Monday 6 June 2011

Book Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate.

Product details:
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release date: December 8th 2009.
Paperback, 452 pages.
Rating: 3½ out of 5
Ages: YA

Source: Received from publisher for review.

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.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Dark, brooding and intense, just like it’s dreamy leading male, Fallen, the first book in Lauren Kate’s popular series is a slow burner of a book brimming with hidden dangers, forbidden romance and sexy guys with secrets. I’m not sure why I put off reading this one for so long, as I’ve always been drawn to the premise of the series and I have to mention those covers. Simply stunning! Now, with the arrival of Passion, the third book in a proposed series quartet, I decided it was time to play catch up!

Fallen takes place at Sword and Cross, a reform school for troubled teens which is about the dreariest place you could imagine. We are introduced to Luce, a girl who is tormented by mysterious shadows and haunted by an unexplained death, which has left her feeling guilty, alone and confused. She just wants to get by at Sword and Cross without drawing attention to herself and without causing any more trouble, but she soon finds out that is not going to happen. Enter Daniel Grigori. As soon as Luce spies Daniel she is instantly drawn to him, not just because of his stunning good looks, I might add, but because she feels a sense of déjà vu when she is near him. Luce feels as thought she has known Daniel for a long time, for lifetimes, but Daniel doesn’t seem to feel the same. For most of the book, Daniel is rude to Luce, and it seems the more she is drawn to him, the more he pushes her away.

Hmmm….I wasn’t sure about Daniel, you know. Right from the prologue we know of the connection between him and Luce, and we know that there has to be a good reason for his behaviour, but still, this information wasn’t enough to endear him to me right away. Now, Cam, that’s a different story altogether. I am a fan of love triangles that are not at all clear cut, and with the introduction of Cam to this story, things got a whole lot more interesting. I’m guessing we’re meant to root for Luce and Daniel, but still, I couldn’t help but develop a soft spot for bad boy Cam. Handsome and charming, with a sexy dangerous edge and a major thing for Luce, Cam seems to be the obvious choice for her. He’s a complex dude, and I’m just a little intrigued by him!

Luce herself is not a character I loved, I have to say, but I understand that she has a lot of issues in this book, and I’m hoping she will learn to stand on her own two feet a little more as the series progresses. In this one, she was just a little too needy, and a little too obsessed with Daniel for my liking. While I wasn’t bowled over by the character of Luce, I otherwise loved the depth of characterization in this book. I think some readers may struggle with the slow nature of the book, but for me, the slow pace worked here for the most part as I felt like I got to know the characters so well, especially Arriane, who I thought was a very fun character, and Penn, who is a good friend to Luce throughout the book.

Romantic and dangerous in equal measures, Fallen has gothic undertones, lots of mystery and a superb ending filled with plot twists which unravel to reveal hidden dangers and raise even more questions for Luce as she struggles to uncover the mystery of her connection to Daniel and the secrets of the shadows that surround her. This is a promising series starter, and I’m excited to read Torment (Fallen #2) to find out what happens next!


  1. I didn't love Luce as a character to begin with. I didn't like her neediness either.

  2. Yeah I didn't like Luce so much in this book either. It was just way too much needy lol. And I didn't really see the big deal in Daniel eiher. Nice review ;)

  3. I bought the first 2 books in one go because of the covers (very shallow of me, I know), now I have lost all motivation to read it. All the reviews say the same thing about Luce - needy, weak and too much like Bella.

  4. Great review, Leanna! I loved the southern gothic tone in this book. I remember being so impressed by the setting. I have had Torment on my TBR list for ages. I need to read it before Passion comes out.

  5. I have this one to read, it's one that I've read quite a lot of mixed reviews about but I want to make up my own mind about it.

    Great review as always! x

  6. Beautiful review Leanna, I couldn't agree with you more on this one! Luce was a bit needy for me in this one as well which is in part why I've delayed reading books 2 and 3 just in case her neediness became even more pronounced as things with Daniel got more interesting. I've heard she grows a bit in the second book though, so I need to go back and give it a try!

  7. Your review backs up what my student's have told me about this book, which is why I have put off reading it. Although, they have said that "Torment" was excellent and worth the wait after having to read "Fallen," so I will be interested to hear your opinion!! Thanks for the great review!!


  8. I haven't yet read Fallen but I really need to! I can see why you wouldn't like Daniel. I hate it when the guys are jerks to the girls yet they still fall for them. It sounds pretty good other than that. =P Thanks for the review!!

  9. Super excited to read Passion! I adore this series!!

  10. To all those put off by Luce's neediness, I will say that I warmed to her in the second book. She is definitely less needy!

    @Jen - Your students are spot on! I really liked Torment too. :)

  11. All right. You've done it. I'm adding this series to my TBR list. I know nothing more than what you've written about it so it should be interesting. :)

  12. Great review! I have to admit that Fallen was not my favourite read by a long shot. Luce bugged me, I felt the story lagged from the start and Daniel just I felt the gothic setting was more of a character than the characters, themselves.

  13. Fantastic review! I haven’t read this one yet. I actually brought it home from the library once, but didn’t have time to read it before the due date rolled around. Maybe someday :) I’m kind of burned out on needy chick characters at the moment though ;)

  14. I have had Fallen sitting on my TBR shelf for over a year and really need to get to it. It seems that when it comes to love triangles I am always rooting for the other guy too. Lovely review.

  15. Yeah, even though I'm not a fan of the book, I'm also on Team Cam ... Daniel was just - rude ... whatever his reasons, it was uncool. Also, he ended up at reform school for vandalizing shopping trollies ... who does that?!

  16. Nice review! I'm so torn on this series. I don't really have the patience for slow books and needy MC's, but I do like the sound of the mystery. I think I'll probably try it at some point.

  17. Love this book! One of my favorites. I know a lot of people think I'm crazy but I'm head over heels for Cam. The bad boy thing does it for me, too!

  18. Ty for the review! I really liked FALLEN and also Luce. The setting is one of my favourite YA school settings:)


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