May 18, 2012

Review: Fallen

By: Lauren Kate
Published: December 2009 by Delacorte
Format: Hardback, 452 pages
First Reviewed: May 2011
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
Add it on Goodreads

What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

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.

Rating: 1/5

I felt bad for this book when I set down to read it. The poor thing has been on my bookshelf since Christmas '09. I kept putting it off because of very negative reviews from fellow book-loving friends. Let's just say I more than agree with those friends.

To quote a character in this book: "This place is an absolute joke." When I saw that line about the school in this book, I literally laughed, because that's exactly what I was thinking. And no, not in the good way. The school setup was ridiculous. There was no structure despite the fact that it was supposed to be so uptight that cameras saw everything. It was anything but creepy, anything but developed, and so contradictory that it just because confusing.

Where to begin with my feelings on Luce. I was flabbergasted when I found out she was seventeen because the girl could have easily passed for a middle schooler. She was whiny, boring, naive, and just plain annoying. Her "love interests," if I can even call them that, were just as boring as she was. I couldn't care less of them. Their personalities were weak and one-dimensional. The other minor characters had the most interesting personalities, which is somewhat sad considering they were pretty one-dimensional and/or boring as well. The one character I actually liked was one we never met. I think it's safe to say I may have liked this book all right if the characters hadn't been so underdeveloped.

Please let the following be a known fact: Just because you choose to write in third-person doesn't mean your main character's voice won't sound annoying. I was beyond frustrated with the writing. It was too simple, to the point where I was wondering if Kate thought her readers were eleven-year-olds. To be frank, the writing reminded me of work-in-progress I'd read of a writer who's just starting out. Sure, there were a few nice areas here and there, and she did well with some of the prose, but for the most part, it just wasn't what I expected from a published author.

This plot needed a lot of help. It dragged on so much that I felt like I was reading for twenty years. It was just so...blah. This is really no spoiler, but this is basically it: New school, meet weird friends, boys! (one likes me, I like the other), I wonder why I feel this way, I wonder why I feel this way, I wonder why I feel this way, oh, now other guy likes me back, oh, he tells me why, oh, we're starcrossed lovers, oh, battle!!!, now I have to leave? Voila. That's it. Starcrossed lovers? Really? Where in the world was the love? I didn't see or feel anything but annoying little teeny-bopper "I love him for some reason," and "this other guys really likes me," and "my love loves me too!" Come on. And once the climax hit...I was forcing myself through. Oh, it was such an epic battle. *sarcasm* It was just...not good. That's all I'm going to say.

Sigh...another classic case of beautiful cover compensating for the inner content. Publishers, please stop doing this to us. I can't take it. No matter how I felt before starting this, I opened the book with an open mind. But it just failed to deliver. A commercial premise and a beautiful cover does not make a book good, publishers. It just doesn't. At least this book doesn't have to suffer unread on my shelf anymore.

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