Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

5 Oct

Publisher: Random House Canada
Release year:
2009
Genre: YA  paranormal
One sentence summary: Of course paranormal sh-t is gonna happen if your reform school is called Sword and Cross.
Rating:3.5 out of 5
Won in an epic giveaway at (un) Death-match

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.

From Random House Canada website.

*Slightly spoilerish stuff ahead*

First of all I have to say something about the cover. Yes, it’s gorgeous. Yes, it evokes emotions bordering on gothic. But the long flowing locks of luscious hair? Yeah, Luce basically has a buzz cut in Fallen, so I’m not sure who the Hell the cover chick is. I assumed it was Luce, but then once I read about her hair sitch, the cover stuck out like a sore thumb. Yeah, I know, it’s supposed to be Luce before the shearing happened, right? But since the hair cut is an integral part of her story, I see the cover as a fail.

Okay, now that I got that off my chest I can get into the book. I liked it but I didn’t love it. When I realized that the reform school she’s sent to is called Sword and Cross I kinda giggled a bit. And the school itself? I couldn’t imagine ANY parent dropping their kid of there and being all like, “Okay, be good! See you when you aren’t a juvenile delinquent anymore!” It’s eerie, creepy and smells pretty bad. But it’s the perfect setting for Fallen.

Let’s talk about Daniel for a second. Luce is drawn to him. She can’t help herself. I got the distinct feeling pretty early on that he could have cold-cocked her and she wouldn’t have given a hoot, slapped on some cover-up and continued mooning over him. This was pissing me off big time at first, because I am so not into the-bad-guy-is-really-a-good-guy-he’s- just-misunderstood line that a lot of readers are fed in paranormal YA books. But -I don’t want to give anything away – he kinda redeems himself and it’s kinda explained why she’s drawn to him. So in the end I was okay with this plot. Kinda.

There were other bad-assed kids at the school besides Daniel and pretty early on you get the feeling that there is more to this school and the students than meets the eye. I liked most of the characters, but there were quite a few introduced in a short amount of time, so I did confuse them all a bit at first. But Luce’s interaction with them, the changing group dynamics and character development was really what kept me interested in Fallen.

*BIG SPOILER COMING IF YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHY THE BOOK’S CALLED FALLEN*

I think part of the reason that this book didn’t wow me is because I’m just not that into angels, fallen or otherwise. Maybe I’m rebelling against my Catholic upbringing, who knows, but any time angel mythos is introduced in a book my eyes tend to glaze over. Towards the end of Fallen when things were being explained I found myself shaking my head and going “Huh?”. Then there’s a crap load of stuff revealed, an epic showdown and more stuff that I didn’t quite understand. I was told by others that the confusion would be cleared up in Torment. While I don’t mind cliff-hangers, unexplained stuff that is key to a plot makes my scalp itch.

*END OF BIG SPOILERISH STUFF*

Like I said, I wasn’t head over heels in love with Fallen. But I liked it enough that I was interested in reading the next book in the series, Torment.  If you’re into gooey-eyed romance or gothic paranormal YA then this will definitely be worth the read.

Oh, and yay me! This counts as one of my reads for the R.I.P. reading challenge!

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4 Responses to “Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate”

  1. brandileigh2003 October 5, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    I enjoyed this, but totally see where you are coming from.
    Thanks for the review.

    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. amymckie October 5, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Well, don’t expect too many answers in Torment, remember that there is still a book 3 coming 🙂 heh. You are right about the hair… but the cover is just so PRETTY!!! hehehe

    • lavenderlines October 5, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

      I’ve read Torment and some of my “huh?” moments were answered. ‘Course a whole slew of new questions arouse. 😛

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