Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Series: Fallen #1
Pages: 452
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Paranormal YA
Source: Library

Goodreads Description:
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.

My Review:
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.
I think I will give this book 3 Keys out of 5.I did enjoy Fallen, but not enough to go read the next few books in the series. A lot of elements seem to be the basic tools of creating a paranormal Young Adult book. Paired with all of the questions that I had and the lack of definite plot for the first 200 or so pages, I can't justify giving it a higher rating. I am also afraid that the next books in the series will all be like this one...interesting and well written, but tons and tons of confusion and questions that leave me in a state of bewilderment. I think I will wait until next summer (which is when I believe the last one comes out) so then I can read them all at once and hopefully get some answers.


  1. This book was just meh for me.
    I really didn't believe the reform school for a bit. I mean, it's a reform school, they would never ever ever have co-ed dorms, or free reign over the campus, and there would be some, you know, reformation happening. I understand that Kate needed her characters to have freedoms, but the whole thing would have been more believable had it been college.

  2. Haha. I haven't started this series either but I have all 3 books at home. I have heard really mixed reviews so I'm really wary of it. I'll get to them when I can take a break from all the wonderful releases coming out :)

    Xpresso Reads

  3. @Bekka...now that you mention it, the kids would SO have not been roaming around at a reform school...I remember thinking that it was so easy for Luce to sneak out on multiple occasions...then why are ANY of the kids still there? lol

    @Giselle...yeah I think that in the right setting if you were in the right mood, this series could be pretty enjoyable...but if you are in a paranormal slump then don't go for Fallen to get you out of it...you will just become more and more jaded about the subject!

  4. I'm not really a fan of this series - mostly because of Luce but for some reason I keep reading and I have Passion waiting on the shelf. It's supposed to tell more of the back story so I'm hoping some things will make more sense to me then.

  5. For the most part I have liked this series. I recognized many of the issues that you did, and still think that Luce is a simpering idiot most of the time, but for some reason it hasn't bothered me that much. I don't know if it is due to the writing which you mentioned is very well done or if I just am happy with the pace. I have Passion sitting on my shelf waiting to be read since May.

  6. I just checked out this book from the library, but have yet to read it. I'm really (REALLY) tired of the YA books were the girl is INSTANTLY in love with this dude and he (with little to no explanation) just loves her back. As if love is so simple, truthfully it's sad to make teenage girls think love is like that!

  7. Great review.I enjoyed the book too,but I expected more from it especially after seeing a cover like that.I think it's a good decision,not reading the others in the series.Passion,the third book was great,but the second book,Torment,was just like it's name,pure torment.