Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FALLEN by Lauren Kate: my review

Over the weekend, I read Lauren Kate's FALLEN:

"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 Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, 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 it go. Drawn to him like a moth to flame, Luce 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." -cover flap blurb

My reasons for ordering this book the moment I saw it were two-fold:

1) Somebody compared it to Twilight, which generally captures my attention.
2) The cover for its sequel, TORMENT, is absolutely gorgeous!!

What did I tell you? GORGEOUS!

So I ordered my copy of FALLEN and eagerly devoured it when it arrived the next day. Here are my thoughts:

It's not Twilight. It's really unfair to compare anything to Twilight, after all, much less something so entirely different. The only similarity is genre: paranormal romance.

FALLEN is written in third person from Luce's limited perspective. She's an unreliable narrator, being that she knows/remembers nothing helpful most of the time. But I prefer it this way, because I love finding out about a new world alongside my protagonist tour guide. Because the POV is third person rather than first person, it's lacking that intimate emotion and passion that made Twilight a midnight guilty pleasure. And that will be the last comparison I draw to Twilight...

Because FALLEN is beautiful for its own reasons:

  • The setting is perfect for its plot. I could really feel the grittiness, the austere sliminess, of Sword & Cross's unkempt grounds. A graveyard at a reform school?! Oddly genius!

  • The clues--this novel is craftily plotted right down to its minor characters. This reader got the feeling that nothing was insignificant, and it made for a compelling mystery.

  • The details lend a sense of reality to the otherwise unbelievable premise. Lauren Kate obviously did her research, and also has a knack for painting a picture: "A faded composite picture with the words PULASKI COUNTY MOOSE CLUB OFFICERS 1964-65 was the only other decoration on the wall, showcasing a hundred oval faces, smiling modestly above pastel bow ties."
One thing I hope to see in the sequel is a stronger Luce Price. From the former-life flashback in the beginning referencing "her contemptuous side", I got the impression I was dealing with a feisty heroine. I was quite disappointed in the following chapters to find her more docile than contemptuous as the hero rejects her time and time again for her own protection. Now that she understands her own importance, I hope TORMENT finds her fighting for love to conquer all.

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