I'd been eying Fallen and Torment for sometime, I won't lie, their covers were stupendously alluring. I wasn't entirely sure what they were about and didn't care, they are that damn pretty. That being said neither book was making it into my book hauls on my regular book store visits. So when Christmas rolled around and I was trying to decide which book to give my good friend in reading, Jenna, I immediately thought of Fallen. I knew it had a Twilighty love story, and Jenna may actually be the biggest Twilight fan on earth, so it seemed perfect.
Of course the great part about buying books for friends is then you can borrow them! So last week they were handed over to me with a bevy of other books on exchange and I promptly dug in.
After a traumatic attempt at a first kiss Luce finds herself in a tough as nails reform school. Unfortunately it would seem there is a bigger fight between good and evil going on at Sword and Cross than the average reform school, and between that and the two hot boys she's juggling it would seem she's jumped out of the kettle into the fire. Wait till she hears about the past lives!
This was an intriguing first book. I was involved and interested enough to have trouble putting it down but not in love with the main character Luce. I'm not sure if it's the way she endlessly threw herself at a guy who couldn't be clearer he's not interested, to the point where I was actually mortally embarrassed for her in one scene, or if it was the woe-is-me attitude she took about almost everything, but one way or another she rubbed me the wrong way. I also felt the mystery was built up to much for how little reveal there was at the end. Nothing is less satisfying then still being a bit foggy on details when you put a book down after the last page.
However I loved many of the side characters, Arriane and Penn especially, and I thought the idea of a penitentiary like reform school was an inspired location for a YA book. Of course, the idea of a Civil War reenactment at a southern reform school as a "social activity" was down right funny. I guess I wish Lauren Kate had focused a bit more on the school then the budding romances, I feel like it would have grounded the story a little more for me. It's hard to be mooney with Luce about boys when you're still trying to wrap your head around what lead her to the reform school and who she is as a character. Though obviously this is part one in a big love saga, so no cigar for me!
The best part about Fallen, for me anyhow, was that it leads to book two- Torment, which I really enjoyed. Amusingly Jenna felt the opposite, and loved Fallen but was a bit disappointed by Torment. It just goes to show, great minds don't always think alike!
Fallen, By Lauren Kate
Published by Delacorte Press, December 2009
Lauren Kates Website
Lauren Kates Blog
A first look at the cover of Passion (book 3)
Buy Fallen on Amazon