Monday, April 9, 2012

Book Review: Fallen

Title: Fallen by Lauren Kate
Release Date: Dec. 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 452 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Goodreads 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.

Let me start by saying that I don’t like writing negative reviews but if I don’t like a book, I’m going to honesty state that. I know that the Fallen series has a ton of fans, but this was just not the book for me. I have no problems with Lauren Kate’s writing, my issues are with the characters and the plot.

After an accident that left her crush burned to death, Lucinda “Luce” Price is court ordered to attend a reform school in her home town. Once at the creepy, run down school, Luce sees Daniel, a boy that seems very familiar to her and one that she just can’t get out of her head.

There are several reasons that I don’t like Fallen and while I won’t list them all, I will point out a few.

This book is A LOT like Twilight! Girl shows up at a new school. She is inexplicably drawn to a beautiful boy who, for no apparent reason, treats her badly and tells her to stay away from him. Girl is confused because boy is hot and cold to her. Boy saves girl from accident that would kill her. There is a love triangle involving another beautiful boy. Both boys have superpowers and are enemies. I could keep going but I won’t. I know Stephanie Meyer did not originate the supernatural boy hates girl publicly but loves her secretly/love triangle plot in a book, but this feels too much like Twilight with angels to me. I found it unoriginal and quite frankly, unappealing.

Stupid, weak willed main character. Yes, stupid is a strong word and one that I ask my kids not to use (especially to describe people) but I can’t think of another word to describe Luce’s actions in Fallen. It does not matter how poorly Daniel treats Luce, she can’t stop obsessing about him left me feeling like she was a doormat. Luce also continues to accept Cam’s advances even after she knows she is not interested in him because she doesn’t have the courage to break it off. The final straw for me was when Cam prevents Luce from going to Daniel, she kisses him so he will let her go. Really? How about trying to fight him off or screaming for help? Making out with the guy holding you against your will is just not the way to go.

Underdeveloped characters. I’m at the point that I will be avoiding all books that the main character is INEXPLICABLY drawn to a love interest. I get that the characters in Fallen have a history together and ‘know’ each other from before but it all felt underdeveloped to me, especially Luce’s attraction to Daniel. I feel like I need to know why he fell for her in the first place and vice-versa. Maybe I missed this explanation while reading the book which leads me to my next point:

Unexplained plot points. How did the accident at Luce’s first school happen? Why are all these angels, immortal beings with so much power, in high school and such a run-down reform school at that? Why was Cam so insistent on Luce wearing the necklace with the snake charm? It’s possible I missed these explanations in the book, let me know if I did.

Stereotypical characters. Cam, Molly and Roland, the ‘bad’ angels, all have black hair (in Roland’s case, he is of Africa American decent). Daniel and Gabbe, the ‘good’ angels, are blond. Arriane would be the exception of course since she is a ‘good’ angel with brown hair. Still, the whole dark being bad and blond being considered good really annoyed me. I also need to mention that Roland, the only ethnic character in the book, is the guy that can sneak anything into the boarding school including alcohol and drugs. The idea of the black kid being the hustler is offensive and also annoying.

I have other issues with Fallen and I have not even touched on how silly the religious aspect of this book is portrayed, but I will stop here as I think you probably get my point. The Fallen series has been optioned by Disney and I think the first movie from the series will be in theaters this fall. Undoubtedly, we will hearing a lot more about these books as the year progresses.

Have you read the books in the Fallen series? If yes, how did you like it? Do the sequels offer answers that I missed in Fallen? Are you interested in seeing the movie when it comes out?

Content: Profanity, kissing, underage drinking and violence.

My Rating: Disappointing


Lovey Dovey Books said...

I read this book a while ago, and I don't remember much, but I know I didn't like it either. It didn't stick with me after I finished reading and the ending had so much going on that I just didn't quite 'get it'.

Thanks for your review.

KM said...

I've been looking forward to this review since you talked about how much you disliked the book on Twitter. I don't think I've read such a negative review from you - I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

Annette said...

I really felt a lot like you did, epically about Luce being so stupid and the instalove for no reason part. I think I was more entertained than you, though. I guess I'm more forgiving. But, I read the first two in the series and have no desire to go any further.

Gabi said...

I am also staying away from books where the main characters are inexplicably drawn or attracted to each other. In my opinion, it's a lazy and easy writing tactic, and I'm sick of it. I do really like the cover though. It was my favorite thing about the book. :]

Dana said...

I liked this book for what it was. I try to never compare books but the squels are really good Luce grew a backbone!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I started listening to this on audio and quickly lost interest. I figured since it was an audio and not read, I was allowed to quit. I'm definitely not taking any chances on the book. Thank you for your honesty. All the things you mentioned are things that annoy me to no end.

Anonymous said...

I love angel books, and this one was very good for me. Except for Luce which I didn't like at all, but the rest of the characters made up for it. Especially Arriane she was just so funny doing whatever, whenever. I really liked how Luce and Daniel have this whole history together but we really only get a slight insight into that in this book. The rest of the series does get more into detail so I am definitely looking forward to the other books.

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting for this review since you mentioned you were reading the book. It's interesting to see that you disliked it for reasons I didn't even pick up on in some respects -- like the black kid being the hustler & the black/blonde hair thing. If I'd picked up on it, that would also have annoyed me. My biggest issue with this book was that all these supernatural, ancient beings were in high school (as you pointed out) AND they acted like they had NEVER matured past high school EVER in their lives. Daniel should have been an old soul with some sense & the ability to avoid Luce rather than flipping her off upon first meeting.

And no, you didn't miss an explanation as to why he loves her. It wasn't there. Because there is no reason for him to love her really. She's pathetic & he's a jerk.

Horrible book.

And the funny thing about you recognizing it as being a swipe from Twilight... well Twilight was almost completely ripped off from The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith. So Fallen is a copy of a copy! But that's a rant for another time...

It's A Hardcover Life said...

New follower!

I agree, the book was just mush. It is one of the only books that I regretted reading and, usually, even when a book is bad I don't regret reading it. Here is the exception. It was just a mix of bad elements in a sub-par mashup.


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