Sarah's Stars

Lauren Kate. Fallen
Delacorte Press $22.99 ISBN 978-0-385-73893-4 452 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 16

She wondered whether the soccer ball to her head had shaken up her vision. Or whether what she thought she was seeing was a mirage. A trick of the late-afternoon sunlight.

She stood up on the rock to get a better look.

All he was doing was shaking the water from his wet head, but a glaze of droplets seemed to hover over him, outside him, defying gravity in a wide span across his arms.

The way the water shimmered in the sunlight, it almost looked like he had wings.

The Sword & Cross School is definitely not the most welcoming place, with an exhausting curriculum, cameras that follow your every move, a weedy, overgrown campus, and letís not forget the fact that itís a reform school for so-called ďcrazyĒ people. Luce isnít crazy, but after her first maybe-boyfriend died in a mysterious fire and she was suspected of the crime, her expensive prep school dorm was snatched away, and replaced with a lonely, dingy room at the creepy Southern school. The thing is though, Luce didnít kill Trevor, but she knows who did. Or rather, what. Since she was a child, the shadows have followed her everywhere, twisting and writhing, and showing up right before something bad happens. As the visits from shadows get worse, and even creepier things start happening around campus, Luce comes to the realization that the only thing that makes the shadows go away is Daniel: almost perfect, gray-violet-eyed Daniel. She canít help feeling an instant connection as soon as they meet, but Daniel hates her guts. Luce is determined to find out why this gorgeous and mysterious boy hates her so much, but what happens when she starts falling for him? Luce thought her problems were over when she was sent to reform school but as it turns out, theyíre just beginningÖ

I definitely did not have high hopes for Fallen, Iíll admit. Its plot seemed like a contrived collection of other previous paranormal romance novels, and of course the novel had to be compare to Stephanie Meyerís Twilight series. Certainly Twilightís vampires can easily be switched for Fallenís angels, and the rainy town of Forks substituted for steamy Georgia, but unlike the piles of other paranormal romances Iíve read through, Fallen was surprisingly fresh and decidedly uncontrived. I canít say that I loved the book, or that some of the plot twists I didnít see coming from a mile away, but Lauren Kateís cast of interesting and likeable characters, and her own added touches to the basic supernatural love story theme, gave the tale its own spin that kept the pages turning. Lauren Kate has a fantastic gift for writing exactly what the reader wants to hear and though a few key plot points were left out (Why exactly do Luce and Daniel keep falling for each other? Why are some fallen angels good and some bad?), solid writing, intriguing characters, a few breathtaking moments and a moody, absorbing atmosphere will keep me on the lookout for the next book when it hits shelves next Fall. The cover art is very beautiful as well!

I give Lauren Kateís Fallen a solid three and one-half stars out of five.


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