Sunday, October 19, 2014
REVIEW: Fallen by Lauren Kate
Released: September 28, 2010
Description: 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.
BIG RED SPOILER ALERT
My Review: I have some mixed feelings about this book, hence the half star. I definitely enjoyed it, but I also spent a fair amount of time shaking my head in irritation or disbelief. The beginning of this book is pretty slow, but I liked it. Then, towards the end, everything get super intense super fast.
I liked the characters, but I was intensely disappointed that they killed off Penn, especially knowing there are four books left. I think Luce needed a normal friend to keep her balanced and to keep her from having a total identity crisis. Without Penn, Luce is going to descend into surrealism with nothing to ground her.
Normally, I am very against love triangles, but I felt that the Daniel-Luce-Cam issue wasn't precisely a triangle. It felt a little off from the beginning, and it was clear that Luce preferred Daniel. There was no "oh gosh, I'm just a dumb girl. how can I choose between two guys who are crazy about me?" element. Daniel actually loves her, but Cam just wants her for mysterious reasons. Additionally, Luce is only interested in Cam because he uses angelic charm on her, which I'm assuming is similar to drugging her. NOT COOL, CAM. Of course, he's a bad guy, so I'm not surprised. I did appreciate Daniel's handling of the issue, quickly making sure Luce knows that Cam manipulated her, and that it is therefore in no way her fault. Bless you for not using victim-blaming as a conflict.
Another line the book toes somewhat dangerously is the insta-love line. At first, it seems like Luce and Daniel are headed straight for insta-love, something I hate. (See the post.) However, instead of insta-love, we are presented with reincarnated love, which is significantly more acceptable to me. They're not instantly in love; they've been in love for centuries, and that's why the feelings are so immediately strong. Like I said in my post, it's so easy to build in backstory, and explain the love that way. That's exactly what this book does. We don't get enough romantic buildup in the book to lead to that level of devotion, but with the backstory, it makes sense, especially as Luce appears to be slowly remembering her past lives.
Another thing that bugged me was the fact that we don't find out what Luce is. We know that this time, she can't be reincarnated, but we don't know why she could be reincarnated before, unless they're suggesting that everyone who is baptized gets reincarnated. But they didn't say that. So I am not really sure whether I'm willing to wade through possibly four more books before I find out what the big deal is. It's frustrating, and I don't want to leave a book frustrated. Excited? Anticipating? Sure. Frustrated? No.
At the same time, I found it hard to put down, and I'm almost certainly going to read the rest of the series.
Make of that what you will.