Author: Lauren Kate
Series: Fallen #1
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Paranormal YA
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.
Yes my dears, I have finally gotten around to Lauren Kate's Fallen series! *cheers* A lot of you have been bombarding me with statements like "Seriously?? You haven't read that yet? SERIOUSLY??? How dare you call yourself a book blogger!!" lol...so maybe not quite that mean...but a lot of people have read it and wondered why I haven't. Well, I'll tell you, I am pretty leery about literature with religious themes...especially Christian ones like angels/fallen angels. I abhor books that get preachy, and tend to judge them harshly before I even get to know them...And it isn't just the religion...It's that previous books that I've read featuring angels and demons in a vs. context have left me feeling flat and bored. It has led me to approach all other books with similar premises with extreme caution. I actually liked this series because it is completely different than any other angel book I've read. It isn't good angels vs. fallen angels, it's fallen angels vs. even more evil fallen angels.
Let me just say that I am very glad that Lauren Kate included the prologue to this book. If she hadn't I would have been seriously infuriated by Luce's instant infatuation with Daniel. It's understandable to fall under a hot guy's spell, but Luce is so pathetically helpless in the face of Daniel's blonde flippy hair and motorcycle jacket that it's almost tear-inducing...and not the good kind of tears...Seriously...Luce's puppy dog affection and serious stalker-isms were painful to read at first. Daniel literally spells out to Luce that he's not interested, and she STILL keeps up her stalking of him. I don't know about you, but if the hot guy snubbed me to my face, I would spend the rest of forever lying low so that I never EVER had to face him again. I wouldn't go research his family in the library...or follow him when he leaves parties early. That being said...I guess that I can kind of understand her obsession because of the prologue. If they are star-crossed eternal souls, cursed to forever find each other and lose each other forever, then I get it...she has a connection to him from her past and wants to figure it out...So she kind of gets a free pass for her intense stalking...but it was still really creepy and unsettling for the most part...until Daniel finally comes around....then its nice...very nice...
I will say that Lauren Kate is an amazing story teller. (Though a lot of the time I was completely bewildered as to where the story was heading) And both her writing and the lyrical descriptive style she used were pretty fantastic. The plot flows very well, and there are a lot of really cool metaphors and descriptions that really set the tone and make the story pop. I loved the way that Luce described the shadows. You really get the pain and horror she feels when she sees them. There are a whole lot of inner demons that Luce needs to exorcise and it's really cool to see how things develop. I actually really liked the school aspect. It takes the cliche kind of boarding school and twists it to be something much more dark and interesting...a reform school *muahahah* The potential for danger and crazyness is much higher in that type of environment (not to mention more realistic). It was odd that Luce was there however...you never get a for sure reason of why she had to go to the school other than being implicated in a crime. I don't know what kind of parents would ship off their troubled child after witnessing another teenager's death(especially a potential romantic interest) just because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Still, it was a cool twist on the boarding school theme and it really worked for me.
I struggled quite a bit with all of the confusion in the book. I understand the need to keep some things secret from the reader so that you get shocks, twists, whatever... but I just got this really jumbled vibe throughout the entire book because it seemed like Luce had no idea which way was up or down. This confusion extended to the entire cast of characters as well. I never knew who was good, who was bad, or who was who really. There were SO many of them! Usually there is a main character, two(ish) love interests, maybe a best friend or two, and then some group of random minor friends. When it's divided up like that, you really get a strong sense of who is important to the main character, as well as a sense of exactly what the major characters think. In this story, well, you just get a shady outline of all of the different characters...There is Luce who you get a pretty good picture of, but then it's like every other character is competing to be a main character. Instead of getting a great group of characters that are different and unique, you get a confusing bunch of people who you struggle to make sense of (and also makes the book a freaking long 450 pages). Overall, I just had a lot of questions that never got answered that left me rather annoyed at the book rather than trying to get my hands on the sequels.