The Literary Bystander's Reviews > Falling Under

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
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's review
Feb 09, 2012

it was ok
Read from February 09 to 13, 2012

In a Nutshell: Gwen lives with her controlling but distant father. Things start to get a bit ferrreakay when she sees the new boy at school, Hayden - who was a regular in her dreams ever since she saw the 'burning man' fall from the sky one night. There is an attraction and not surprisingly, a 'romance' is blossoming between them but Hayden seems to have two personalities and constantly switches between all disgustingly sappy on her one moment and totally cold and dismissive the next. But true love conquers all as they fall in love with each other but there are obstacles like what exactly Hayden is and the link between him and Gwen. And other stuff.

Sometimes I am not entirely sure if Hayes is trying to write a satire on the various cliches/tropes of the YA paranormal romance genre - or she's written another addition to the whole collective of them. I don't know, but there were parts of this book which immediately brought the likes of Twilight, Evermore (kind of) and Hush, Hush to mind.

While the book does have actually interesting bits - like the scene with the burning man (view spoiler) - the plot otherwise is bogged down with the romance and other than that, no much really happens. Well, not until the latter half of the book. By half I mean like the last 5 chapters or something. Which were helluva lot more interesting than reading about dreary Hayden/Theia moon over each other and I was just annoyed that it wasn't introduced earlier in the book.

Theia was a reasonably likable but generally boring character. And is it just me, or did her home life with her eerily controlling and protective father remind me a lot of Mary Anne from the Babysitters Club. Wait, does this mean she is also kind of like Anna - Abby's twin sister - as they both play the violin? Now that I think about...

Donny = Kristy/Stacey
Amelia = Mary Anne (personality wise)/Claudia
Hayden = not-Logan and just an overall douchebag
Gabe = Logan?

Please feel free to correct me, because as much as I love the BBC series - I have not read all of the books (as they seem to be scarce nowadays) and only seem a couple of episodes from the TV show like back in the 90s. And I will rewatch Mary Ann and the Brunettes as much as I like and will not be ashamed of it because Mary Anne/Logan are the cutest things EVER.

Donny and Amelia, who were Theia's best friends, were likable and fun characters. I do also appreciate the fact that we do get some sense that they are good friends with Theia and such, even if they are pretty one-dimensional and most of their conversations revolve around BOYS. God forbid it has been too long where I saw positive female friendships that weren't just shallow and seem to just exist to accentuate how special and amazing the protagonist is.

And then there was Hayden. Oh Hayden, how I hated you so.

Even if they explain his constant mood swings; from being a completely soppy and going on and on and on and on about how he couldn't possible life without Theia to being a dickwad to her and come crawling to her whenever it suited him just really really really pissed me off. And no, telling me how much he looooooooooooves her and how he doesn't want to hurt her and blah blah blah will not change my mind of him.

Speaking of love...

EUGH THE ROMANCE. Seriously, I am just sick to death of these teenagers TELLING us how much they loooooooove each other instead of showing us how they end up being in love. As much as I envy them being able to go into some frenzied state of ecstasy every time they touch... I just feel that most of the time - they are just acting on hormones and mistaking it for 'love'. Seriously, I was ready to flip my shit when Hayden tells her to forget him and he has to leave in order to keep her safe and think of her friends, her family, her future and blah blah rehash New Moon blah blah and what does she do?

She, I kid you not, whines about how Hayden is now her whole future/everything and she couldn't possibly imagine living without him.

The worldbuilding was okay, I guess? I am no credible judge upon that but in general, the world of 'Under' just reminded me of Coraline/Legend (the Tom Cruise film) and something that you'd expect to be a concoction of Tim Burton or something.

Recommended: fans of Twilight
Rating: 2/5 stars
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Reading Progress

02/09/2012 page 14
02/10/2012 page 59
18.0% ""I'm serious, Theia. You'll never be safe with me." "If you are about to tell me you are a vampire that glitters in the sunshine, I will-" He laughed, a chuckle really, but it wasn't practiced. Is she... is she poking fun at what I think she is poking fun at? " 3 comments
02/10/2012 page 94
29.0% "Ah. Trust good ol Google to help move your plot along. I mean- try to explain why Theia has those dreams and the whole 'Haden being in said dreams' agenda..."
02/11/2012 page 124
38.0% "Seriously Theia - who cares about bloody Hayden. He obviously does not deserve your time or attention if he is just gonna act two-faced to you all the time and crawls back to you only when it is to his convenience. I say a good kick to the face or a threat to do it should suffice."
02/12/2012 page 174
54.0% "No Theia! Don't you dare whine about how Hayden IS YOUR WHOLE FUTURE now and no one will take that away from you. Just... NO! *shrieks* "
02/13/2012 page 324
100.0% "Wow, I actually want to read some more... WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? But other than that - YES! YES! I AM FINALLY DONE WITH THIS! *confetti*"

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