Monday, October 3, 2011

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen (Fallen, #1)
by Lauren Kate

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Angels
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publishing Type: traditional
Publication Date: December 8, 2009
Source: local library (Audio CD)
Age Rating: 14+ (for light profanity)

Seventeen-Year-Old Luce is a new student at Sword & Cross, an unwelcoming boarding/reform school in Savannah, Georgia. Luce’s boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and now she carries the guilt over his death with her as she navigates the unfriendly halls at Sword & Cross, where every student seems to have an unpleasant—even evil—history.

It’s only when she sees Daniel, a gorgeous fellow student, that Luce feels there’s a reason to be here—though she doesn’t know what it is. And Daniel’s frosty cold demeanor toward her? It’s really a protective device that he’s used again . . . and again. For Daniel is a fallen angel, doomed to fall in love with the same girl every 17 years . . . and watch her die. And Luce is a fellow immortal, cursed to be reincarnated again and again as a mortal girl who has no idea of who she really is.

My Review

Fallen is another popular YA paranormal romance title that I was afraid to read because I figured I'd dislike it. Sometimes I just don't like what everyone else is gushing over. But, this is a good novel, so the gushy people are somewhat right this time.

Luce is actually not a totally annoying teenage girl protagonist, and sometimes they just get on my nerves. She's pretty cool, if just pretty clueless, but that's not her fault. The story is set up for her to discover the tiny pieces of her true identity very gradually, and even by the end we still don't know who she is. We do get some info on who Daniel and the students at Sword & Cross really are.

Not much plot happens in this story, and it painstakingly maps out the details of every little eye flit and hair flip you can imagine (or don't want to), but it's not boring. There's plenty of tension on every page to keep you wanting to know who everyone is and why all the weird things keep happening to Luce while she's attending the reform school. The writing is excellent, and if you love knowing exactly how everything that's happening makes the protagonist feel, then you'll be in seventh heaven with this book. Otherwise, it might annoy you.

The characters are interesting, although the main ones, Luce and Daniel, are middle-of-the-road personality-wise. But, there are some quirky, eccentric ones in Arianne, Penn, and Cam. They are funny, intriguing characters, Cam being my favorite for having plenty of attitude in a good way (or, at least I think it's good).

There is a ton of emphasis on the romance between Luce and Daniel and how much they already love each other, which makes sense given the centuries they've known each other. Nevertheless, I'd still like to see evidence that they have a reason to love each other. The romance is so sappy and sweet, I got a serious toothache and a few canker sores in my mouth. It suits readers who live for that kind of thing in fiction. I'm all for true love, but not being beaten over the head with the kind that has yet to be proven.

Still, this novel is good, and lovers of YA paranormal romance should take to this one really well. I haven't decided if I'll get caught up with the rest of the books, but I will see the film adaptation whenever that comes out.

My score: 3.5 stars out of 5.


  1. I really like that you can point out the pitfalls of a book so well and yet still convey that you enjoyed it. I tend to have the opposite problem :) I've heard good and bad reviews of this one so I'm unsure whether I should pick it up. It sounds a bit Twilighty.

  2. @Lan: Thanks! I really try to give authors a break because writing is so hard and they always do their best. It's heart-breaking when a reviewer is so negative just because a book wasn't their cup of tea. It usually is perfect for someone else, so I try to emphasize what I think works for those folks.

    Maybe Fallen could be like Twilight, but I didn't read enough of that book to be able to compare the two.

  3. Good review! I read this one a couple years ago. Didn't like it enough to continue the series, but it was OK. Oh, and I agree completely about needing more reasons for Luce and Daniel's love - I had a really tough time believing their emotions.

  4. @BJ: Thanks! Yeah, I probably won't read anymore in this series. It just wasn't my thing enough. If true love is the motif of a novel, then it needs to be believable.


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