Published: December 2009, Delacorte Press
Acquired: Sent to me by Sharon at Curled Up with a Good Book
Publisher’s summary: ‘There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are screwups, and security cameras watch every move.
Except Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret...even if it kills her.’
My summary: After a terrible accident that kills Luce’s boyfriend, she’s sent to Sword & Cross boarding school for troubled teens. There she realises the true meaning behind the shadows that have stalked her for her entire life and learns that love can strike in the most unlikely places.
It’s here that she meets Daniel Grigori. Gorgeous and absolutely untouchable, she finds herself dreaming about him, even though he makes it clear he wants nothing to do with her. However, something draws the two of them together and in a dramatic climax that roars to an unforgettable finale, Luce learns Daniel’s shocking secret.
What I liked: The publishers were right about this one. It is the ultimate love story, standing out against the tens of Twilight rip offs we’ve been presented with lately. When I started reading Fallen I had initial doubts as to whether I’d enjoy it. I’m not a Twilight fan (don’t hate me) and thought Fallen would just be another ‘girl falls in love with a vampire and feels sad’ stories. I’m more than happy to report this wasn’t the case.
Fallen is mature, touching and funny in all the right places. Luce’s classmates provide excellent comic relief from the more serious stuff (Arriane and Penn in particular) and Cam plays the part of the irresistible bad boy perfectly.
Anybody who’s watched The Vampire Diaries is probably well aware of the gorgeous Paul Wesley (who plays the male lead, Stefan) – literally, the guy looks like a painting. Well, that’s who Daniel Grigori reminded me of. Yes, yes, he isn’t real, I’m well aware of that fact but seriously, Lauren Kate obviously spent a while crafting the perfect guy and let me tell you, she succeeded.
What I didn’t like: The whole ‘shadow’ thing seemed a little unnecessary for me, even after the book’s twist was revealed. The book is a bit long and drags in the middle and I think cutting out the shadow subplot may have resolved this. I liked Fallen but I didn't love it. However, it's a big step up from Twilight so that was a bonus.
Final thoughts: Fallen is a love story of epic proportions. Just try to resist swooning over Daniel/Cam (take your pick). Look out for the sequel, Torment, out September 2010.
Read if you liked...: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater or Stolen by Lucy Christopher