Rayne's Reviews > Fallen

Fallen by Lauren Kate
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I really wanted to like this book. Even now, after a year since I read it, I try to focus on the good things about it so I can convince myself to read the next one, but I fail miserably. There is no part of me that’s interested in what is to come in this series or in the mysteries that were left unanswered in this first installment. Whatever promise this books had was completely destroyed for me by underdeveloped characters and a half-thought out plot.

Intrigued with the premise, I expected to find in Fallen a set of compelling, believable characters, a breathtaking, heartbreaking romance, a gothic, well-thought out setting, a riveting story and magnificent use of mythology. Well, I can honestly say I found none of the aforementioned in this story.

The story begins with a look to the past in which it is shown to the reader the misery the protagonists have to endure every time they find each other and fall in love. I was ready to let go of my grudge with the “destined lovers” thing if it was done right in this story, and at the beginning, I was very intrigued by the concept of being unable to actually be with your destined one. Until I met our protagonist: Luce.

I expected her to be strong, smart, capable and complex. I wanted someone who visibly struggled with the mysteries surrounded her and the horrors of her past, someone who stood her ground and didn’t allow anyone to manipulate her as they saw fit, and someone who demanded to know what concerned her. I wanted a protagonist that could find confidence within herself to carry on the burden she had been given. I got a half-wit, pushover, stalker, with no self respect or personality. She can’t even make her own decisions since there is a scene in which she is invited to a party and waits for Daniel (love interest and guy who treated her like crap at the moment) to nod his approval of her assisting that party.

Speaking of Daniel, what a hateful love interest he is. He is supposed to be this passionate, deep and tortured guy, but all I saw was a bipolar ass who felt he had the right to treat her like a yo-yo and pull her in and out as his moods shifted. Not like she complained. No, she decided she loved him and began to stalk him. In fact, they had already declared their undying love for each other before they had one meaningful conversation with more than five lines. Well, he didn’t make it exactly easy for them to talk since he ran away every time she tried to talk to him. And then when he does open up with her and tells her the big secret we’ve all know since the first page but Luce was too dense to figure out, she runs away like she and her feeble mind can’t handle the possibility of there being angels around her when she has been followed by shape-shifting, murderous shadows her whole life.

What is there of a plot in this story is incredibly predictable as it follows the normal progression of a high school drama/young adult paranormal: new girl comes to a new environment where she doesn’t fit in, some like her, others don’t and set out to make her life a living hell, she sees this incredibly gorgeous, secretive guy that pays attention to no one until she comes along and treats her kind of badly at first but then shows his sensitive side, other hot guys showers girl with attention but she is set on guy number one, they fall in love, and he turns out to be a supernatural being. The rest is just ridiculous. I am well aware that all secrets are not going to be revealed in the first installment on a series and that is not my problem. My problem is the lack of foundation for the plot. Things are going to be left unanswered and unclear, but the battle over Luce, the battle of the angels with each other, the fact that there are dark and light ones and they go to the same reform school, Cam’s interest on Luce and even the bad guys are just plain ludicrous and no amount of explaining will make any of those sound believable.
The absence of a real bad guy in this book is also a serious fault for me. The only absurd attempt at a bad guy they had was quickly brushed aside and it involved the unnecessary death of a secondary character just to make that person really evil. Speaking of secondary characters, the book could’ve only featured Luce and Daniel and it would’ve turned out exactly the same way because the supporting cast is flat, mostly absent, undefined and, quite honestly, unnecessary.

The book it's too long when you consider just how little of all that is told is truly meaningful and contributes to the development of the story and the characters. Half way through, I had already lost all my interest and was praying for someone to just kill them all and release them and me from our misery.

Kate’s prose is pretty. Her words carry a sense of melancholia and a hint of nostalgia that is just perfect for this kind of story, but for some reason, it just didn’t flow naturally and effortlessly when I was reading this book. It all seemed kind of forced. The romance is not believable and their deep declarations of love made me roll my eyes. You can’t feel their connection just like you can’t feel the setting or the progression of the story and, rather, you are told throughout this book instead of shown what it is you have to believe and that is not how a story works for me.

I know a lot of people who really love this book and I got to admit the concept behind this whole story is pretty swoon-worthy, but it just didn’t materialize for me. I felt nothing but disdain for the protagonists and couldn’t take the plot seriously. The book had potential and maybe all my concerns with the first one were corrected in the next book, but it is very unlikely that I will ever know firsthand since I’ve yet to find a reason why I should go back to the world of Fallen.
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