Fallen by Lauren Kate
Release Date: December 8, 2009
Downloaded from Library:
December 1, 2010
Reading level: Young Adult
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 Goodreads.com
I have to be honest and say that the entire idea of this book just didn't appeal to me to begin with. Then, after reading good reviews and all the hype, I decided that it was growing on me. What pushed me over the top and helped me decide to pick it up and read it was the review that said it would resonate with Twilight fans. Yeah. I only read the Twilight series so that I could have an intelligent conversation with fans, explaining to them just why I detested the books.
Let me just say, that they weren't wrong about the comparison to Twilight. It was just as much of a struggle for me to get through. It was not fun.
First, the biggest complaint I had with the book was the writing style. I felt like I kept almost getting to the good part. There would be something happening, there would be interactions between people. Then suddenly, just as it was getting good, the narrative chopped off abruptly and then we got Luce thinking about the end of the scene at some other time. It felt like being jerked right out of a movie where I'm getting to see things unfold as they happen and the only way I get to know what happened in the good parts is to have someone else who actually got to see the whole movie tell me about it. I am a staunch believer that being told rather than shown is lazy writing. This went a step farther and just made me want to put the book down every other chapter.
Second, my next biggest complaint was that I just didn't care about the characters. The fallen angel who is in love with the girl who dies and comes back every 17 years sound like tragic, fantastical characters. I expected the angel to be suave, mature, ancient souled, having learned the ins and outs of life throughout his many many years alive. I expected someone like possibly Angel from Buffy (even his tortured soul was realistic). What I received was a sullen, moody, brat who flips off the girl he supposedly loves the first time he sees her. Yeah, real mature. The girl he loves? Well I expected someone strong, beautiful, intelligent, with some sort of otherworldly air of a person who is reincarnated regularly. What I got was a weak, fickle, naive little girl who read like Bella Swan's little sister running off and getting into trouble to be rescued from every time I turned around. Why would an ancient, fallen angel love her? Why should I care when both of them are just pale shadows of greatness that could have been? The answer is, I didn't. I couldn't.
The entire world was dark and gloomy feeling all the time. It was sort of depressing and I didn't want to read it anymore when I was halfway through. Nothing happened in this dark, gloomy world either. At least half of the things that took place had no bearing on anything, let alone the plot which I don't think showed up until after many many annoying sessions of Luce asking questions nobody would answer. That got very old after a while but if it had been used to expose personalities or events or something other than coming across as filler to make the series into a 4 book thing I could have forgiven it. But all it did was add to my general frustration with the book.
It's been a difficult process to write this review -- I hate writing negative reviews -- so this is the last thing I will say. No real girl gets the flutters from every guy she meets just months after the guy she really liked went up in flames right in front of her. She gets terrified that it'll happen to other guys she likes and she avoids guys altogether. She doesn't stalk one and sneak out of school to meet another at a questionable bar. Sorry. This is one case of forcing characters to meet plot points and it doesn't work. It only gets 2 stars because according to my rating system 1 star means I put it down and didn't finish. However, so that I can have intelligent conversations with fans, telling them exactly why I detest this book, I read the whole thing.