Written by Lauren Kate
Release Date: December 8, 2009
Published by Random House
NOT a publisher requested review
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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.