Saturday, April 3, 2010

Review: Fallen, by Lauren Kate


Title:
Fallen (Book #1, Fallen series)
Author: Lauren Kate (laurenkatebooks.net)
Pages: 464
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: December 08, 2009

Genre: Young Adult
Themes: boarding school, fallen angels, forbidden love, reincarnation

Synopsis: (From GoodReads) 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.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.


Additional Information: Amazon.com's book trailer for Fallen is below.



My Review: The story starts out with Luce being late for the tour of the new boarding school she is attending, Sword & Cross. You're introduced to a few of the characters that become a big part of the story, such as Gabbe, Cam, and Arriane. Instantly, Cam takes a liking to Luce and so does Arriane, volunteering to show her around the grounds then demanding that Luce cut her hair like her own. Soon after, Luce spots Daniel Grigori, who she is immediately attracted to. More odd than that, she feels as though this isn't her first time seeing him. When Daniel spots Luce, he gets wide-eyed right before smiling and gallantly flipping her off. Even though he was rude to her, Luce continually finds herself thinking about him and looking for him. That is until she has a run-in with Molly, who quickly welcomes her to school with a big plate of meatloaf over her head. However, thanks to Molly, Luce is introduced to Penn - the late school caretaker's daughter who decides to stay at Sword & Cross because that's where her father is buried. Although a little eccentric, Penn turns out to be a good information source for Luce. Luce and Daniel talk every once in a while, but each time she's left even more confused than before. A little less than a hundred pages into the novel, you have your first big scene of action that kind of puts the whole novel into swing - before then, it's just a bunch of introductions, Cam flirting with Luce, and you sort of get an idea of why Luce is in Sword & Cross. However, it's never really fully fleshed out in the story, which either may be a hole in the plot or something the author plans on telling in the next book. Either way, you know enough to know there was a tragic accident, she was blamed for it, and now she's in a boarding school with other "troubled teens". I'm going to stop with the play-by-play, but I will say that as the story unravels, you figure out that a lot of people are not what they seem. You also get the whole story on why Daniel seems so familiar to Luce, as well as a big back story on why they may never be able to be together.

Alright, I'll admit ... I judged a book by its cover - bad. Reading the blurb on the back, I didn't really think there would be anything all that intriguing in the book. Why? I thought it would just be a book where you follow a girl who drools over some really hot guy the whole time and that's about it. I have to say that I was definitely wrong. The story is pretty wonderful. As I said in my review for Evernight, the cover would fit better on that. However, not every book has a cover that fits well with the story itself. So, I'll say that, as just a cover, it's an attention-grabber and it's very beautiful. And really, what's better than being a proud owner of a good book with a gorgeous cover? The prologue to the story is actually a flashback, with unnamed characters, but you quickly understand it as the story goes along - and it does it's job as a prologue by catching your attention, making you want to read more. The plot? As mentioned, it does have some holes and you will have some questions after you read the novel. Since it is a part of a series, I am hoping the author will fix that by answering the questions later on in the series. So, I'm going to be lenient on that until I read more of the series. I loved the characters and they fit their persona well - though I do think that Arriane lost a little of her spark as the story went along. I think she faded back a little too much and didn't keep her spunkiness that she originally started out with. There IS an epilogue that goes with the story. After you read it, you'll have a "Whhhhaaaat?!" moment, but it's a good one! It really gets your blood pumping for the next book. The writing is wonderful, as well as the point of view ... which follows Luce in third person, but you do get a grip on the surroundings too. I forgot to mention that the ending is a little heart-wrenching, but it's necessary and gets your hopes up for the sequel.

Rating: - It was a tough decision between three stars and four, but ultimately I do think this book is more of a four star read than three. It has a good plot, good characters, and it's a great read. There are some holes, but not enough holes to question the overall story itself or the characters. At the end of the book, you have a great grip on the story, the backstory, the characters, and a small hint of things to come. It's definitely a book that I would recommend to buy.

Summary: You could say that Fallen is about a girl who starts a new school and instantly falls for one of the hot guys there. However, it's much deeper than that. Fallen is on a whole new level about a girl who is basically re-introduced to someone that she loves, but is really forbidden to love. Once her past is revealed to her, it quickly turns into two forces fighting for the girl and the girl desperately trying to find a way to stay with the one she loves.

Target Audience: Again, this is another paranormal romance novel in the young adult genre. It's not about vampires, but another supernatural force. If you want a book that deals with some biblical themes (don't worry, it's not a Christian book - obviously!) mixed with a little horror and romance, then you'll like this book.

Source of Book: This book was a purchase I made for myself during one of my many bookstore raids.

Other Books By Author: Lauren Kate has another young adult book out called The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove. However, you won't find any paranormal in this one - it's more of the mystery/suspense types. There will also be a sequel to Fallen, it's called Torment - though I don't think it has a release date yet.

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