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Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Written by Lauren Kate
Release Date: December 8, 2009
Published by Random House
NOT a publisher requested review

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary (courtesy of Barnes and Noble):
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.

A decent offering that had sparks of wit and potential for excitement, but otherwise left me unfulfilled. Full review after the jump. WARNING: SPOILERS!

I got my hands on an autographed hardcover edition of Fallen by Lauren Kate thanks to my good friend Ashley at Bookish Novelties. I was, for the most part, happy with the book. I took issue with a few things, but the story has a lot of potential as a series, so I do see myself picking up a copy of Torment to see where it goes.

First I'll talk about the things I liked. Number one, the cover art is FABULOUS. Fallen and Torment have some of the most beautiful covers in the YA genre. I especially love how it ties into the story, with Luce finding the photograph from back in the day wearing that gorgeous gown. I know that the cover is probably extremely inconsequential to the review, but I had to take a second to gush about it.

I really liked most of the characters in this book. Arianne was especially entertaining to me. She kind of stood out as the character personality I most related to. I wish we had gotten to see more of Penn. She seemed like an adorable character. Luce was a decent heroine, though at times I felt that she could have been a little more proactive to confront the things that she was so obviously tormented by.

The story moved at a decent pace, though it felt like there needed to be more action in the earlier parts of the book. There was a touch too much story building for me. I mean, we get it, you hate the boarding school. You can't decide if you like Cam. Daniel is a douche to you, but he's soooo hot. Ugh. Aside from that, the story was enjoyable. I liked that the lines between good and evil were so blurred. By the end of the book, I was suspicious of everyone.

Which brings us to the complaints section of this review. I am so sick of YA books being centered around this instant love-at-first-sight crap. It absolutely does not happen that way in real life. I found myself being very frustrated with Luce for pining so hard for Daniel. He was a complete jerk to her for the first two thirds of the book, and yet she kept throwing herself at him. I know that the past-lives thing figures heavily into the story, but I can't get into the whole "I love him even though I barely know him and he's extremely rude" thing. It bugged me in Twilight, and it bugged me in Fallen.

Another thing that I took issue with was how anti-climactic it all turned out. There's no resolution of any kind at the end of Fallen. It bothers me when a book is so heavily dependent on the rest of the series for closure. I came away from Fallen with more questions than answers. Maybe that works for some people (I'm looking at you, Lost fans) but I can't stand it. I like my stories to feel finished, even if there's going to be another book. A  guaranteed sequel does not have to mean a cliffhanger ending. I just like for a story to stand both on it's own and as a part to a greater story. Call me picky.

Bottom line, if you can delve right into Torment the second you put down the book, Fallen is a pretty good read. You can pick both up from the Things Liz Loves Amazon Store at the link below.


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