YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Archive for December 22, 2009

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen by Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 8th 2009
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Silver star (3/5 stars)

Synopsis: There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Review: Fallen is difficult to describe. The first half of the book had a lot of building up, and from the trailer, it basically summed up the first half of the book. Can you say SPOILER? I shall quote the synopsis ‘a page turning thriller’. I was dismayed that only the last 60 pages had me on my edge of the seat. I love how the atmosphere was well described and there was the slow building up but I reckon Fallen needs more action.

Luce the main character seemed to float in and out of scenes but never having actually participate fully. I did not quite like her as a character, because she was boring and I simply could not connect with her. I really prefer characters with attitude and know how to ‘take charge’.

Daniel is dark, edgy, and makes it clear that they should both stay away from each other. Daniel and Luce’s relationship was initially awkward, and undoubtedly similar to the behavior of a certain vampire. Reading Fallen left me equally confused as when I first read Twilight. One moment Daniel is nice and aloof the next. The scenes are not well connected, I even reached a point where I wondered, “Did I miss out a scene? Why didn’t Luce react to Daniel’s weird behavior?”. Kate does mention Daniel’s weird behavior occasionally but it felt disjointed. Daniel was likable when he was not being a jerk, but I hated how his character had a 180 degrees change, towards the end. I feel like I am getting tired of supernatural books with main characters falling for dark, dangerous, jerks. But when Daniel and Luce finally got together, their love was passionate and evident. From the start Luce found herself fantasizing about her and Daniel. What the heck? It’s not the guy being the creepy one now. I found myself a little creeped out by Luce’s thoughts. She also did some things which I consider stalkerish.

Enter Cam, the other guy who likes Luce, while he treats Luce very well and is handsome, Luce still finds herself attracted to Daniel. Here comes the weird part. The characterization for the other characters such as Penn, Arriane, Molly, and Gabbe were superb. They were different in their own ways and were engaging characters unlike Luce who was flat.

The redeeming qualities of this book was the vivid imagery and the concept of fallen angels which was actually quite well done. While Kate’s writing was good, the main characters, mostly Luce, ruined it. Main characters who sit around waiting for something to happen to them are nothing but b-o-r-i-n-g.

I won’t compare this book to Hush Hush because Hush Hush had me addicted right from the start. Fallen, on the other hand, was much slower paced and several inconsistencies. There was a slight twist, but other than that, nothing too different from what readers already know.

Overall, it was not horrible, just ok. There was an obvious attempt to show that there will be a sequel, with it’s cliffhanger ending. If you are considering buying Fallen, I would suggest borrowing it from the library unless you do not mind the same ole’ undeniable attraction and the unfortunate and distracting similarities to other YA paranormal books.