Fallen by Lauren Kate

FallenFrom the author's website: "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."

After reading a few fairly negative reviews of Fallen, including one from a blogger I trust,  I was remarkably hesitant to read this novel. I wavered back and forth, back and forth. Did I want to read a novel that was receiving good reviews from people who mostly loved fated love and Twilight? The answer was no for a long time, and then I spotted it in my library and I couldn't resist that cover. God must really love his angels because he makes sure their books look the prettiest, even if the angels are fallen!

I started the book the day I got it and finished it rather quickly, perhaps several hours later. And my immediate reaction was, "Well, besides Luce and Daniel being kind of boring, that wasn't so bad. I don't know why it got such bad reviews." Then, I took the time to think about it, and here's why I think it got bad reviews.

Let's face it, Luce and Daniel are boring and that makes their romance kind of boring too. Besides being good looking and mysterious, what does Daniel got going for him? He both growls and stares at Luce in meaningful ways. He is mean to her, but also sweet to her. He's basically Edward Cullen in angel form, and I didn't like Edward Cullen either. (To be fair to Edward, Daniel isn't half so interesting as he never, not once, plays vampiric baseball, which is my favorite WTF moment from the first Twilight novel.)

The main villain of the novel is barely fleshed out, and the motivations behind the villainy are not explained in any meaningful way. They never explain why all these angels are hanging out at a reform school since they don't appear to expect the main character to show. Do angels just like hanging at reform schools?

The climax is rather a let down, and I think I'm growing to hate badly done love triangles. (Ask me how I feel about a good love triangle in which the guy I like wins or in which I like both guys and I'll give you a completely different answer.)

So, why the verdict of a four then, I'm sure you're asking. Because it has two redeeming characters who I very very quickly grew to love. Arianne and Penn. Those two characters are the reason I'll probably read Torment. (That, and the cover. Again, pretty.) Both of these friends of Luce made me interested in what was happening and what they were doing. The moment Arianne commanded Luce to chop her hair, I think I fell a bit in love with her. Why did Luce cut her hair? Because she was forced to, due to the 'incident'. Why did Arianne? Because she's got a will of iron and a strange impulsive nature! However, even better than Arianne, was poor poor Penn.

Penn deserved to be the real star of this show. She was odd, sneaky, an interesting friend, and not very impressed with the people at the school with her. Her back story gave her an interesting reason for being at the school, unlike ANY ONE else in the book. She stole every scene she was in with Luce.

In fact, trying to remember this book that I read over three weeks ago, the scenes I remember most clearly are those with Arianne, Penn, or Cam, and that's because they were the most interesting and most memorable scenes.

I am betting I'll read the second book in the series, but I'm hoping that Daniel and Luce get personality transplants between the books.

Verdict: 4.  Thinking about it and discounting Penn and Arianne, I wanted to punch every one of the characters.  Well, and besides Cam.  I'd totally make out with him before punching him.

Thoughts: No, seriously. Angel covers? The prettiest. I have read hideous reviews of Hush, Hush, but would I turn it down if I saw it at the library?  No. In fact, I want to buy these just to have them to be pretty on my bookshelf. I have the same problem with the Luxe series (especially Rumors) that is gorgeous, but rather boring.

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