FALLEN ( Fallen #1)
By: Lauren Kate
Narrated by: Justine Eyre
Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fiction
Length: 9 cds = 10 hours, 56 minutes
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐
I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I listen to audiobooks mostly on my iPod, but in the car I listen to books on cd since I can borrow them for free at the local library.
First off the cover of this book is delightfully gothic looking. It gives a sense of impending freakiness. I applaud the cover designer for a job well done.
This book is geared toward a Young Adult audience.
The story centers around Lucinda Price (everyone calls her Luce) and Daniel Grigori.
Luce is sent to Sword and Cross, a live-in Reform School after she was involved in a fire that took the life of her boyfriend, Trevor. Luce has only vague memories of that tragic night. She remembers seeing threatening shadow shapes but little else. Because she mentions the shadows and cannot defend herself, the fire and Trevor’s death are blamed on her. We never do find out exactly what crime she is convicted of, or exactly what her sentence is. This “fire” seems like a convenient way to place Luce in reform school. More backstory as well as more details on the “crime” would have been greatly appreciated.
Once Luce arrives at the school she sees Daniel and feels an instant connection to him. He apparently doesn’t feel the same since his response to her smile is to give her the finger. This should be enough to turn her off completely. Instead her feelings are hurt. She acts like a baby. No self respecting female should pursue a man (or boy) who treats her with such disrespect.
What follows is her basically stalking him and him avoiding her. There is another boy (Cam) at the school who is gorgeous, rich and attentive. But, does she want him? No! Well, actually she does a good job of leading him on, all the while trying to figure out how to go about getting the guy she really wants. This bothered me. What sort of message is this sending to the young adults reading this book? Do we really want teenage girls to think it is okay to string someone along just so that they have a backup plan? Yuck!
Mysterious things happen. There are dreams that seem like memories, but they are of places Luce has never been. These do not feel real and do not contain enough emotional moments.
There is the obligatory paranormal twist and of course it wouldn’t be a young adult novel without the requisite love triangle.
I was actually rooting for her to go out with Cam and forget all about Daniel Grigori.
The narrator does an amazing job with the material she was given. Her voice is clear and she is able to make the book seem more interesting than the plot suggests. Kudos to Justine Eyre for a job well done.
I guess by my above comments, you will see that I wasn’t won over by this book. It isn’t horrible, its just that it seems so similar to so many other young adult books that I just couldn’t immerse myself in the story. The characters fell flat and there was a distinct lack of authentic historical details.
Also, I found Luce VERY annoying. Daniel blows her off repeatedly. Luce must be a sucker for punishment because she keeps throwing herself at him. This is NOT what we want our young adult generation to see as a healthy relationship. (In the author’s defense, her obsession does have a reason). I felt that this girl had no self-respect. If any guy ever treated me the way Daniel treats Luce for the first half of the story, I would want exactly nothing to do with him … EVER!
This story does have potential and could have been good, but it drags. The reader knows at the beginning that Luce is fated to be reincarnated time and time again and to fall in love with Daniel each time. That love always end tragically for Luce. But, even though the signs are all there for Luce, she has no clue. It takes most of the book for her to realize what is happening. This fact does NOT endear Luce to the reader. In fact, it makes the reader (at least it did for me) want to smack her for being such a moron. Also, she ignores her friends and family and even her teachers. All she can think about is Daniel. This is not love, this is obsession and it is NOT healthy.
I find it very difficult to enjoy a book when I do not like any of the characters. Luce is spoiled, self-centered and stupid. Daniel is arrogant and just plain mean. They have very few redeeming qualities.
Eventually Luce and Daniel fall in love, but it is not believable. What does she love about him? The only reasons she gives is that he is gorgeous and that she feels drawn to him. What qualities make her love him? He doesn’t save puppies or do charity work, if he had done either of these things then maybe he would be at least a little bit like-able. In fact, he’s a delinquent (if he wasn’t he wouldn’t be in reform school) and he is often downright cruel. He is condescending whenever he talks to Luce. I don’t know about other women, but I certainly do not enjoy being treated like I am beneath other people. I would have liked Luce a lot more if she didn’t come across as such a doormat.
Luce is a feminist’s nightmare. She would have been more relatable if she wasn’t so wishy-washy. Her character has potential, but she does not live up to it.
Unfortunately, despite wanting to like this book, I was unable to do so. It is for all the reasons listed above that I rate this book as only 2 out of five stars. ⭐⭐
I will pass on reading the rest of this series.