Lucinda "Luce" Price (17) is teenager with a dark past she can’t explain. Since childhood, she has been tormented by floating shadows that are invisible to others. The shadows are scary, but weren't harfmul until one summer night when a mysterious cabin fire kills Luce’s boyfriend Trevor. Unable to prove any explanation other than her odd visions, doctors labeled her as a "lunatic" and she is charged with committing arson.
Welcome to Sword & Cross, the reform school Luce now attends. Her classmates are peculiar and include a self-proclaimed “psycho,” playboy, conniver, and an introvert, among others. None of them shake her like Daniel Grigori. From the moment she sees him, Luce feels as though she’s known Daniel her whole life. Despite his rude behavior toward her, she is attracted to him. Luce’s boy troubles are far from ordinary! She is crushing on a fallen angel, cursed from the Heavens for choosing a mortal over his own world. Daniel and Luce have met countless times over countless eras, but when they finally get close, Luce dies only to be reborn again. This time, however, things are different.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (18):
Fallen is a difficult book to review, and my reactions are mixed. First, Fallen does not disappoint as a supernatural young adult romance, it does not disappoint. The romance between Luce and Daniel is captivating and the fallen angel aspect, while not original, is very interesting. I also like the setting: a reform school housed in an old church with a Civil War-era graveyard. It is unique and creates the dark, odd tone the novel attempts to create. The last thing I will compliment is Lauren Kate’s ability to write teenagers. Last, the dialogue is believable for high schoolers. This can sometimes be challenging to capture as an adult author.
My main issue is that the reader knows Daniel is a fallen angel who has known Luce in past lives. Thus, there is no surprise when Luce discovers the truth. We already knew this and have been waiting for Luce to catch up to us. There are also too many secondary characters. Being set in a school there are lots of people for Luce to interact with, but ther are so many that the reader isn’t able to form a connection with them. For example, Arianne, gives Luce a tour of the school, but after that, she contributes very little to Luce’s experience until the end (no spoiler). By then, I didn't care, because I never got to know Arianne.
Overall, I think Fallen will appeal to readers 13 to 16. It is very Twilight-esque. That doesn’t mean some older fans of the supernatural romance genre wouldn't enjoy this book. If you know someone enamored with Twilight or similar books, you might consider it as a gift. Otherwise, borrow it from the library. It is a short read and does have some positives.
Teens who enjoyed Twilight will like the thrills, mystery, and suspense - not to mention romance - of Fallen.
Despite the middle-grade reading level, this is a book for high school students and young adults. The story is set in a high school and includes more mature discussions of relationships.
This is a young adult mystery.
This is a story for leisure or vacation reading.
12 and Up
13 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 18
Borrow if you like paranormal romance or Twilight.