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Monday, February 13, 2012

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen by Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (452 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

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.

Lucinda Price has a history. The bad thing is, she doesn’t remember it all. After a boarding school party ends in disaster, she and her faulty memory are shipped off to Sword & Cross – a last chance school for the bottom of the barrel. Luce knows that she doesn’t belong here, that she didn’t cause the tragedy that killed her friend, but she can’t prove any of it. What’s a girl to do? Besides find a new boy to obsess over?

I found Lucinda to be a fascinating character, if a bit overzealous at times. She has a good heart and really wants to do her best so she can return home to her family and her best friend. However, her immediate attraction – and later obsession – with Daniel Grigori, sort of pushes her over the edge as a relatable character. That said, it didn’t lessen my fascination with her in the least. On the contrary, it made me want to know why she was so into him and what she and her new friend, Penn, would do to gain his attention. Luce and Penn’s antics ensure that there is never a dull moment when Daniel is concerned.

At first, Daniel is a bit flat as all he does is avoid Lucinda at all costs. When he finally gives in to the inevitable and begins to let Luce into his life at Sword & Cross, you begin to learn more about him and, eventually, to like him. He makes himself so unavailable at first, that I started to root for Lucinda’s heart to go to his opposition – Cam – if only because he manages to at least show some interest in her. In the end, his silent strength and eternal love for Luce won me over.

Fallen wasn’t anything like I had expected from the blurb I read and for that, I’m thankful. There’s so much more to it than a girl who’s attracted to a boy she can’t have. This novel is fat with layer upon layer of story. However, now and again, all these layers become cumbersome as they interfere with the actual telling of the story. I found myself desperate to find out a detail – any detail – about Luce’s past or just who Daniel Grigori really was so that we could move forward. So, I advise a bit of patience with Fallen. The story doesn’t move as fast as you might like in some parts, but it is worth it in the end.

Fallen is a dark and enchanting love story unlike any I’ve read before.

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