Book Review: Fallen Out of Favor and Straight to Hell
By Maya Vargas, Clarion Staff
As the reign of love-sick vampires begins to decline in the pop culture of hormone-crazed, teenage girls, angels are steadily becoming the successors dominating supernatural-romance literature. The book in question is “Fallen” by Lauren Kate.
After the mysterious death of a classmate that was perhaps her doing but she doesn’t quite remember, Lucinda “Luce” Price enters Sword & Cross, a reform school for troubled teens. As the story unfolds, Luce finds herself unexplainably drawn towards Daniel Grigori, certain that they have met before, and is determined to uncover his past.
“Fallen” was just as drab as it was the first time I read it, when it was called “Twilight”. Imagine Bella Swan filling in as the mundane Luce Price, who spends the entire book fawning over Daniel Grigori, who flips her the bird and proceeds to send out strong “I hate Luce” vibes, with a sprinkle of dirty looks and just a pinch of abrupt crudeness in conversation. But what does Luce do? She instantly falls in love and succumbs to Edward. Who knew mysterious staring and constant signs of hatred and disgust were indications of true love.
If you haven’t already guessed, the plot structure is weak for the most part of the book, considering that its foundation is solely based upon Luce breaking all kinds of school rules to get to know her true love. But even the end, which has some tangible evidence of the existence of an actual plot, fails to provide the reader with any literary intelligence other than the unrealistic dream of having a gorgeous angel as a boyfriend. The climactic moment of the novel took place OFF-SCREEN, leaving the reader with nothing to make sense of what was going on other than predictable fact that Daniel was Luce’s hero.
But wait, that’s a lie.
Having the climactic battle off-screen did allow the reader to get a glimpse of the antagonist, who was the only intelligent character in this book. The villain was the only one who made any sense, stating a truth about Luce, “In this lifetime you’re nothing more than you appear to be: a stupid, selfish, ignorant, spoiled little girl who thinks the world lives or dies on whether she gets to go out with some good-looking boy at school…I’d still relish this moment…killing you.” I’ll restrain myself from revealing the very predictable aftermath of this moment, but I would hope that you have enough sense to figure it out.
My apologies if my rage has obscured the point I have make. “Fallen” contains no critical topics or issues other than Biblical accounts about the fallen angels, who in the book wage war against each other—fallen angels always chose Satan over God. So, it makes no sense for there to be a “good” and “bad” side.
This incredibly cliché novel’s only success was the cover, which is honestly the only reason why I took it off the shelf. One can only hope that Disney’s film adaptation of this flaming pile will be bearable, but even hardcore fan girls’ faith will be tested. So, if you are like me, and value a substantial plot that has a moderate amount of suspense but doesn’t leave you completely clueless, odds are this book is not right for you. But hey, if you’re a reader who likes a lot of sexual tension without a whole lot of substance and doesn’t mind being kept in the dark, “Fallen” is the perfect fix for you! And there is a lot more where that came from.
The “epic” love story continues to break spirits and kill common sense in “Fallen’s” sequel, Torment.