Friday, 18 February 2011

Book Review: Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell.


Product details:
Publisher: HarperTeen.
Paperback, 240 pages.
Release date: December 28th 2010.
Rating: 2 out of 5.
Ages: 12+
Source: International Book Tours.

Heaven-sent?

Ellie was never particularly good at talking to boys—or anyone other than her best friend and fellow outcast, Ruth. Then she met Michael.

Michael is handsome, charming, sweet. And totally into Ellie. It’s no wonder she is instantly drawn to him. But Michael has a secret. And he knows Ellie is hiding something, too. They’ve both discovered they have powers beyond their imagining. Powers that are otherworldly.

Ellie and Michael are determined to uncover what they are, and how they got this way . . . together. But the truth has repercussions neither could have imagined. Soon they find themselves center stage in an ancient conflict that threatens to destroy everything they love. And it is no longer clear whether Ellie and Michael will choose the same side.

In this electrifying novel, Heather Terrell spins a gripping supernatural tale about true love, destiny, and the battle of good versus evil.


*This review contains spoilers*

No matter how I try, I can't put a positive spin on my review of Heather Terrell's Fallen Angel. I will always point out the positive aspects of a book, even one that I didn't enjoy, but here, I am pretty much at a loss. When I first heard about this book, it sounded like one I would love. If you're a regular reader of the blog, you'll know that I'm a pretty big fan of the angel theme that's so huge in YA fiction right now. However, with so many books dealing with this theme, there are going to be a few duds, right. For me, Fallen Angel fits into this category. This book fell flat for me on every level. The storyline, the characters, the romance – it was all off. None of it rang true and none of it worked. For me, this book was totally lacking in originality. It is very formulaic, and I'm even tempted to describe it as a copy-and-paste angel book. It contains pretty much all the elements of any angel book you've read, but it's missing a heart and soul.

The protagonist here, Ellie, has been having strange dreams in which she can fly. Ellie is a quiet, shy girl, pretty much an outsider at school, save for her friend, Ruth, who I will discuss in more detail later. One day, Ellie spots this hot guy at school. Michael insists he knows her pretty well from a shared trip to Guatemala, but Ellie can't remember him at all. She doesn't really question why this is though, which is kind of strange. She soon finds herself falling in love with him in five seconds flat, even though he doesn't seem to have all that many redeeming qualities at all. He's hot though, so we're told. See what I mean? Ellie is one of those girls. And this is one of those relationships. Sigh. There is something a little different to Ellie and Michael's relationship, though – they swap blood every time they kiss. Ewwww! Soon the two are suffering from some kind of weird blood lust, and since Michael also has the flying thing going on, they both decide that they must be vampires.

OK, guys – you've seen the title of the book. I don't think I'm giving away any major spoilers when I tell you that they are not vampires. But, why make it a main story arc in the book if you've already given away the answer in the title? Ellie is dealing with this mystery for most of the book and trying to figure out what she is. We already know the answer, so this holds no interest for us. It also makes Ellie appear totally clueless, even though I should point out that as a teenage girl she is not believable at all. Her voice is much too measured and mature. Overall, she doesn't work as a character, and neither does this all-consuming relationship with Michael, which is about as riveting as watching paint dry.

Oh, and her friend Ruth. Can you say creepy? Ellie and Ruth are outsiders at their school, and I understand why! Ruth's favourite pastime is sneaking around the school spying on people and gathering gossip. I mean, this is hardly going to lead to her becoming Prom Queen, is it?!

This book could have been good. The premise was interesting, and the writing style flows easily at times. However, this one has too many things working against it to be an enjoyable read. If you  totally give the game away in the title of the book, and then make it a huge, mysterious part of the story,  you need to give readers something else to become invested in. Maybe great characters, maybe a hot romance, maybe a truly scary villain to enter the piece and shake things up. Unfortunately, here, the characters and their romance just can't carry the story, and the villain when he's introduced, doesn't really add anything. It all adds up to a very predictable read that I struggled to finish.

I hear that there's a love triangle in the next book in this series, Eternity (July 2011), so if you are a slave to angels and love triangles, then maybe, just maybe, this is the series for you. Unfortunately, even though I'm a fan of both, I'll be giving it a miss.

17 comments :

  1. Thanks for the honest review. I think I will be passing on this one. Your review made me laugh when you mentioned her creepy friend Ruth and how her stalker behaviors aren't going to get her the title of Prom Queen- so true! Ha! I hate when books are formulaic and unfortunately, a lot of angel books have been like that lately. I'm sorry you were disappointed by this one!

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  2. Ugh...I SO don't like "I love you cause you're hot" books. Passing this one up, thanks lady!

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  3. As you might remember, I wasn't much of a fan of this one either. It was just filled with too many cliches and the characters drove me crazy!

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  4. Great honest review! Ellie sounds annoying and the whole swapping blood when the kiss, EEEW alright! Definitely skipping this one.

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  5. I always cringe when I begin a book that I find formulaic and predictable, but honestly I usually end up not finishing them. Kudo's for finishing this one and for your well-written and totally honest review.

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  6. Ok so I don't think that I'll be checking this one out! Thanks for the wonderful honest review!

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  7. I feel so sad. I keep seeing beautiful covers and I keep adding them to my tbrlist. And then I read reviews for them that say they aren't the best they ever read. They really are bad. I really want to try this one, but I keep reading reviews for them with low ratings. ;(
    Great review!!!

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  8. I've read so many mixed reviews on this one that I think I'm just going to take a pass on it. There's to many great books out there to read a 'meh' one!

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  9. They swap blood every time they kiss? I'm trying to picture in my head a way the author could make that into something sexy, but I fail miserably every time. I don't think this one is for me which is a shame because I'm definitely warming up to the angel trend after reading Unearthly! Thanks for this review Leanna, I'll be passing on this one.

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  10. I will be definitely avoiding this book. The characters sound so flat and the blood swapping thing is just creepy!

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  11. Love the cover but I've seen quite a few negative reviews for Fallen Angel. Thanks for making the review so detailed! I'll be passing on this one.

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  12. Totally agree! Michael was just creepy. I don't get why she fell for him. This book just didn't flow quite right for me.

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  13. OH, so she's one of THOSE girls is she? I'm definitely giving this one a miss then. Also, I've seen more than a fair share of negative reviews for this one and for me, when negative reviews overhwelm positive ones, it's a definite sign for me not to make any special effort to buy the book! And the swapping blood when they kiss? Why does that disturb me so? Anyway, a wonderfully written review as always - you've definitely made some valid points - if the characters fall flat and the storyline just doesn't work, then it definitely won't make me want to read it.

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  14. I've been wondering about this one as it's popped up in my Amazon recs a few times but I'd not heard much about it. The blood swapping thing sounds vile, so I'm happy to take your word for it and pass on this one.

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  15. I'm not sure if I'm more put off by the blood swapping or the insta-love. What were the publishers thinking with that title?? It sounds like it completely spoils any mystery or suspense there might have been in the book.

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  16. ^ It does - especially since Ellie spends a lot of the book trying to figure out what she is. The blood swapping is sickly...the insta-love too!

    So, are you still gonna read it? lol!

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