Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: YA fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from Shelf Awareness; audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Justine Eyre
First line: Around midnight, her eyes at last took shape.
I have had an ARC of Fallen languishing on my shelves for a long time now. I was excited when it came, but then I read Wicked Lovely – which I loved – and immediately after that read Hush, Hush, which paled in comparison. Recently I devoured the Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare, and was hesitant to pick up another YA fantasy because I just knew it couldn’t measure up.
While I didn’t love Fallen as much as I loved the Mortal Instruments, I did love it. One of the reasons I decided to go ahead and give it a try was that it showed up on the “new audiobooks” list on my library’s web site. I’m always happy to find a book I’m slated to review show up on audio, because I tend to have more time to listen than to read these days.
Lucinda (Luce) Price arrives at Sword and Cross Boarding School reeling from recent events in her life. Sword and Cross is a reform school, and Luce is stuck there because of a mysterious fire that took the life of a potential boyfriend. Luce doesn’t remember how Trevor died, but that story didn’t impress the judge who sentenced her to reform school.
It’s not the first time Luce has been labeled as “disturbed.” She’s seen the shadows ever since she was a child, and even anti-psychotic medication didn’t make them go away. As a teenager, however, she has learned to keep her dark visions to herself in an effort to fit in and to stop her parents from worrying.
At Sword and Cross, Luce meets Daniel Gregori, a young man who seems eerily familiar, in spite of the fact that Luce has never seen him before. She and her new friend, Pen, begin to look into Daniel’s past to find answers, all while the shadows begin to appear more frequently and in greater numbers.
I know that it will be impossible for people not to make comparisons between this book and Twilight, but it doesn’t feel like an imitation. Kate has created a world with a rich mythology of (teeny spoiler that you probably have already figured out) fallen angels (that’s not really a spoiler, is it?) that holds up throughout the book – and should hold up well under the subsequent books in the series. The book was well-written, and there was only one time when the dialogue was unbearably cheesy enough to make me roll my eyes.
Listening to the book definitely enhanced my experience, because hearing the book read by a teenage girl made it even easier to believe the thoughts and feelings she was having. So, if you didn’t care for Hush, Hush, which in my opinion was a much more obvious copy of Twilight, you should give this one a try. You just might be surprised. I was.
(Disclosure: An ARC of Fallen was provided to me by the publisher for the purpose of review. The above link is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click on the link and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage in commission.)