Review Blog

Dec 03 2009

Fallen by Lauren Kate

cover image

Doubleday, 2009. ISBN 9780385618021.
(Age 15+) A boy seventeen-year-old Lucinda was with has died in suspicious circumstances. She is sent to the grim Sword and Cross School, a place for teens who have been in trouble by the authorities. Across the courtyard she spies a gorgeous boy, Daniel, and is instantly drawn to him although he rejects her. She discovers that Daniel is a fallen angel and that they have spent generations loving and losing each other. Dark forces are at work. Will they ever be able to be together?
There are all the ingredients in this book that publishers seem to think that teens want - a three way romance with a happy boy, brooding boy and passive girl, fallen angels in place of vampires, cheery friends and boarding school. However after reading a few books with these ingredients, they begin to feel very stereotypical. Robin Mckinley and her fabulous vampire book Sunshine is a good example of an intelligent vampire story for more mature readers.
Luce is a fairly engaging main character. I liked the way she relates to her family (although I couldn't understand how two loving parents could possibly leave their daughter in reform school with no contact with her). I kept hoping that she would show more initiative other than spending her time moping over Daniel, or going around with Cam, but that is not the case. Her friend Pen has more going for her, is normal, intelligent and proactive about making enquiries into Daniel's background. Neither Daniel nor Cam seemed fleshed out enough for me to fall for either one, but then I'm not a teenage girl.
There is plenty of action towards the end of the book, although some of it seems a bit disjointed. I found Fallen entertaining but not thought provoking. Other than Daniel not being able to kiss Luce, or she would die, the pair didn't seem to face any real personal or moral dilemmas, which would have brought the story alive for me.
Pat Pledger

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