Mandi Schreiner's Reviews > Falling Under

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
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Feb 08, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ya, uf
Read from March 05 to 06, 2011

When Theia Alderson sees a burning man falling from the sky into her yard one night, her life as she knows it is over. Theia is seventeen, and lives a very sheltered life. Her mother died at her birth and her father is not only extremely strict, but makes her live a very oppressed, careful lifestyle – blaming her mother’s reckless carefree ways for her death and making sure Theia lives a life opposite of that.

Theia has two close girlfriends, Donny and Amelia. Donny is a very independent, loud, outrageous friend where Ame comes in softer, and more romantic. Together this trio has a tight bond, and they are going to need it.

When she sees the new kid at school, Haden Black – Theia knows something is very wrong. Haden is the same man that haunts her dreams every night – but she has no idea how that is possible since she had never set eyes on him before. They start this very slow seduction – both in “real life” and in her dreams at night. But soon, the truth of who Haden really is comes out, and Theia is awakened to a new world of danger.

I’m not a huge YA reader, but Falling Under came along, and it is the debut print book for Gwen Hayes and I had heard lots of good buzz. And I’m happy to say that buzz is warranted. This book has a very creepy undertone to it. The very first sentence, “Everything changed the night I saw the burning man fall from the sky,” sets the eerie tone of this book. For much of the first half you are in the dark as to what is going on. Theia knows deep down her life is no longer normal, but she clings to any evidence she can find that keeps her grounded. Maybe her dreams are just sleep walking. Maybe it is a coincidence that a psychic is predicting awful future events. But it is no coincidence. And after a little bit of a slower start, the book really picks up in the second half.

It is very much a love story between Theia and Haden and they have a very unique build-up to their relationship. She doesn’t know Haden, but at the same time, it is like a deeper part of her subconscious does.

The silence lingered like an aftertaste for too long. Restlessness built the agitation in me until it was a living thing – a third person in this conversation.

Finally, he asked, “Are you afraid of me?”

“Absolutely no, and yes, with everything in my heart and soul,” I blurted without thought.

Theia has lived such an odd sheltered life – this starts to play into a more rebellious personality as she evolves with Haden. The supporting characters of Donny and Amelia really bring a lot into this book. They are her family, since her father really can’t be there emotionally for her. And then there is the very dark presence of what Haden really is, and all of the baggage he brings along with him.

I’m still a little confused about how exactly Haden assimilates into high school life so well. I also think I would have questioned Theia’s actions – growing up in a sheltered, strict life and then diving head first into love with Haden if it wasn’t for her crazy friends. They seemed to push/pull her into a believable relationship

The ending surprised me and leaves a lot open for book two, which I can’t wait to read.

Rating: B
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Patricia Love your review! I really think I'm going to read 'Falling Under' tomorrow :)


Mandi Schreiner cool! Let me know how you like it :)


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