Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book Review: Fallen

Author: Lauren Kate
Release Date: December 8, 2009
Pages: 464
Read it in: 4 days

The Hook: “What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?”

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 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.

LC's Take: 

OK, I know there are mixed reviews out there about this book. It seems like it has some fans and then there are those that simply CANNOT STAND it. I, personally, liked this book. I didn't LOVE it, but I enjoyed reading it. I wasn't bored, and I thought the closer to the end I got, the more intrigued and wrapped up in the story I became. Now, I have only just started reading YA fiction so to be honest, I have very little to base an opinion on as far as paranormal romance/forbidden love go, especially in terms of this theme being over-done and cliché.  Maybe this gives me a fresh viewpoint on the whole genre??

That being said, I have read Twilight and I really thought Fallen was overall a better book than Twilight (Twilight fans please don't hate me). However, I think it’s also probably another case of a book being popular more for the marketing it’s had than based on actually being an awesome, unforgettable story. It’s not that Fallen was a bad read—it just wasn’t all that memorable, either.  Here's some things I did like about it:
    •  The story unfolds in mid-19th century England and from the beginning draws you in—there is something intriguing and mysterious that keeps you reading
    • Luce's character is portrayed well- she is an actual living, breathing, thinking human being—vulnerable, innocent…  she has some depth to her and her thoughts and reactions very often echo those of the reader (ex: “Why is everyone at this school so weird?” p.52). I could relate to a lot of the things she goes through at the reform school and her reactions generally make sense.
    • The scenes of Luce being thrown into the hellish world of Sword & Cross reform school reminded me slightly of Mr. Brocklehurst’s school in Jane Eyre-- and Kate does a really good job at painting vivid pictures that are dark, brooding- and at times pretty sexual/erotic-- the perfect mix for a Gothic story of doomed lovers. But there is nothing cheap or trashy with the way Kate describes the interactions between Luce and Cam/Daniel- they are heavy and deep, pained and other-worldly, all at the same time. 
    • The book cover is freaking gorgeous.
    Alright, so here's what turned me off about Fallen:
      • The dialogue was at times very forced- and forced dialogue always winds up sounding incredibly cheesy…(phrases like “nice digs,” “capiche,” “He has the hots for you,” “absolute lame-o’s”-- Who talks like that???)
      • Daniel was a bit too Edward-esque-- too perfect and a super a-hole. But Kate does a pretty good job at giving a reason for why he's such a jerk to Luce towards the end of the story-- and it makes sense. (Well, it did to me anyways). He redeems himself.
      • Luce’s parents are clueless, apathetic, unloving and fake—not to mention bordering on sadistic in their absolute negligence of their daughter. I kinda wish they had spontaneously combusted to be honest…

      LC's Rating:
      Photobucket
      Some things annoyed me about Fallen, but overall I thought it was a good story with lots of dark, Gothic elements that kept me reading.
      Photobucket

      8 comments:

      1. I told you I loved your blog. You are brand new and I'm already giving you an award.

        Check it out: http://deborahandreasenbooks.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-award.html

        :)

        ReplyDelete
      2. Awww thanks Deb! You are awesome :)

        ReplyDelete
      3. Hi, Lea! I found your blog thanks to Deborah, (I'm one of your fellow award winners.) and I can see why she chose you. You're blog is beautiful! I like the simplicity of it.

        And while I'm here, great review for "Fallen". I like how you're to the point yet witty at the same time. Nice spin! This book has literally been sitting in my 'to read' pile for months and months now, not because I've been putting it off, but because of other obligations I haven't had time to pick it up. You're review has made want to push it farther up the list... just maybe to the very top! Thanks!

        Check out my blog here: www.gabriellenesiba.blogspot.com

        Maybe we'll chat soon! Until then, happy reading!

        ReplyDelete
      4. Thanks Gabby! I really like your blog as well, and I am following it now :)

        I'm so glad you liked my review-- I have only just started doing book reviews so I'm not sure if I'm all that great at it yet, but I do try to put a lot of thought into them, and give them my own unique spin!

        Congrats on the award, and I'm looking forward to keeping up with your reviews as well :)

        Have a great day!

        ReplyDelete
      5. And thanks for awarding me again too- can't tell you how much it means to have people actually liking what I write about :P

        ReplyDelete
      6. Great review, very thorough.

        I really didn't get into the book until the end and totally agree that this series has such a fantastic covers, yet the story is anything but!

        I'd love it if you checked out my review of Fallen and I'll let you know when my review of Torment goes live haha (written already just not published yet).

        ReplyDelete
      7. I agree with you. It was a little slow for me in the beginning but it got going and i enjoyed it! I just got Torment the other day so i'm hoping to read it soon.

        ReplyDelete
      8. I agree, although it wasn't the most wonderful book in the world, it still had its good points. Unfortunately for me, I had really high expectations for Fallen (there's been so much hype, and Fallen was one of the books that started the whole 'angel' craze in YA books) and the novel failed to reach them. In the end, I still borrowed Torment and Passion from the library when they were published though...

        ReplyDelete

      Your comments make me happy :)

      Creative Commons License