Fallen by Lauren Kate

Posted August 13, 2021 by Amber in Reviews / 2 Comments



by Lauren Kate

Series: Fallen #1
Publisher: Delacorte Press on December 8, 2009
Genre: Angels, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Content Warnings: Child Death, Death, Fire Injury, Forced Institutionalization, Mental Illness, Murder, Stalking, Toxic Relationship

Rating: ★★½

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

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 . . .


Oh Fallen. I remember why I offloaded this book a decade ago. I shouldn’t let myself fall victim to unreliable, foggy memories of the things I’ve read and not reviewed.

First of all, I will give it to Lauren Kate that her use of language is softly lovely, like rose petals or quiet fountains. I rediscovered this when I read The Orphan’s Song earlier this year and it was that beauty in the writing that nudged me back to Fallen after so many years. Her writing has improved as a whole, and going back to Fallen after reading something newer was a bit jarring. The foundation is still there, but well? Fallen is very much a product of the era in which it was written.

Shall we start with the love triangle? It’s not just a love triangle – it’s a love triangle with two carbon copy boys and whichever one Luce choices could change the outcome of future and the well-being of the universe. You know. As happens in early 2010s YA. It’s exhausting and it doesn’t even try to be subtle. The world building is constantly interrupted by one love interest or another demanding they must talk to Luce, or have a picnic, or give her a necklace. Luce has to stop going to class (or so it seems) because she needs more time to go to the library to undercover all the world mythology because boys are sneaking her to dive bars and taking her swimming in lakes. Fortunately her parents are told that she’s thriving in classes. So! Apparently the teachers don’t notice.

Luce herself is flat as a buttermilk pancake. Her history is a secret because that’s part of the unfurling plot. What we’re left with is a girl who slides easily into situations, that people fight over to befriend when they first meet her, and has no distinguishable personality traits. She does, however, have a hobby. She likes to daydream about Daniel Gregori. It’s not that Luce is an unrelatable character… it’s that she’s as interesting as a paper doll. Fragile and pretty and absolutely insubstantial.

There’s a lot of harmful language and situations around mental illness and facilities and individuals who assist in that sort of management. I know this is the product of the time it was written, but it’s nevertheless unfortunate and did not age well.  There’s also a scene near the beginning where characters were trying to identify a teacher’s gender that sent up quite a few red flags for me. I would like to think in the last decade, Kate has learned better, but it made me cringe while reading.

The entirety of Fallen is a very slow climb up an uninteresting hill to reveal a possible plot of the next book, Torment. It’s like a very long prologue. This is the type of book I would call an indulgent read – you know it’s not a work of art, but you read it for the naive, ridiculous romances and the supernatural elements. The enjoyment of Fallen will highly depend on the reader. It’s a light, easy read (I read most of it on a plane… and finished before the end of my flight). It falls into step with books like Marked and Die For Me and other indulgent YA supernatural romances of the era. These were my favourite thing fifteen years ago! Now? Not so much.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★
Plot: ★★
Characters: ★★
Writing: ★★★ 1/2
Pacing: ★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★

Two and a Half Stars


Fallen Will be Donated

I know – again!  Fortunately both times I got copies of this book, they were extremely discounted.  This latest version was only a couple dollars at a thrift shop.  The cover is so tempting – I’m hoping that now I have a review on file for the thing, it will discourage me from picking it up again and being further disappointed with the hot mess that is Fallen.


Have you read this book or anything by this author?  If so, did you enjoy it?  Tell me all about your experience in the comments!

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