Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

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Barely 3 out of 5 Fallen Stars

I wanted to love this. Creepy, atmospheric covers. Blurbed to high heaven. Rated outrageously high on Goodreads. And cheesy and badly written AF. I am disappoint.

This is the story of Luce, horrible name for a main character aside, short for Lucinda, which is hardly better. She is sent to a reform school in the swamps of Savannah after a strange occurrence that is badly described. That’s the main problem I had with this book. The writing is so bad that I am never sure what’s going on. I had to reread paragraphs, fearing that I had missed something, only to find that no, I hadn’t missed anything. The description is just shit. Besides the strange happening that Luce isn’t too banged up over, despite the death and the reform school thing, there’s also the little matter of the shadows that no one else can see. She’s seen them her whole life… and now coupled with the strange happening, the best thing her parents can do for her is send her, sight unseen, to a reform school. The school is bleak and ill-kempt, full of criminals and weirdos…. but thank God! There isn’t one, but TWO super hot boys.

Ok, it’s not that cheesy, but it is cheesy. And considering what Luce has gone through (a strange, badly described occurrence that included a boy she liked who ended up DYING and everyone blamed her even though she didn’t know what happened) she is all caught up in this SUPER HOT BOY named Daniel. She can’t stay away from him. She can’t stop thinking about him. Even though he flipped her off. Even though he keeps telling her he wants to be alone, he wants nothing to do with her, he’s been burned, he’s been hurt, he still has the full MCR catalog to go through and listen to…. and yet…. he keeps talking to her, meeting with her, acting like he knows her, etc. And she feels like she knows him, too. Basically, these two have a history (something revealed in the strange and vague prologue.)  A long one. One that usually culminates in her remembering who he is… and then dying. Which is what I wish would happen to every character when instalove strikes.

I would say the first third of the book was good, if a little slow. I thought reform school was a bit much for what might have happened- and the weird thing that led her there was never explained or resolved. What I did like was the surrounding characters, instalove aside. There’s a weirdo named Arianne who almost immediately “claims” Luce as a pet, someone to cling to and show around. The only “normal” person she meets is Penn – an orphan who remains at the school because her guardian works there. Not being a reprobate, Penn has access to juicy stuff like the secret files and isn’t shy about sharing . She’s willing to help Luce learn about the illusive Daniel, completely invading his privacy. Always a useful thing in a sidekick.

As Luce makes her way through the strange landscape of the school, you start to get a vibe. There is Cam, the other SUPER HOT BOY that Luce keeps being distracted by. He doesn’t flip her off, or act standoffish or look like he listens to Fall Out Boy. But each time they get close to each other, this other girl, Gabbe, which I guess is the super cool way to spell Gabby, I mean why spell it Gabby when you can spell it in a way that looks like gab, finds a way to interfere. And each time Luce gets close to the illusive Daniel, a punk princess with a serious chip on her shoulder named Molly runs the same kind of interference that Gabbe does for Cam. You get this feeling that something is going on behind the scenes between these other characters, something that you don’t quite get. That is the best part of the book, that the author was able to imply a deeper current was running through the story. But nothing about the plot or what is really going on is revealed until page 182.

The only real action takes place in the last 100 pages. I found Luce with her dumb name to be really boring. I guess the author wanted us to think she was somehow kin to Lucifer? I don’t know. She had no personality. Someone says the opposite about her. That was the point when I was like …. this girl is greige, what are you talking about “She has a spark?” She has a “meh.” Everything happens to and around her, but she doesn’t really take a stand on anything. And if someone baldly said to someone, in from of me that they “claimed me” I would be so pissed. I’d be like no one claims me, no one owns me. But Luce and her weird name were ok with being claimed by a weird girl (Arianne), who after knowing Luce for fifteen minutes, demanded that Luce cut off all her hair so their hair would be the same. The fuck?

This is one of those situations where I already have all the books in the series… so  I feel I have to continue to read them. I also want to believe in the power of Goodreads. I just hope the writing gets better and the situations more believable. It remains to be seen. **

In the meantime, Happy Reading, everyone.

**ok, I’ve decided I will continue – that I will read this during lunchtime at work. It takes very little intellectual engagement, and is light and fluffy and irritating and that’s kinda what I need to read at work.

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