Fallen by Lauren Kate
I wish I could say this YA novel which is nominally about fallen angels was new and exciting, but with every page I read I could feel the burden of it trying to live up to the Twilight phenomenon. It was also very derivative:
* A new girl arrives at a school where she doesn’t know anyone.
* The atmosphere is humid – (though this is Georgia swamps rather than Washington rains)
* She appears to be clever and a model student
* There’s a beautiful boy, Daniel, who mostly doesn’t seem interested in her, but blows hot and cold.
* He saves her from certain death when something would have hit her (a statue on a grave in this case, not a car)
* There’s a clearing
* He looks golden in the sunlight in the clearing (but doesn’t sparkle)
* He’s a supernatural being (an immortal angel not a vampire)
* There’s a big fight over her between the good ones and the bad ones I (angels that is).
Luce (short for Lucinda, not Lucifer!), sees shadows and has been on medication ever since a boy she was almost seeing died in a fire which she survived. Branded a pyromaniac, she’s set to Sword & Cross school in Georgia – a reform school, with supposedly strict security and rules. There she sees Daniel, and is instantly attracted – indeed instantly feels she knows him from somewhere. Then there’s green-eyed Cam who fancies her too, and he and Daniel are to clash many times throughout the novel. She makes friends with the only non-‘ASBO’ student – Pennyweather, daughter of the school’s deceased groundskeeper, and they start to research into Daniel’s family history – but the shadows are reappearing and getting bolder. Meanwhile Daniel blows hot and cold with her, leaving her terribly confused, whereas Cam just blows hot.
What I couldn’t understand about the school was why all the students were there – It was a reform school, but they didn’t seem to behave like I expected bad boys and girls to do. OK there were the usual pranks, and parties, but no real bad behaviour beyond normal high-school light-bullying and gossip. They all seemed to do all their schoolwork too. We never found out what they did to be shut away in this strange place. I wanted to find out much more about the angels as well, but we never found out enough which left me feeling short-changed – presumably we find out more in the sequel due this autumn.
Teenage girls who need something else to read after finishing Twilight etc. will devour this book and its sequel too. I won’t bother. (Book Supplied by Amazon Vine programme, 5.5/10)