Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen

The Sword and Cross boarding school in Savanna, Georgia feels like a prison to Luce. Security cameras monitor the students’ every move, cell phones are forbidden, and all of the students seem like nothing but trouble making misfits. Luce wants to make the best of her situation and forget the incident which landed her at Sword and Cross in the first place. As Luce tries to fit in with the other students and make friends, she is shown nothing but hostility and disdain from handsome, aloof Daniel Gregori. When Luce starts to become romantically entangled with Daniel’s rival Cam, the secrets of Daniel’s past start to reveal themselves. Luce will learn that her past and future are tied to Daniel in more ways than she ever could have imagined.

Fallen, the first in a new young adult series by Lauren Kate, is haunting, mysterious, and romantically tragic. Its darkly dramatic cover art and intriguing title are sure to attract fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga and Alyson Noel’s Immortals series. From the moment I laid eyes on the alluring art work and read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed.

We first see Daniel Gregori through Luce’s eyes, and the first impression he gives is anything but attractive. Daniel tries to avoid contact and conversation with Luce, while she tries all the more to get him to notice her. He becomes more and more enticing as his defenses begin to wear away. Luce is easy to relate to; there is no girl out there who hasn’t yearned for the heart of a boy she simply couldn’t have. I kept turning the pages, eagerly anticipating the moment when Daniel would stop denying his affections for Luce.

Fallen is part romance and part mystery. It’s heavier on the romance, but the mystery is still tremendously satisfying. The big reveal, where the reader learns who (or what) Daniel Gregori is, was perfectly implied throughout the novel. Fallen‘s conclusion is nothing short of riveting, and has left me impatiently anticipating the next installment.

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Delacorte Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.