Friday, October 8, 2010

Book Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title:  Fallen
Author:  Lauren Kate
Publisher:  Delacourt Press 
Genre: YA
Hardcover: 452 pages
ISBN: 0385738935
Summary 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.

  • Overall rating: 8/10
To buy this book: IndieBound The Book Depository | Powell's | Amazon
Add this book to your: Goodreads | Shelfari | Library Thing Visual Bookshelf

Lauren Kate's Fallen is a paranormal romance set against the backdrop of a decaying reform school in the Deep South.  Luce has been haunted by mysterious shadows all her life, and it seems that they are getting more and more aggressive.  After surviving a deadly fire under suspicious circumstances, she finds herself shipped off to a reform school in Georgia where she quickly finds herself courted by one boy and irresistibly drawn to another.

What I Liked:
-     I am a sucker for love stories that defy time, so I really enjoyed that aspect of Fallen.
-     Many of the secondary characters in this book kept me guessing, wondering who was to be trusted and who had ulterior motives.
-     Before I started reading this book, I was concerned that the story would remind me too much of other books (like Hush, Hush and Twilight), but overall I was pleasantly surprised.  Luce did not drive me crazy, and although Daniel was not nearly as forthcoming as I wanted him to be, he was not an insufferable jerk or a 'bad boy' either.  I found their attraction to one another believable.  And Cam was also surprisingly likable.
-     The action and conflict kicked up a notch in the final quarter of the book, so that left me eager to check out Torment, the second book in the series.
-     I liked that the author was not afraid to kill characters, so I wasn't completely positive who would make it to the final pages.

What I Liked Less:
-     Luce's obsession with Daniel felt fairly static and one-note in the middle of this book, but every time it started to grate on my nerves I thought about the all-consuming nature of high school romances & tried to forgive her obsessiveness.  Plus, although she may not be fully aware of it, Luce really does have a valid reason to be drawn to Daniel.
-     I wanted more background information about the characters' histories, and I found everyone's insistence on keeping Luce in the dark frustrating.

Fallen is a fairly slow-building paranormal romance, and I look forward to seeing where this series goes in the next three books.  I was especially excited to hear that the third book in the series, Passion, will be a prequel to Fallen that spans 5000 years.  How fun to see two characters falling in love in a wide variety of time periods and places over the course of several millennia.  If you like relatively chaste romances, angels, or love stories that span several centuries, then you will want to pick up Fallen.  Fans of Shelena Shorts' The Pace  will probably want to check out Fallen.   The second book in the Fallen series, Torment (which has a gorgeous cover) was released September 28th.  I picked up a copy and look forward to reading it soon.  If you would like to learn more about Fallen or Lauren Kate's other books, you can visit her Fallen website, author website, blog, or twitter.

Read an excerpt from Fallen here!


Dazzling Mage said...

I have the book on my shelf, and maybe I'm passing an early judgement, but I hope, hope I can tolerate Luce's "obsessions".

Anyway, great review!

Jenni Elyse said...

I really want to read this book. Maybe, I'll use the gift card my hubby ... I mean my kitties ... gave me to go buy it.

Candace said...

I was surprised that I liked this one so much. I'd heard so many negative things. I'm glad you liked it as well! I read Torment last week (and reviewed it) and really enjoyed it as well. I like that there's a REASON that Luce is drawn to Daniel but I wish they could communicate better and people would be more forthcoming with information for her so she's not always in dark. I think it's a great series though! And I didn't know that the next book is a prequel. Hmmm... I'm assuming that means I'll have longer to wait to find out what happens next with Luce and Daniel in the now.

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