kari's Reviews > Fallen

Fallen by Lauren Kate
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's review
Aug 12, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: ya, 2010

I'm going to do everyone a big favor. Here it is:
This is the first book of a series!
Yep, the last page of this book is a big full page ad for the next book which is called rightly enough "Torment" and if you got to the end of the book thinking you'd get any clarity to the story, that is probably a good word for what you're feeling.
I truly do NOT appreciate this. If you can't write one coherent story with a decent ending or even a poor ending or any ending at all, why would I want to invest more of my time with the series?
The only answer you're going to get from this book, and I'll give it to you right now, is that some of the students at the school are fallen angels. That's it.
Sorry for the spoiler, but there is so much other junk in this book that knowing they're angels won't ruin it for you; the idea that you'll actually have to wait for the sequel to understand any of it might.
Why Luce can see the shadow things, what actually happened to the boys who died, exactly what is between Daniel and Cam, who is Luce and why does she matter? None of this will be illuminated in this book.
Luce is one of those characters whom almost everyone likes and while she is drawn to the gorgeous mysterious Daniel, the equally gorgeous Cam seems to be attracted to her. Why? What has she done to make anyone like her? She is a non-character who spends most of her time obsessing over herself and these two boys. At one point she yells that she is so smart, but her actions, or perhaps lack of actions, speak otherwise.
Daniel seems to be intesting mostly because he wears a red scarf and a leather jacket. There is no relationship developed between them; it just is. I didn't know Daniel, Luce or Cam by the end of the story. The most interesting and developed character, although we never get to know her mysteries either, is gone by the end of the book.
What is the point of Luce being at reform school at all? It played no part in the story, none. They could have been there because they were all mathletes or bookish nerds; would have not added or subtracted from anything. Suposedly they are monitored 24/7, but the students manage to party, bring in items from the outside which aren't allowed and leave campus when they want to, with little or no problem. Silly.
One thing, she says the fastest way to swim is the butterfly, but it isn't; it's the freestyle. As a swimmer, this bugged me and a quick search would have fixed that. Also, when her parents come to visit, Luce tries to hide how awful the school is from them and yet she wanted to go home, so why wouldn't she show them how bad the place is? At the end of the day, she decides that she wants to stay so she can figure out what's up with Daniel, but at the start of the day, that isn't her motivation and it made no sense. Made me stop and say, WT?
You might want to know that the story doesn't even really begin until about 350 pages in and from then on, it's mostly one eye rolling incident after another.

The ending, such as it is, is very unsatisfying.

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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by ~Tina~ (last edited Feb 12, 2010 04:07AM) (new)

~Tina~ LOL Even though I gave 4stars for this book, cause I did enjoy it, I think I aimed a little to high.
I've read books with cliffies before, but not one THIS BIG! Seriously, we got maybe two or three questions answered and the rest is one big fat ???????
Still, the book was good, but I think I'll wait for them all to be done before I read them. Cliffies are one thing, this was just...not cool.

kari I really wanted to like this one and kept hoping I would. Sadly it didn't make it, the characters aren't developed enough to care. I might check out the sequels at some point, but not until it's finished. I really did not care for this ending even a little bit. It felt like a non-ending. Even if you're writing a series, each book should have a satisfying ending, imo.

message 3: by Annalisa (last edited Jun 06, 2010 10:44PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Annalisa I loved that you called Luce a non-character. And I'm glad someone else was bugged about the butterfly comment. As a swimmer, I think that bothered me more than any of the other inconsistencies.

kari I know, me too! That butterfly comment really bugged me.☺

message 5: by Clarissa (last edited Sep 10, 2010 09:01AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Clarissa I felt the same about this book. The writing was terrible, the plot didn't make sense and it got way too swoony. I read Fallen, then later that week read My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares. I gave My Name is Memory a really good review, but I wonder if it was mostly because I couldn't stand Fallen. There are similarities in the plot and the characters from both books are Lucy (well Luce here) and Daniel. It was almost eerie. The ending of that book is a bit of a cliff hanger as well and there is no word on whether she'll write another one. All in all, it's a much better book.

kari I have My Name is Memory on my shelf waiting to be read. I think I'll move it on to the top.
This one was a swing and a miss for me.
Thanks for you comment.

Shawn Keenan Like you, I really wanted to enjoy this book. I thought the writing was strong, especially at the outset. But it seemed like Luce was just wandering through the story from one point to another so that she could have interactions with certain characters. When I hear people complain about weak, female characters in books from now on, I will think of Luce "Whateverherlastnamewas."

kari Yep. She keeps TELLING how smart she is while SHOWING that she is not at all smart.

Shawn Keenan I don't mind the main character making some dumb moves, we all do. But if they do that too much, you lose sympathy. In general, I like to see the main characters in a book get a little smarter as they go along, show they are learning something.

message 10: by kari (new) - rated it 2 stars

kari Exactly. I don't mind them making mistakes. That is what makes for a great character, that they aren't perfect. But they have to grow and learn from their mistakes. Take my word for it, Luce only gets worse as the story goes on. She gains no wisdom or self-knowledge and the eternal love, there is NEVER a foundation for it. They are just in love because they are in love.

message 11: by Shawn (last edited Feb 13, 2012 11:01AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Shawn Keenan I'm about 80% through and wasn't expecting any last minute miracles. I feel like if I could speak to the characters and say "Why are you two in love?" they would scream back, "Just because we are!" Why you have feelings for a certain person is certainly something difficult to quantify in words, but that's a big part of what people come to these kinds of books looking to experience. I have had none of that experience in this book. Luce seems better suited for Penn than Daniel or Cam.

message 12: by kari (new) - rated it 2 stars

kari I agree. There isn't any foundatiion for it which makes it tough to believe in. If the centerpiece of the story is a love beyond time, then you have to make me believe it. Sadly, it isn't there.

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