[Book Review] SUCH A SECRET PLACE (STOLEN TEARS #1) by Cortney Pearson


She is their protector.

In an emotionless world, tears are a precious commodity, valued for their magic and sold on the black market. When Ambry stumbles across a vial of these enchanted tears, she finds herself the target of not only the tyrannical Arcaian army, who is stealing her people’s magic left and right, but of handsome, battle-scarred Talon Haraway, who seeks the tears for his own personal vengeance.

Ambry soon realizes the reason for their interference: these tears are the most powerful ever shed. They are the key to saving her people and rescuing her brother and others who’ve been taken by the Arcaians. With the Arcaian army threatening her every move, and Talon attempting to take the tears from her, Ambry must keep the tears safe at all costs. Her people need them. Her brother needs them. She needs them.

And they need her.

Camillea’s Thoughts

Firstly, the new cover for this book is strikingly gorgeous! And the concept for the fantasy world was the sole reason I wanted to read this book. To be honest, I scrolled past this at first but then the concept of a world where magic renders a person emotionless was too unique a read to pass up.

It’s clear that the author has an impressive imagination, once I began understanding the world she had created – my favorite was the Xian claw which was made from the nails of Nymphs. A world where magic wasn’t much of a boon – from magic stealing tyrants to magic making people emotionless – we have a world in chaos. Just like most fantasy plots, this novel has it’s “chosen one” which interestingly was chose by a bottle of tears.

Sure, it sounds like a funny concept but those tears were bad-ass (and clingy). Burning anyone who it didn’t like and tormenting Ambry until they were back in her hands. Also, the author’s description of how a person’s magic seemed like separate living force in the person, or at least, that is what I understood from it, was a concept I thought to be quite original.

But to my critical mind there were moments in the books I did not like.

Let me begin with Talon. He is the root reason why I wanted to put this book down. Sure, I get it – he’s handsome but I don’t need to read about it every single time Ambry wants to describe him. It gets exhaustive. I totally despise plots where the YA heroine oogles over a handsome guy.

Now, Don’t get me wrong I still get the “kilig”* when a budding romance occurs, when the tension grows unbearable, or when characters deny their infatuation for each other, but there was so much wrong in Talon and Ambry’s romantic development that made me dislike it completely.

Here are some quotes from Ambry perspective:

“I’ll be someone Talon can be proud of. Someone he wants to keep around.”

 “I just want to curl up on the ground and pout. It’s one thing to flop in front of teachers and parents, but doing it now in front of a boy I barely know? Especially one who looks like Talon? Man, I’m a loser.”

 In addition to that, the boy has roughly handled her, had been dishonest with her, doesn’t take responsibility for his actions, and also has a secret girlfriend.

So much is wrong with that character. In short, I AM COMPLETELY AGAINST THIS ROMANTIC PAIR.

Ambry, on the other hand, seems to have quite the potential for a wonderful character development. Perhaps the focus should be more on Ambry and Ren’s (her brother) relationship because I am dying for more sibling relationships in YA books. I love that trope very, very much.

Though there were some concepts and scenes that confused me, the book isn’t bad, in fact, it has a lot of potential. And for that to happen, in my personal opinion, I would like to see:

  • Ambry find her independence. Stop fawning over a boy who isn’t worth it.
  • And Gywnn – give me a stronger reason for her joining the Arcs than because she’s in love with Tyrus. Like the book pointed out, Gywnn and Ambry had a strong friendship, so, to not only turn Ambry over to Tyrus but to actually steal her magic needs to have a much stronger motive. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to me.
  • Make the adventure more about Ren and Ambry. Please!


Format: Ebook

Publication: March 15th 2015 by CreateSpace

Links:  Book Depository Affiliate Link || Amazon || Goodreads

Author Info: Cortney Pearson is a mother, a musician, and a lover of all things pink and sparkly. She is the author of Phobic, about doors that shouldn’t be opened, and the Stolen Tears series, about an enchanted vial of tears and the girl chosen to wield them.

Cortney lives with her husband and three sons in a small Idaho farm town. She loves chocolate, romantic books, and classical music and believes anything can be made better with a book tucked away for those just-in-case times.

Author Links:  Website || Goodreads || Twitter


I received an e-copy of this book from the author. All opinions are of my own.

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