Fallen, by Lauren Kate
Series: Fallen, book 1 of 4
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Published: December 2009
In all honesty I have to admit I'm writing this review whereas I've read the book quite some time ago. (About 2 years ago even!) That's not my usual style, but 'Fallen' deserves a review, so here I go.
The original (movie-worthy!) setting of this book set the tone immediately to a dark read: the reform school 'Swords and Cross' Lucinda is being sent to is a grim, gruesome place. It wasn't even her fault she got sent there in the first place. It's not like she meant to set her boyfriend on fire, it just happened. But maybe it was for the best Lucinda was sent away, it gave her the chance to live her life without being judged by all her fellow students.
Whether the academy is the best place to have a fresh, new start is debatable. It's not very inviting with all its grey buildings, the cemetery on school grounds and the old church now harboring an Olympic size swimming pool. Most of the students seem to have adapted to their surroundings and fate and seem like they actually belong in a place like that. The mandatory all BLACK dress code doesn't do anything to add to the cheeriness. However, Luce quickly finds herself a new friend in Penn, whose father used to be the janitor. Even Arianne who seems very strange at first turns out to be a loyal friend.
And of course, then there is Daniel. Daniel who doesn't seem interested in Luce and treats her with her disrespect. That is, when he acknowledges her at all. But Luce can't stop herself from feeling attracted to him. (Although why I can't figure out: I don't like his looks and he's the wrong kind of tormented. He's a drag, actually!)
Anyhow, Luce pines for Daniel and tries to get in touch with him. This goes on for the major part of the book, nothing else of importance happens. There were times I wondered why I kept reading even, it felt rather boring to read about this seemingly unrequited love.
Luckily, we have Cam to keep things interesting, with his black hair and cat-like green eyes. And even though you can sense from a mile away he's BAD news (yes, with a capital B, A and D!) he's smoking hot. Now there's an attraction I understand!
When it comes to Cam, you can sense Daniel is jealous, or rather protective of Luce, in other ways, deeper ways. Like he knows about Cams badness. And finally things start to make sense, the romance takes off (a little, in a goody-two-shoes-way) and we find out why Daniel kept Luce away but didn't want Cam near her either. At that point there hadn't been any 'fantasy' aspect to the book, so although I knew what the book was about, I was still surprised when Daniel showed his true self. Like his angelic-ness didn't belong in the book. But I got used to it quickly. One things that kept being annoying though, was that Daniel couldn't tell Luce what the deal was about. No, she has to find out herself.
The semi-epic ending of the book was harsh in ways I did not see coming. Well written, realistic when it comes to feelings, detailed when it comes to he angels' appearances.
All in all a book with an original concept, a promising story with epic battles lurking around the corner, an endangered romance without knowing how to make sure it will last this lifetime. The writing is okay, not too hard, but detailed enough. The characters aren't that well-written and I can't really feel the chemistry beyond the fate-link Luce and Daniel share. A bit of a mediocre book perhaps, with a little extra though. It certainly kept me engaged enough to read the sequels!
Also, I dare say it's right up there with the 'Twilight' Saga. If you liked those, you'll like these as well. I hope the movie they're planning on doing about this one will go through, because I know these books will translate beautifully onto the silver screen!
Have a nice day! :)