Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate (Book 1)

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: 2009
Publisher: Corgi
Bought Book In Store

Some Angels are Destined to Fall
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 the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her!

 'Fallen' was another one of those books that I was almost convinced not to read. I was against it from the beginning due to the fact that it was supposedly "copied" by Ann Brashares when she wrote 'My name is memory', Badly written and typical paranormal romance. Lately though, I've noticed that I quite like paranormal romance (if it is written well) and that books I've been told not to read actually tend to be quite good. So with those things in mind I gave 'Fallen' a go. I was pleasantly surprised.

I didn't want to turn this review into a complete 'Fallen' vs 'My Name is Memory' argument, but after seeing so many online comments that compare the novels I just had to. I've noticed that many of the people who claim that the books were too similar hadn't actually read both of them, so I wanted to see for myself how big the similarities were. The only similarities I found were the two main characters having the same names, the two characters being in love and Luce being reincarnated. In 'Fallen' there were so many other elements involved in the story and same goes for 'My Name is Memory'. For example there were fallen angels in 'Fallen', Both Daniel and Lucy reincarnated in 'My Name is Memory' while Daniel was immortal in 'Fallen', There were mysterious shadows in 'Fallen', In 'My Name is Memory' Lucy lived past the age of 17 in each lifetime and numerous other differences... 'Fallen' and 'My Name is Memory' were really different stories with a few similarities. Even the two characters personalities and appearances seemed different. If I had to choose a favourite 'My name is memory' wins hands down, 'Fallen' was pretty good though.

One thing that I noticed a lot of people didn't like about 'Fallen' was that the romance was typical soppy paranormal romance. I do understand how people think that, but I also think that this novel was a little different. Yes the reincarnation story line is very common in paranormal YA I do agree with that, but seeing the story played out with different characters, different settings and a different writer does make it seem different each time it's revisited. Also Luce was a little too preoccupied with Daniel during the whole novel and managed to find herself tangled in a love triangle. I blame the preoccupation with the fact that she was at a reform school and probably wanted/ needed a distraction  from that. The love triangle though? Yeah that was probably a little typical.

What I liked about this novel was the writing quality and style. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the angels wings and the settings. I found the author's writing to be surprisingly good and am interested to read more by Lauren Kate.

One thing that was really original about this novel was it's setting. I haven't read nor heard of any YA fantasy books set in a reform school. This also made the fantasy elements seem a little more surreal. It was harder to tell who was secretly in on the supernatural details and who was just plain old bad. I also liked how the reform school was made from a series of old buildings that dated back to the civil war.

Overall I really enjoyed 'Fallen'. I think the lesson here is to read things for yourself rather than take other peoples words for it. Everybody has different tastes after all. I gave this book 4/5 stars rating. I recommend this book to people who enjoyed the likes of 'Twilight' and 'Hush Hush'.

The next book in the series is 'Tourment'

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Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

Hey Natalie (and yes, it's weird we have the same name)!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I know what you mean about Fallen. I have yet to read it, but I've heard a lot of not so great things about it. I've never seen it compared to My Name is Memory though, so that was new to me.

I have a copy of Fallen and its sequel, Torment, on my shelf because I won them in contests awhile back. Since I own both of them, I'll probably give them a shot eventually, but I doubt it will be right away. Your review has given me a little more hope though!

YA Book Queen said...

Great review! Very fascinating, I didn't even know about the whole MNIM thing.

Mel - Thedailyprophecy. said...

I have read both of the books and I wasn't aware of the whole stealing thing. I must say: I saw a little comparison myself because of the names and some similarities, but I never thought about copying.. I'm not a big fan of both books, but they were nice to read for one time.