Author: Lauren Kate
Release Date: December 8, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Teen, Fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5
Luce has a rare chance for a teenager: she gets to start over, at an all new school. Unfortunately for her, the school is Sword & Cross, a boarding school in Georgia that also happens to be a reform school. Luce’s only comfort is that the kids at Sword & Cross don’t know what she did to get there. But on her very first day, she meets Daniel Grigori, a beautiful and remote boy. She swears she’s met him before, yet she knows she would remember if she had. What Luce doesn’t realize is that she is about to be drawn into a conflict that has nothing, yet everything, to do with her.
Fallen sounded very interesting from the synopsis. I thought it would be another enjoyable teen romance, with an element of the supernatural. Additionally, the reform school setting lent a certain uniqueness to the plot. The distinctive setting, combined with the lure of a dark mystery sounded like the makings of a great novel.
Unfortunately, Fallen didn’t quite cut it for me. The nature of Daniel and his secret was very interesting, but it wasn’t well explored. There was a mythology there that the author could have made incredibly compelling, yet it was mostly ignored except where it was relevant to Luce discovering Daniel’s secret. There was too much emphasis on the teen romance, too little on the history behind the conflict.
Additionally, Fallen was a little too close to Twilight for my tastes. Girl sees boy who is absolutely beautiful, but he’s incredibly rude to her. People tell her to stay away from boy, but they seem to have a connection. Boy saves girl from death, which brings them closer together. I’m not saying that Kate ripped Twilight off or anything like that – it’s just that there seems to be a formula emerging for these teen paranormal books and I’m not a fan of formulas.
Fallen has a lot of potential, and perhaps more about the mythology and history will be explored in the second book in the series. This book was a bit of a disappointment for me, though I really wanted to like it. Hopefully the next one will stay away from the teen paranormal romance clichés and stand on its own two feet.