book. Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. I am excited to watch the movie. Hopefully then I can try again and connect.

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Didn't like the book.. if was very goth like and the vibe felt off... I just didn't like it... I wanted to but it wasn't the book I thought it was going to be

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The Tearsmith Review
3/5
Release Date February 6th 2024

I don’t have much to say about this book, because I couldn’t get into it that much, but I did love each story telling between each characters, the growth. The book did start to seem predictable after awhile, and this is more of a YA romance book. I am excited to see it turned into a book!

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This book wasn’t for me the book sounded interesting and it being made into a program for Netflix sounded like something I would want to read. The book is translated from a Italian author I was disappointed the good reads reviewes were not translated book just wasn’t for me

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The Tearsmith by Erin Doom was an emotional but captivating story.
I found the writing to be so compelling. The characters are unique and intriguing. And the storytelling was really interesting.
A great coming-of-age love story that kept me reading till 1am.

Thank You NetGalley and Random House, Ballantine & Dell for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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This book was a unique dynamic of storytelling. It has beautiful tension and a lengthy composure of journey. The author is new to me and was thrilled at the opportunity to read such a complex book. I received an ARC from NetGalley.

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*Thanks NetGalley for the digital ARC!*

This is the first time I’ve read a translated book. I thought it was a really lovely coming of age love story, with a sweet FMC in Nica. I did feel that it could be overly descriptive, causing the novel to be perhaps a little longer than necessary. But I loved the fairytale metaphors so much. I also thought the romance was well done and not overly descriptive based on the characters ages at the start of the story. My biggest issue is that the setting did not translate well for me and I’m not sure that Alabama was well researched when switching from Italian to English. And I say this as an Alabama native.

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I really wanted to enjoy this book but I just couldn’t get into it!! I couldn’t stay interested in the the book. It just wasn’t for me.

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I saw this was going to be coming to Netflix and really waned to read it. I had seen it was a no. 1 bestseller in Italy. About 99% of the reviews were in another language on GoodReads, which I wish were in English so I could read them. This book really disappointed me because of how predictable it was. The characters were so outlandish and not believable. I was not reaching towards it to try and finish it like other books because of that. Let's see if the show is better.

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This is a captivating coming-of-age story that follows Nica, a seventeen-year-old orphan leaving behind her past at Grave, an orphanage she called home. With hopes of starting afresh Nica begins a new chapter in her life with her adoptive family.

However, her new home is not without its challenges. Rigel, another orphan from Grave, becomes her adoptive brother, and their relationship is far from ideal. Rigel is a very troubled kid. As Nica tries to settle into her new life her past start to upset her peace with her new family. With Nica wanting to make sure nothing upsets that she will go to any lengths to make sure this doesn't happen.

This book will take you on a journey as Nica tries to fit in with her new family, and leave her past behind.
This book will give you so many emotions such as intrigue, and heartache. Erin Doom's writing will make the reader interested and wanting to find out what is going to happen.

Thanks NetGalley

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I requested this title because I saw it was going to be coming to Netflix and I always enjoy reading the book before watching the movie/show.

I found the story to be very predictable almost from the beginning. The genre seemed to be a sort of enemies to lovers storyline, but then it became a little too toxic.

I did finish the book, but it took some effort. I will watch the movie/show, but I don't think I would recommend this book to readers or friends.

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"The Tearsmith" by Erin Doom is a captivating coming-of-age story that follows Nica, a seventeen-year-old orphan leaving behind her past at Grave, an orphanage she called home. With hopes of starting afresh and leaving behind the dark stories of the Maker of Tears, Nica begins a new chapter in her life with her adoptive family.

However, her new home is not without its challenges. Rigel, another orphan from Grave, becomes her adoptive brother, and their relationship is far from ideal. Rigel is enigmatic, possessing both intelligence and an irresistible charm, but underneath his angelic appearance lies a troubled soul.

As Nica settles into her new life, the legends surrounding the Maker of Tears resurface, threatening to disrupt the peace she has found. With determination and bravery, Nica finds herself prepared to protect her newfound happiness at any cost.

"The Tearsmith" takes readers on an emotional journey as Nica navigates the complexities of family, identity, and the haunting presence of an ancient legend. Erin Doom's writing skillfully weaves together themes of love, resilience, and the strength to overcome the shadows of the past.

Nica's character shines through as both gentle and courageous, making her a relatable and inspiring protagonist. As the story unfolds, readers will be immersed in a world where secrets unravel, emotions run deep, and choices are made in the face of adversity.

"The Tearsmith" promises intrigue, heartache, and moments of triumph, inviting readers to join Nica on her quest to protect her new life. Erin Doom's storytelling grips the reader's imagination, making this book a compelling read for fans of young adult fantasy blended with themes of family and self-discovery.

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