Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal Romance
Publication: Delacorte Press
Release Date: 2009
What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?
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 and Cross boarding school in Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forebidden, 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 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.
Fallen is set in swampland Savannah and follows the main character, Luce, as she navigates her way through her new reform school. Luce has just been admitted under the guidance of her counsellor, who recommended that reform school was the best fit for a girl, who under suspicious circumstances, set alight and killed a potential boyfriend.
At her new school Luce does not have access to cell phones or communication with the outside world. The students at the school are watched constantly by cameras, have strict curfew and learn very little in their classes. Luce makes friends with some of the girls in the school, Penn and Arrianne. They look out for her, especially when she is navigating her first few days at school.
Luce then meets Daniel Grigori, a fellow student at the school. She instantly feels a connection to the handsome and mysterious boy. She doesn’t know how but she feels she knows him, even though they have never met before. Luce tries to break any sort of contact with him, especially as he is constantly rude and mean to her. Unfortunately, she just can’t seem to let him go.
This book has been haunting me at the bookstore for the past year. I have wanted to buy it to take home and read, and yet something always held me back. Maybe it was the blurb, the fact it was another story about the paranormal or the fact it looked a little bit too dark and serious for my liking. I finally made the plunge and bought the book- and what a mistake that was!
The story leaves the reader utterly confused. The main character, Luce, does not know what is going on, just that strange things keep happening to her. It isn’t until the second to last chapter that any clarity is established and the main character finally works out some of what is going on. Unfortunately for the reader, Luce is not told everything.
The love story is lacklustre and barely a main feature of the book. As Luce is so bemused most of the time she really can’t understand her feelings for Daniel, or if she has any at all. It doesn’t help that the story is set in a reform school with strange, dangerous students. The essence of any kind of romance seems unlikely to bloom amongst a drab school built alongside a cemetery.
I found the foreshadowing that was used so complex that as a reader I was not able to make connections or predict what might be going on. The title Fallen also suggests the book may be about fallen angels, but that is not confirmed or denied until the final chapters. Ideas that you are usually able to link within a book are not made clear within this story.
Now I get that this is the first in five part series, and every book series needs some suspense for the next novel, but seriously, Lauren Kate, when the reader is just as confused and lost as the characters, it is not a fun read. There was no conclusion to this story, no reader satisfaction, no understanding of what was to come in the next book, and because of this you were left feeling bemused and disappointed that you just read over 400 pages for nothing! I finished the last page as puzzled as when I began.
Unless you are a person who enjoys complete dissatisfaction and bemusement upon the completion of a book, do not pick it up!