Series: Fallen (Book #1)
Author: Lauren Kate
Summary: 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.
Review: I actually surprised myself by liking this book as much as I did! I’ve seen/heard so many mixed reviews concerning this series that I wasn’t sure what I was going to think about it–whether I’d be joining the crowd of “this book stinks!” or the group of “OMG, this is the greatest book EVER!”. Well, it turns out I won’t be joining either section, but I will admit that I greatly enjoyed reading this, and blazed through it in just a couple of days! I found myself excited to read, using every opportunity to do so (even in the car, and I get really dizzy when I do that–so you know it must have been something special for me to sacrifice my much-needed sense of vision). There were a couple points about the book that I found myself scratching my head over, but all-in-all, definitely worth picking up if you’re looking for something a little less complicated.
What I Liked: Spoilers!
- Lauren Kate can write! I sometimes feel like authors make their books popular based on story and general “likeability” alone, but Kate can actually write and has all the other qualities that make you want to read a book. Her descriptions I felt were perfect, not too descriptive to a point where you want to rip your hair out, but not so vague that you can’t picture in your mind the surroundings or the characters. It had just the right amount of “realistic teenager” thrown in, with sarcastic or semi-witty internal narration. I’ve read some reviews where people are like, “I predicated everyone who was a bad guy to be a bad guy!” but I only predicted one. The others took me totally by surprise, and maybe I just wasn’t paying attention or over-analyzing, but I appreciated that I couldn’t simply spell out everything before it happened.
- So, I’m a sucker for an overly cheesy romance. I’m definitely willing to admit that about myself. This fulfilled that desire to a T. If you’re searching around for a good “typical”-ish paranormal romance, you need not look farther! Part of what I liked about it was that it was a little familiar, and maybe it’s because the “out there” and “original” books I’ve read lately have all ended up sorely disappointing me, but I liked the recognizable romance!
- I’m a little late to the bandwagon, but this is the first angel-centric book I’ve ever read. Like, fallen angels and stuff like that (people who aren’t Shadowhunters, hah). I really appreciated the references to the Bible in the book, because none of it was “preachy” and even if you have a different belief or a non-traditional Christian view you could still enjoy this book. I feel like so many summaries or reviews I’ve read of other angel books tend to preach to the reader of that author’s belief, or they don’t mention God or Heaven or anything, and that makes you wonder a little bit where the angels came from. Kate had a really good balance here, and I greatly appreciated that her descriptions and reasons didn’t seem to encroach on my own beliefs or leave too much to be desired.
What I Didn’t Like:
Cam. Cam. Cam. I mean, you could tell from the start that Luce wasn’t going to pick him over Daniel, and then you could tell by how strange he acted sometimes and Gabbe’s random interferences that something was off about him. And then it was blaringly obvious when Daniel said he was “filthy”, because I doubt he would have unless something was up there. There also had to be a reason for Arriane to hate him so much. And then the whole bar scene and he just starts beating up this random guy–I mean, the guy was a creep, but not “just-keep-punching-until-he-bleeds-to-death” kind of creep. And then Luce wanted to go meet him afterwards just to say that she was going to break it off with him, and then kisses him? I was banging my head against a wall at all that. Ugh.
Even I’ll admit the romance was a little too cheesy sometimes. I wish that the explanation of the angels and the reincarnation and everything had maybe been saved for a later book? In the last hundred or so pages, it was all stuffed in, and Daniel was suddenly an entirely different person which, even though I generally tend to find the “pretending-to-dislike-you-to-protect-you” scenario, thought the switch was a little too much. Daniel and Luce just…got together with zero problems, when it seemed like the book was supposed to be about why that was a problem. And it didn’t feel that believable. Daniel just…changed too quickly. At the end of this book, I still wanted the mystery of why he was acting the way he was, even if he loved Luce–but it was all just up and explained, and it probably would have been better suited to be left for later.
Overall: If you tend to hate cheesy, paranormal, one-true-love-forever-and-ever books, don’t read this. If you are a fan of that sort of thing, this is by far the book for you. It’s not poorly written, and while it has a huge focus on romance, it has a few great action scenes and leaves you wondering what’s going to happen next. I’d recommend this for ages thirteen and up, for just little things, but if I were to recommend somebody a semi-light book to read, this would be the one!