Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don’t be Mad Lauren. I didn’t like Fallen by Lauren Kate


LaurenMy cousin Lauren told me “Fallen” was a must read.  She is a very cool and smart young woman.  She loves the Beatles, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter and Glee.  She is a truly talented photographer and she loves books like her ol’ cousin, me.  When she recommended the book I had to give it a read.  Alas, while our tastes run closely together on many things we must part ways at Fallen.

Fallen is supposed to be about unrequited and everlasting love. It is supposed to be about the recurring romance between Lucinda and Daniel and I guess it is in a general way.  Seventeen year old Lucinda has been sent to a very strict boarding school called Sword and Cross.  She is sent there because she was a person of interest in the burning death of her ex-boyfriend Trevor.  Her parents were at a loss how to help her and sent her to the boarding school on the recommendation of Luce’s psychologist. She has always felt on the outside and freaky.  She see shadows no one else sees and they terrify her.  Upon entering the school she meets Arien, Penn, and Cam.  She becomes friends with the 2 girls and finds herself oddly attracted to Cam.  I guess it isn’t so odd since the guy is drop dead gorgeous and seriously charming.  She also meets Daniel who seems to be the exact opposite of Cam except he too is drop dead gorgeous.  In fact, her first encounter with Daniel includes him flipping her the “Bird”.  Even with his rude and sulking behavior Luce wants to know more.  She feels like she knows him somehow.  Arien takes her on a tour of the campus and when they end up at the cafeteria she has a confrontation with the obvious mean girl Molly who takes great pleasure in humiliating her.  Then there are the oblivious and naïve teachers who don’t seem to notice all the kids breaking the rules even though the campus is riddled with cameras.  The exception to this is Ms. Sophia who turns out to be a real wacko. Add in the very gothic campus including the old scary cemetary where wonderful and horrible things happen and I have read this story before.

The story continues as Luce pursues Daniel who in turn responds and rebuffs her attentions.  Cam pursues Luce with gifts of jewelry, limo rides and intimate picnics.   I know what is going on and who the hero of the story is because Lauren told me but really it doesn’t take much to line up the good and the bad.

Daniel is a good angel and Cam is the bad one.  I am not sure if they are both Fallen but it seems Daniel isn’t on the Big Guy’s favorite list either. We find out that Lucinda and Daniel meet and fall in love and then she dies. This happens every 17 years. Luce never remembers the previous incarnations until she fully falls in love with Daniel and the moment she knows what happens she dies…until now.  This time is evidently different because her parents aren’t religious and therefore didn’t expose her to the whole God, Angel and Hereafter concepts.  So finding out about their history doesn’t kill her…hurray!  Even though Luce is wildly attracted to Daniel she is tempted by Cam.  Somehow all this sets up a scene of a major heaven versus hell battle with Luse’s everlasting soul hanging in the balance. 

This story has lot’s of problems.  The backstory jumps in and out without rhyme or reason.  There is no real explanation for the shadows that haunt Luce.  There is no explanation for Cam’s desire for Lucinda.  There is no explanation why she is so important in the Angelic scheme of things.  I didn’t feel the love between the two main characters.  At first I thought that was because I am in my 50’s and these are kids but no.  I think it is because the Ms. Kate did more telling of their love than showing their love.  I appreciate a good love story whether it is between two teens or puppies.  I felt like I was dropped in the middle of a series and missed the first two episodes.  I wasn’t let in on the secret.

The ending was no greater or lesser than the beginning.  There was no character arc with great choices or consequences.  This story was hyped to be a bang but for me was really just a whimper.  Sorry Lauren.  I’m gonna stick with Harry and Jane Eyre.

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