Fallen by Lauren Kate: Read in November, 2009 – ARC provided by publisher – Delacorte Press
Description from Good Reads:
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.
Lauren Kate’s Fallen is one of the books in a recent supernatural trend, although to reveal which one would be a spoiler for the book. (I will say it is not vampires – thank goodness!) Luce’s parents enrolled her in a boarding school once they were at a loss as to what else to do for her. She was involved in a strange incident that left a lot of unanswered questions, so they hoped that a new environment would help her. The school is a strange place. It’s old, with its own cemetery dating back to the Civil War. The buildings were not always a school and have kind of just had the school forced into whatever they formerly were. For example, the pool is in the church (which sounds like an awesome place to swim). Cameras follow the students everywhere they go, and students are required to wear all black on school days. Despite the change in scenery, Luce is still haunted by the shadows that have followed her all her life.
Luce becomes friends with some of the students, although she also finds herself immediately disliked by others. One guy, Cam, begins to flirt with Luce, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to another student, Daniel. He is not nice to her, but she can’t resist him. Why does he dislike her so much? Why do some of the other girls not like her? Why can Luce not escape the shadows?
I enjoyed Fallen. I liked the characters Luce and her friends Penn and Arriane. These two especially were well written. They are both individuals and not at all the boring best friend one often sees. It took a while for Daniel to win me over, but I eventually grew to like him. Even the school is a character and I easily found myself not in my reading chair, but sitting the library or wandering the sunken cemetary with Luce. The book contains a lot of mysteries, and I like that not all of them are solved by the end (there is a sequel planned).
My only issue with the book is that it has a tendency to drag a bit. There were several places where it didn’t seem like much was happening and nothing was being set up for the future, at least as far as I can see. Eventually the book does pick up, and I was never tempted to stop reading it, but it is definitely a negative about the book.
The cover looks like it will be gorgeous (the ARC is a plain navy blue and white) although I find Luce’s hair a weird choice. The reader quickly learns that while she once had long hair, she no longer does. I’m curious to know why they chose to go with the long hair on the cover. I think it will be very eye-catching and it perfectly sets the mood of the book.
I plan to order this for our library. I think it will be a big hit with readers who enjoy mysterious supernatural stories and romance. There are some typical boarding school shenanigans involving substances underage students should not have, but it isn’t a big part of the story.
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