Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fallen - Lauren Kate

Summary:  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 Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah.  He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Except Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--he goes out of his way to make that very clear.  But she can't let it go.  Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret...even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, FALLEN is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story.  (Summary from book cover and image from

My Review: There are many aspects to Fallen that intrigued me--a girl haunted by her bizarre past, one not brought on by anything she can fathom, and parents who have tried everything under the sun to help their troubled daughter.  Luce's confusion as to why she sees these strange shadows created a fantastic element of suspense for me as a reader.  It's the perfect crazy-girl set up--how does she explain the dark shadows that show up and hover around her evoking feelings of illness and dread?  How could she even begin to explain to her parents about how the shadows affect her daily life without sounding like she was already on drugs?  Fallen also touches on some religious pre-earth-life stories that I found interesting--to be more specific would ruin the story.  I wish it had delved deeper, and I am hoping the next book will address them more in depth.

All the positives aside, I'm afraid the summary leads the reader to believe there's a bit more to the book than what is delivered.  I wouldn't quite describe Fallen as a "page-turning thriller".  Admittedly, I did read Fallen rather quickly and was interested in the storyline.  It just isn't a thriller in my mind.  It had a slow and steady build up to the climax--it's 400+ pages--and then a rushed resolution that did not, in my mind, fit with the pace of the story.  Too many aspects at the end of the story seemed forced--characters that fit into this strange mold that, again, felt forced in order to resolve the conflict and yet still leave Fallen unfinished for a sequel.  I don't want to ruin the story for a potential reader, so I won't go into any more detail.  Suffice it to say, I'm curious to see how the religious elements play out in a second book, but I doubt I'll be highly recommending it to my students.

Rating: 3 Stars--for the sensitive reader: there is occasional swearing, a few brief exposures to teens and alcohol, and a handful of violent scenes.

Sum it up:  A 'emo-esque' Young Adult book with religious twists.

Also reviewed by Mindy.

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