Author: Lauren Kate
Series Status: 1st book in the Fallen Series
# of pages: 452
My rating: 2/5 stars
What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?
17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.
Get ready to fall . . .
Okay so this is not going to be a positive review. I hate saying that, but it’s true. I had a lot of things that I found problematic with this book. And to back up my reasons I will be using quotes from the book. So I will use spoiler warnings if I am about to spoil something within the book.
Starting with one of the few things that I actually enjoyed in this book: the writing style. I actually think that Kate has a pretty simplistic, but easy flowing style that I can usually get behind in other works. Even with the problematic things happening in the book, I felt like she did a great job with her imagery.
Then there is the world building, or lack thereof. I know this is a paranormal, and so usually the bulk of the book surrounds a “regular” seeming world until something happens to change it but this book never seemed to explain it that well. Even now that I’m done reading it I feel like a lot wasn’t explained, and I’m left guessing at what exactly happened and what it all means. The majority of the story takes place at an underdeveloped “reform” school where everything is heavily monitored, yet these kids can get away with everything. This felt like it played into that trope where the main character has their parents pushed out of the picture so that they can do what they want within the story, which is an unrealistic standard that I’ve never understood in YA.
Okay so I feel like this book has such a poor storyline since the entirety of the book follows Luce and her friend, Penn, stalking a guy she “likes” while she does romantic things with another guy. I was hoping for a guilty pleasure paranormal that would have cheesy insta love romance but ultimately provide some interesting substance in the story, but this wasn’t any of that. It felt like the plot surrounded Luce falling in love, and that she wasn’t going to be okay until there was a guy in her life. And yes, there is definitely insta love in this relationship, but it became such a minor detail compared to everything else that I’m basically overlooking it.
In addition to this, there were a lot of characters that weren’t fleshed out until the end of the story, and when they are, it’s not with enough information that you know much, or really anything, about them.
Now we are moving on to the part that I disliked the most and there is going to be a spoiler warning for this section so do not read this paragraph if you do not want to be spoiled. The main character, Luce, is in a trope-filled love triangle between two guys, and while both are problematic in different ways, one bugged me way more than the other. The relationship with Cam not only felt like objectification towards the main character, but also had tendencies of sexual assault. Within a span of 5 pages he goes from being an kind of stalkerish but mostly just an over romantic to one who is practically holding her hostage in a cemetery on the prospect of her kissing him. And while the kiss may ended in “consent” the main character even says she’s only kissing him to be able to leave because he promised he would let her leave if she kissed him “just for humor”. I’ll just in put the section I’m talking about below and you can decide what you think, but this is not an ideal we should romanticize, since as soon as he actually kisses her she seems to suddenly have a change of heart and that a controlling guy is something she needs. So here’s the section (it’s kind of long but I wanted to include enough so there would be enough perspective):
She felt his arms tighten around her, and suddenly, she was scared. They were out of sight of the school, and no one knew where she was.
“It won’t change anything,” she told him, trying to sound calm.
“Humor me? Pretend I’m a soldier and you’re granting my dying wish. I promise, just one kiss.”
Luce’s mind went to Daniel. She pictured him waiting at the lake, keeping his hands busy skipping stones over the water, when he should have had her in his arms. She didn’t want to kiss Cam, but what if he really wouldn’t let her go? The kiss could be the smallest, most insignificant thing. The easiest way to break loose. And then she’d be free to get back to Daniel. Cam had promised.
“Just one kiss-” she started, but then his lips were on hers.
Her second kiss in as many days. Where Daniel’s kiss had been hungry and almost desperate, Cam’s kiss was gentle and too perfect, as if he had been practicing on a hundred girls before her.
And yet she felt something rise up in her to respond, taking hold of the anger she’d felt only seconds before and blowing it away into nothing.
That felt problematic to me, and his relationship with her had so many other issues, but I’ll focus on the other subject of the love triangle now. The other subject is the previously mentioned Daniel, who is a “dark and mysterious brooding” trope love interest guy. At the beginning of the story, he treats the main character poorly by not acknowledging her or even being flat out rude as a way to keep her away from him. But then as soon as another guy shows interest he has to intervene because he is not okay with it. Some of this gets explained better later in the book, but his controlling nature was a little annoying, and is something that is overused in paranormal books already.
So overall as you can tell I was not a fan of this book and I really wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. If you’ve read it can you tell me what you thought of it? Did you find the story problematic?