Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: YA, paranormal fantasy, romance
Published: 2010 (UK. Older Doubleday edition published 2009)
Acquired: Bought in a second-hand store
Book Blurb:: Some angels are destined to fall.
Instant. Intense. Weirdly familiar… The moment Luce looks at Daniel she knows she has never felt like this before. Except she can’t shake the feeling that she has… and with him- a boy she doesn’t remember ever setting eyes on.
Will her attempt to find out why enlighten her- or destroy her?
I originally picked up this book as I was really craving a typical YA paranormal romance, and I really haven’t read many books about angels (I think I’ve read Hush, hush but that’s about it). I thought it might be similar to Twilight and other teen books from the same time period. I do actually like Twilight but this particular book was disappointing.
The story starts off really well: the protagonist Luce gets sent to the Sword & Cross reform school after being blamed for a spooky but fatal accident with her ex-boyfriend. The school is a dump of an institution on a huge lock-down: there are CCTV cameras everywhere, rules and restricted communication with the outside world.
Luce starts to make friends with Penn- a nosy student who is only at the school as her dad used to work there- before she meets Daniel Grigori.
This is the point in the story where I have massive mixed feelings about this book. It is clear from the start that Daniel and Luce have their own secret pasts and an obvious attraction (it’s not subtle at all)- although Luce isn’t really aware of hers at all.
Daniel is constantly mean to Luce and tries to push her away, but that doesn’t bother Luce at all, because she has an instant attraction to him. Now, I don’t mind have instalove when it is written well, but this was not one of those stories. I mean Luce effectively stalks Daniel with whatever he does, even after he is mean to her and emotionally messes with her head. It really bothered me, and even after their pasts were revealed they accepted it and suddenly became lovey-dovey?! Luce do you not have standards?????
Yes I know, Daniel has a valid reason why he doesn’t want to get close to Luce, but it infuriates me how he did it, and that Luce blindly chose to keep trying with him?! In the end, most of the book was Luce complaining and feeling overwhelmed about everything she had experienced, romance-related or not. She was so attracted to Daniel that she couldn’t control herself, yet she had no problem experimenting with Cam because “it felt nice”. Nope, that doesn’t wash with me, sorry.
Eventually Luce and Daniel do get to a point where they can’t fight the bond they have, and there is a big secret-reveal. I didn’t like the reason why Luce isn’t as affected as she has been in the past, but I feel like Lauren Kate didn’t really know how to explain it, so went with the only option she could think of.
The story did reach a dramatic climax that was really interesting, except halfway through Luce ran away and got kidnapped, so I didn’t get to see epic angel battles which I was looking forward to. 😦 Typical.
The setting of a reform school is a completely new take for me, as I haven’t really seen teen paranormal romance books set in such an environment, especially due to the protagonist’s own behavior. I liked Luce being in an area with other kids who have their own reasons and issues for being in this school, because I thought it could bring a diverse variety of characters and personality types. There were some instances of character development but they weren’t all as fleshed out as I would have liked. Molly was just angry and useless to me, while Roland should have been given some more development.
Cam was a good character; he really grew on me and I thought he was a real potential boyfriend for Luce. I felt for him at times… and then he had to ruin it during a showdown in a bar. I was very confused with his character type too, I thought he was going to be an enemy due to the way he was described, but he was the same as Daniel?
Luce infuriated me. She is a special snowflake: I mean yes she can see shadows following her all the time so she thinks she’s crazy, but she wasn’t the one who actively killed her boyfriend in the paranormal accident. She is fairly innocent and naive, everyone loves her but no one trusts her to know ANYTHING about all the events that go on in the school. I know they have a reason not to dump information on her, but it is so boring following a main character who doesn’t find anything out about her life…
Now don’t get me wrong, there were some good bits in the book.. I liked the setting and the idea of angels and dejá vu scenarios, and there were some good sections of romance development when Daniel did eventually talk to Luce. I was also interested to find out the big secrets, and it was that that made me keep reading.
But honestly, I don’t know if I was reading it correct or not, but did ALL this happen in just a few weeks? C’mon guys, it’s just not realistic enough- well, that or the characters are just desperate. Luce you moved waaaay too fast- with two guys as well!
I mean, if you had a big-ass secret that you couldn’t tell anyone as someone might die, you would wait as long as possible before you spill the beans… right Daniel? I swear it only felt like 3 weeks in the book, but maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention.
rant over sorry
Overall it just didn’t work for me. The angel side of the book really wasn’t what I expected, and the attraction didn’t feel real. I wasn’t invested enough in the characters to care, and I thought it could have been written in a much better way. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had read this book when I was younger and in my Twilight phase, but at my age now it just isn’t a good story.
The end of the back was far-fetched and dramatic enough to make me want to find out what was going to happen, but honestly I can’t see myself actually buying the sequel to find out, sorry.
What did you think about this book? Let me know in the comments! 🙂