Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen by Lauren Kate
Lauren Kate's website here.

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (December 8, 2009)
Hardcover: 464 pages
Buy: {amazon}, {b&n}, {borders}, {book depository}
Summary: from {goodreads}
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.


My Thoughts: I *think* I was disappointed by Fallen. I've heard tons of positive reviews along with numerous negative ones, so I didn't really know what to expect. It took me a long time to decide, but I finally read it. The little blurb on the flap was pretty accurate: the angel, the forbidden love, and the danger. But what it didn't mention were the murders, the heartbreaks, and aspects that, for me, were unrealistic and unbelievable. The characters and sometimes the situations had me going "are you really serious?!" Argh, some of the characters seriously made me want to bang my head a few times on my desk. I'm sorry, but it's true. I'll grant that I liked Lauren Kate's ideas and writing style, but plot organization and character development? Not so much.

So let me start off with my favorite characters: Cam and Miss Sophia. If you've already read the book, you might be thinking "what?" but I can definitively say that Miss Sophia has character. Yes, she's an absolute back-stabbing, vengeful bitch, but I can clearly define her personality and motivations, which is more than I can say for some other characters. I also adored Cam, Daniel's competitor in vying for Luce's attentions. I admit it, I have a soft spot for bad boys, and though Cam was described by others as misbehaved and a player, I only saw him as sweet and sensitive. He does have a violent edge, but he appears to truly love Luce and is always impulsively ditched by her. My heart broke a little for Cam every time that happened. Multiple times.

On the other hand, my least favorites: Daniel and Luce; the main characters. Daniel was horrible to Luce at the beginning and while there was a plausible reason given for that treatment, I don't know why any girl would go for a guy that treats her like absolute trash one minute but saves her the next. For the definition of Daniel, search up: Hot and Cold by Katy Perry. The only character I liked even less was Luce, who I thought was naive, weak, and very fickle. Can I mention Cam again? *sob* I mean, what girl just stands by and watches a deadly fight between an extremely caring boy who loves her, Cam, and a boy that usually pretends she doesn't even exist, Daniel? And watches it like a boxing match while cheering for that guy that treats her like week-old pizza? -Cue head smack here.- All-in-all, Luce just wasn't the type of girl for me, and I often felt embarrassed on behalf of her.

Now, like always, I hate putting down a book, and I admit that there were a few aspects that I liked. Towards the end, the full plot is revealed in all of its intricate and complicated glory and the action is fast-paced and unrelenting. Numerous plot twists are churned out one after another, and so much is happening at the same time that I just had to draw back a bit, and be like "woah, what?" But all in all, pretty intense and awesome, especially since I was reading the majority of the book begging for something exciting to happen. However, on that note, I think if you like the development of the romance, you won't find it boring at all. Also, since Lauren Kate is a beginning author, while there were some confusing uses of pronouns here-and-there and some blunt transitions, I liked her vivid descriptions and definitely see potential in future works. In particular, I loved the opening "In the Beginning" because of the beautiful scene and mysterious atmosphere Lauren manages to create. Now if only the entire book was like that...

Romance: Eh... I have a hard time rating this because I didn't like the characters, but if you do, I think you'll find it very intense and romantic. It'll definitely whet your appetite for the complicated paranormal romance!
Cover: 5.0!! -- All I can say is that books like Fallen is the reason I do not switch over to e-readers.
Writing: 3.0
Characters: 2.0
Plot: 3.5 

Bottom Line: Fallen was a book with potentially amazing ideas, though the flat characters were a major deduction from it's rating. Basically, not my cup of tea, but it might meet your expectations for a thrilling tale with underlying angel lore. As for Torment, I probably won't go out to buy it, though I'll try it if I somehow manage to obtain it without any costs on my side (ie. library). I'm interested to see where Lauren Kate will develop from here, and with her interesting concepts, I can definitely see potential in her future; the key lies in the execution.