Monday, August 9, 2010

Fallen - Lauren Kate

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 Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah.  He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are screwups, and security cameras watch every move. 

Except Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--he goes out of his way to make that very clear.  But she can't let it go.  Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce 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.  
(Summary from book - Image from laurenkatebooks.net - Book from library)

My Review:  Okay, first things first.  I think I just need to up and admit that what made me pick up this book was its gorgeous cover art.  Angela Carlino did a wonderful job at evoking the dark and twisty nature of the book.  I wish I could say as much for Lauren Kate.  I had a very hard time settling in to this book.  It was very easy for me to put it down and walk away and took me about a week to read (that's a really long time). 

Fallen exudes an element of mystery and, at first, it’s the good kind – the kind that keeps you reading because you really want to know who the good/bad guys are, and where the story is headed. Since Ms. Kate seemed doomed to repeat the whole “new girl at school” plot (that is currently being bludgeoned to death by so many others), at least she had the grace to set it in a reform school with some slightly psycho characters.  Unfortunately, Fallen morphed into a boring-I-want-to-go-read-something-else kind of book because the author dragged out the unknown without serving up enough tasty plot morsels that open up more of the story. Grr.  Still, I kept reading because I hate to not finish a book.

I will never forgive Ms. Kate for making me wade through nearly 300 pages of a 464-page book before the story started moving. Even then, under the guise of the protagonist not being able to “handle it”, the author only revealed vague partial-truths so that at the end of the book I was left disengaged, confused and completely frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the art of a well-timed twist, waiting to divulge key plot elements until the perfect moment, or the cliffhanger ending, but not at the expense of the overall story or the reader’s interest. Kate dragged the beginning out so much that by the time I got to the meat of the story I had already resorted to skimming because I wanted to be done.

All of this aside, I still think the teenage masses will like this one. Mostly because it has the oh-so-essential new girl at school and the two mysterious guys that want her. I kept waiting for werewolves to pop out of the furniture or something. I think I just need to stop reading books like this hoping that they will be good. They are rarely more than average.

I could be wrong, but I’m fairly certain that one of the many objectives of the first book in a series is to induce you to want to read the second. Fallen tried to walk the fine line between saying too much and not saying enough and failed miserably, leaving me unwilling to invest any more of my precious time in the series.  I have no intention of picking up the next book (Torment, Sept. 2010) no matter how good the cover art (and it is good).

My Rating: 2.75 Stars. For the sensitive reader: This book did stay fairly YA but there was some swearing and one instance of graphic violence.

Sum it up: Neither the page-turning thriller nor the ultimate love story that its' cover quotes claim. An overall disappointment.

Also reviewed by Kari.

1 comment:

Monica said...

I agreed - no page turning. It was an ok read, and maybe an actual YA would enjoy it more - I did find the 2nd book to be a bit more interesting and the lack of relationship felt by us readers is finally felt by the character Luce as well - so you don't feel so in the dark about this unquestioning love. I'll finish the series but it really wasn't as good as I was hoping. Clean though, which is always nice.

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