I read Fallen by Lauren Kate about two years ago when I found it on the discount table at my local Waterstone’s. I had just finished The Hunger Games and I was looking for another fun read in between all my course work. I read the back it seemed intriguing enough. A different twist on the typical Fantasy YA that seems to be all about Vampires and Werewolves, this was about Angels. I remembered the book being slightly amusing, but a bit of a slow read. It could have been that I was a bit busy at the time and so focusing on one book was a little hard. Either way, I decided to re-read it again recently.
I do love the beginning of this book. You start out in one of Lucinda and Daniel’s previous lives in 1800s England. The scene is dark, gothic and utterly dramatic with a kiss that ignites the night. Literally, it catches Luce on fire. With that tone set I was expecting it to continue that way. Nope. The next chapter you are catapulted 200 years into the present at a reform school in rural Georgia. Talk about a 180.
Luce is being dropped off by her parents because of an unfortunate and fiery accident at her old school that left a student dead and her without most of her long hair. Her surroundings are less than ideal, grey buildings that look vaguely like prisons, dying landscape and a civil war era cemetery that left the entire area smelling like rotting unmentionables in the humid Georgia weather. Her classmates range from complete delinquents to kids who just happened to find themselves there by chance. Her first meeting with Daniel in the book actually yields one of my favorite lines:
She realized they were still locking eyes when Daniel flashed her a smile. A jet of warmth shot through her and she had to grip the bench for support. She felt her lips pull up in a smile back at him, but then he raised his hand in the air.
And flipped her off. (Page 40)
I laughed out loud when I read that. It was too perfectly typical. Of course the love interest would treat her like hell right off. How else would she turn to the other love interest the badder boy, Cam. Even though she is attracted to Cam, she is still inexplicably drawn to Daniel. They seem to cross paths all the time. They come back to each other and eventually everything comes out as it should. But something is different. Remember that bit about Luce bursting into flames? She doesn’t do that this time. She learns the truth, that Daniel is an Angel, that many of her friends are Fallen Angels and she doesn’t go anywhere. Much to the shock and delight of Daniel, who finally has the opportunity to love her.
The theology aspect of this book is also really interesting. I know that it is fiction and the author could have made it up, but I would really be interested in reading some of the research she would have had to do to talk about the tiers of angels. I am not a religious person, but it appealed to me. It was about being lost and not knowing what the right thing to do is. That good and evil are not as black and white as people would like to think. Everything is in shades of grey.
This was by no means the best book I have ever read. There were places where the story line dragged and it was difficult to pick up again, but I was glad I finished it. I would recommend this to everyone who is looking for a simple, fun read.