Fallen (Fallen, Book 1) by Lauren Kate
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.
Angel books and myself just don't seem to mix. After my disappointment of Hush, Hush many readers told me that I'd like Fallen so much more. I was determined to read it if only for the fact that I had bought a copy when it first came out. With the first 20-30 pages I was hooked, I even went out and bought the next two books. The writing is beautiful and weaves a beautiful image of the creepy reform school Luce is sent to. It's like a prison for kids that the world just doesn't want to handle or have faith in. I was captivated by the setting, the landscape, and the idea behind the school. Then the "romance" kicked in.
Don't get me wrong I understood this was a romance going into it, so it wasn't like I was blinded sided by that. No, what I didn't like about the book when the romance stepped in was that the writing that I was entranced with could not convey, or build, the emotion. Dare I ask where any of the emotion was? Kate had to keep having Luce tell me how sweet and "wasn't that the most romantic thing ever", again and again. I hate books where the emotions are told, not felt in the writing. Luce as a leading lady was weak, but I could understand why she was that way from dealing with shadows that no one else could see. Especially, from the events leading up to her enrollment in the school. What I couldn't understands was how wishy-washy she was over Cam and Daniel. Cam is the third wheel chucked in to the love story to make-up a poorly done love triangle. Daniel is the soul mate. Even though Cam ended up being one evil creep I seriously liked him more. Readers are just supposed to fall in love with Luce because there's a timeless bond of soul mates floating up in the air. All I felt was gypped. Just because they're "soul mates" does note give the author an excuse to ix-nay on the build up of the relationship. There should be a falling in love period, not an immediate jump to Luce becoming a crazy stalker.
Despite that I still enjoyed the story. Like I said the setting and slow build up kept me hooked. Though I'm pretty sure that most readers are going to find all of that (basically the first 80% of the book) really dull. Side characters fascinated me from the other fellow fallen angels, to Luce's new friend Penn. Kate isn't afraid to kill off characters so it adds to the suspense. Another fun bit is trying to figure out who the angels are, but who the good and bad fallen Angels are. Kate creates a believable feeling of terror—yes finally some emotion—as Luce finds out the hard way that people wear masks and you can't always judge who the good guys are at face value.
After finishing Fallen I promptly returned the other books I bought and will probably either borrow the rest or find some cheap ebook copies. This is the kind of book that you need to be swept up in the emotions, I feel a bit empty with Kate's emotionless writing. Especially since this series is all about the romance, the believability that these two characters are destined for each other. That their love is so strong that it will either destroy or save the world. Epic fail. Fallen barely gives the reader, and much to my annoyance Luce, any more details then what you could already could have guessed this book was about. Another bad sign was when I felt disappointed that the second book is obviously going to take place away from the school, I felt more attached to it then the growing story line. This is one of those "latest craze" series. So if you're looking for good Angel books I'd suggest Unearthly and Guardian. Both wonderful books that bring the emotion and a GOOD plot line.
Sexual Content: Lot's of kissing. Luce has some needy thoughts, but all in all this is a clean read.
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