Saturday, June 18, 2011

Book Review: Fallen, by Lauren Kate

Fallen is a rather dark tale, but still romantic and captivating.

Luce has seen weird “shadows” all of her life. When these shadows appeared as she is with her boyfriend, Trevor, he ends up dead, and Luce doesn’t remember anything. She feels guilty, but can’t tell anyone about the shadows because whenever she does that, she is subjected to therapy and lots of medication.

Luce has been sent to the Sword and Cross reform school, as a last resort. This is a very strange school. The classes are strange, the facilities are dilapidated, and the students are every variety of weird that exists.

When Luce meets Daniel, she feels like she has met him before. Not only that, she feels strangely attracted to him. But, Daniel acts like he wants nothing to do with Luce. Then there’s Cam, a sweet, caring boy who makes no secret of his desire for Luce. Arriane is Luce’s first friend – she is assigned to show Luce around, but Penn becomes Luce’s best friend. Penn is the only student who isn’t there because of a problem – other than the fact that she’s an orphan, and her father was the caretaker at Sword and Cross. Penn is very helpful to Luce during a lot of confusion, and they become close.

I really liked this story. I liked the characters and, for the most part, I liked the setting. The only complaint I have is pacing. The story seemed to take so long to get going. From the very beginning, we know that Daniel is not normal. There’s something supernatural about him. Every time he met Luce, I kept hoping for some revelation or at least a partial explanation of why everything was so strange between the two of them. But they meet time after time, and it takes over 200 pages for anything to really happen between these two.

I didn’t really buy into the relationship between Cam and Luce. I didn’t think she was stupid enough to fall for his tricks (I’m not going to be specific about these events, but you will know if you read the book.)

I did enjoy the mood of the story. It felt very macabre to me, and I liked it. Lauren Kate writes some passionate moments, and I didn’t feel it was overdone – I believed it. The secondary characters were well done, except like I said, Cam wasn’t too believable. I also didn't understand how Luce ended up at reform school. That part was very mushy, and her parents were both very wimpy and unconcerned about Luce's situation.

I’m recommending this to my paranormal girls, especially the angel fans. This wasn’t my favorite book, but I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series, Torment, and I already have it on my pile.

Published by Delacorte Press, 2009
Copy obtained from the library
452 pages (qualifies for my 350 Page Book Challenge!)

Rating: 3/5:

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  1. Hi Annette~

    I just finished reading and reviewing Torment this past week, and I wish that I could've read your review for Fallen before I started the second book, because I could barely remember anything that happened from the first one-- I could have used your really good summary to catch up!

    I had the exact same problems with Fallen as you expressed here-- I think that, because the story was set into a 4-book series, the plot just seems to draaaaaaagggg on-- it could have been much more effective, I think, if there were only 2 books.

    I too liked the story in Fallen, and I think that LK is great with setting the mood in her story-- that is a difficult thing to do, but she pulls it off well-- you really get the sense of what it would be like to be in gloomy, muggy Georgia. But also like you, I thought that some of the characters and relationships were not very believable-- this issue became even more apparent to me when I read Torment.

    Another major issue I have so far with this series is that it seems like NOTHING is ever fully explained-- we're all kept in the dark about the whole story behind Luce and Daniel, and there are pretty much no loose ends tied.

    So anyways, I'm in a weird situation with this series-- I'm not a fan, but for some reason I can't stop reading them! I brought this up in my latest review for Torment. Even though I complain about them to no end, I'll still read the last 2, just to see if things are explained. Maybe it will get better?? I'm hoping so!

    I know this is a really long comment, but I actually like discussing the flaws AND the good points about LK's writing. Even though my review for Torment is really more of a super-long rant, I do still enjoy reading these books... Thanks for your review!

    ~Lea @ LC's Adventures in Libraryland

  2. I enjoyed this book but it wasn't one of my favorites. Like Lea I think that this novel dragged on without much action. I also felt that nothing was explained to me and the I have to read the whole series to grasp the concept.

  3. I was not a huge fan of this book -- I didn't like the relationship between the characters, didn't enjoy the tone BUT I did recommend it to a bunch of my students, who wound up loving it (maybe it's because I'm not a teen girl...). To each their own, right? Nice review!
    Happy reading,
    Mary @ Book Swarm

  4. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews for the book which is why my copy of the book is still lying unread. I may read it sometime in the future.

  5. Thank you. This is an informative and balanced review. Reviews have been so polarized, but I feel like I have a much better grasp of what to expect now.


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