December 27, 2010

Falling Short - Book Review of "Fallen" by Lauren Kate


Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Classification: YA Fiction, Teen Fiction, Fantasy
Source: Public Library 

Overall Grade: 
Would I read it again? 
Would I recommend it? 


Mysterious male love interest?
   Cool premise for the plot?
   Amazing, intriguing cover?

   So how, exactly, did this book totally disappoint me?!

I did not like this book.  But, before everyone who loves the book goes berserk on me, let me explain.

Lucille Robinson, or Luce, has had a rough year.  After witnessing the mysterious death of a friend / boyfriend, everyone thinks she had something to do with it.  And, on top of this stress, she's also having strange visions.  When she tells her parents about it, she can tell right away that she scares them, so she learns to hide her abnormalities.  That is, until it gets too much and her parents decide to enroll her in a reform school called Sword & Cross, located not more than an hour from her home in muggy Georgia.    

Then, on the first day of classes, she notices an incredibly hot guy across the quad and simply can't stop looking at him.  She insists that there is something so desperately familiar about him.  When he notices her staring, a brief moment of recognition flashes across his face. Then, he promptly decides to flip her off.  After that moment, Luce is all but obsessed with Daniel Grigori and she constantly does all she can to learn more about him, getting in lots of trouble along the way.  But, things are also complicated by another super-hot guy that's actually interested in her, so unlike Daniel's hot-and-cold treatment of her: Cam.  With her new-found friends Penn and Arriane, not to mention her almost-boyfriend Cam, Luce starts to get used to life at her new school.

 Not to go into too much detail about the rest of the book, let's just say that lots of weird stuff keeps happening to Luce, Daniel always plays hard-to-get and Cam is as endearing as ever.  That's when the book takes a ridiculous turn.  From the prologue of the novel, it's pretty evident that Luce and Daniel are basically star-crossed lovers who keep appearing in each other's lives, over and over again, (as in reincarnation).  This is affirmed when Luce discovers a book in the library written by a Daniel Grigory (who she assumes is her Daniel's ancestor), but has an old photograph of Luce and Daniel hiding in the cover.  Ok, so all is still good at this point.  I'm following the story, I'm mildly entertained and I'm interested in the characters.  Then, all hell breaks loose and the characters take part in a weirdly occult battle in the school's cemetery.  It appears that Arriane, Daniel and others are fighting against Cam, the sullen Molly and others.  Then, Luce is weirdly kidnapped by the little-old-lady librarian (of all people) who wants to murder her and does succeed in murdering Luce's best friend Penn.

But never fear! Daniel flies in on giant angel's wings to save the day!  In fact, everyone else enrolled at Sword & Cross, other than Luce and Penn, is an angel in disguise.  Isn't that delightful?!  Also, it turns out that Luce is reincarnated in her same form and always finds her way to Daniel, but then is always tragically killed before they can really be together.  

So let me tell you where Lauren Kate went wrong.  The pacing of the book is dreadfully slow, but fast enough to keep a quick reader interested.  The portrayal of Cam makes him far more likeable than the sullen Daniel, and Luce's obsession with the latter is hard to swallow, especially since she's toying with Cam on the side.  Then there's the weird Arriane, who starts off as Luce's best friend and then mysteriously disappears for most of the novel.  And lastly, the worst part, the angels.  The way Kate writes the angels into the story made me feel how most guys feel when they read Twilight, particularly the part where Edward glitters for the first time. Sure, if you love the book enough, if the rest of the story is amazing enough, you'll look past the little imperfections that may make you want to vomit.  But in Fallen's case, the rest of the book is simply not good enough for the reader's to stomach the weirdly cheesy, fairy-tale like angels that come at the end of the book.  Even the promising love story between Luce and Daniel is ruined by this turn in the story.  

And no, this is not my opinion because I think angels are stupid.  It is because it is not well done!  I think Lauren Kate should take a few pointers from Becca Fitzpatrick and her Hush, Hush series, which deals with much of the same premise, but executes it in a way that leaves you breathless.

Overall Grade: D+
Would I read it again? No.
Would I recommend it to others? No.


  1. Thank you SO much for your honest take on this! I really didn't like Fallen either. I felt it was bland, formulaic, and rather dull. The action started at the very end, and it felt like Twilight with angels. Not my cup of tea. Great balanced review :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog the other day!

  2. Thanks for the honest review. I've never been a fan of angle YA books. Maybe I'll read it just to see how bad it is:D Anyways, thanks for following me on Twitter! I LOVE your blog title.

  3. Melissa: I'm so glad that I'm not the only one with a negative opinion of this book. I so very badly wanted to enjoy it, but was constantly disappointed! Thanks for the comments! :)

    Milli: This is the only YA book about angels that I have NOT liked! If you want an amazing one, check out "Hush, Hush" and its sequel "Crescendo" by Becca Fitzpatrick. They are both well-done and extremely entertaining! :)


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