Luce has always seen these mysterious, threatening shadows and they have always frightened her. As a child she had to visit therapists and was put on anti-psychotic drugs for a time. Even so, she has managed to overcome her problems and excel in school until one horrible night when she was with a boy, a fire broke out, and the boy was killed. Luce cannot remember what happened or whether she was at fault and so she is sent by court order to a reform school. The school, located in her hometown of Savannah, is old and decrepit and many of the students there are strange. Even so, Luce manages to make a couple of friends and she meets someone who takes her breath away. It feels like she has met Daniel before but he denies it and wants to have nothing to do with her. But like a moth to a flame, she is drawn to Daniel, even going to the point of sneaking into the records room to see his school record. Making matters more confusing, another boy, Cam, is interested in her also and she cannot help but find him intriguing. Hanging over everything is a sense of danger and foreboding – something bad is going to happen.
I really enjoyed the characters in this novel. They had depth and were fun to read about. While it was easy to figure out the good vs. bad nature of some characters, others surprised me. The character I was least fond of was Luce – she just spent too much time being clueless and, like Bella with Edward, she was obsessed with Daniel to the point of absurdity. I hope that in the next book, she will be better informed and better able to take care of herself.
I do have some issues with the book. First of all, for a strict reform school, things were awfully lax. How many reform schools would have girls and guys living across the hall from each other? And how do students not show up for class without getting in all kinds of trouble? These things, among others, really bothered me throughout the book.
While the beginning of the book seemed slow to me, I felt the ending was rushed and therefore the author didn’t have time in the end to really explain what was happening and so I got confused and was left with a lot of questions – questions that hopefully will be answered in the next installment. Because so much went unanswered, I felt the book’s plot was choppy. Like most books of its kind, it had several moments of melodrama, some of which made me want to roll my eyes.
This is an obvious choice for students who loved Twilight and want something along those lines. I think it’s darker than Twilight and so might be more appropriate for an 8th grade to high school audience. Even though Fallen had its flaws, I will read the sequel when it comes out in the fall of 2010.
The copy of the book that I used for this review was borrowed from one of my students.