23 September 2010


Reading Diary: Fallen by Lauren Kate

"You're an angel . . . I know it . . . Don't tell me I'm crazy. I have dreams about you, dreams that are too real to forget, dreams that made me love you before you ever said one nice thing to me . . . Dreams where you have wings and you hold me high up in a sky I don't recognise, and yet I know I've been there, just like that, in your arms, a thousand times before . . .

"It explains so much--how graceful you are when you move, and the book your ancestor wrote. Why no one came to visit you on Parents' Day. The way your body seems to float when you swim. And why, when you kiss me, I feel like I've gone to Heaven."

Yes, that's right, folks . . . Daniel's kiss makes Luce feel as if she has died and gone to Heaven; ergo, he is an angel.

Talk about taking a bad pick-up line literally! I hate to say this, but even Bella Swan has better evidence when she confronts Edward about his being a vampire.

Ah, the evidence! That's really the best part of these Neo-Gothic novels in which some mythical being, in hot teenage boy form, falls in love with an ordinary mortal girl. (That's all I'm telling you of the plot, by the way.) For really, neither Luce nor Bella really has a leg to stand on . . . in the real world. In their own worlds, however, everything is set up so that they are always, 100% right. And that is both patently unfair and incredibly annoying.

Luce: "I still feel like there's something you're not telling me."

Daniel: "Of course there are things I'm not telling you. I barely know you. I'm not sure why you think I owe you anything."

You tell her, Daniel!!!

This rebuff had me cheering . . . for about ten seconds. We have videos like Buffy vs. Edward to show us what a truly sensible girl would do if confronted with the likes of these neo-Gothic romantic heroes . . . but we don't seem to have anything to make a similar case for what a truly sensible boy would do if confronted with the likes of these neo-Gothic romantic heroines. The creepiness goes both ways, you see. And for a short while, I was glad that Daniel states the obvious for the annoying Luce.

But it was too good to be true. Daniel is just playing advocatus diaboli here (Ha, ha . . .) because Luce isn't actually wrong. This isn't the real world, remember? It's Luce's World. And that means that no matter how baseless her reasoning, how crazy her logic, how pathetic her evidence, and how borderline criminal her behaviour . . . she is always, 100% right. And that is both patently unfair and incredibly annoying. (Yes, I know I've written that before.)

". . . 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. Even if your death wouldn't accomplish something so long-awaited, glorious and grand, I'd still relish this moment, killing you."

That has got to be my favourite passage in the whole novel. How did Lauren Kate know about my Bella Swan murder fantasy???

For really, the sad fact about Bella . . . and Luce . . . and even Nora . . . is that they need their delusions to be real in order not to fail as characters. They need the boys they are stalking to be vampires or fallen angels, or whatever, in order not to fail as romantic heroines. Should this need not be met, then they end up as nothing more than "stupid, selfish, ignorant, spoiled little girls."

But of course the need is always met. (Insert line about patent unfairness, etc. here.) And what's more, the world really freaking does live or die on whether or not they get to go out with some good-looking boy from school. These books are about shallow, colourless teenage girls saving the world just by being their precious snowflake selves.

No, wait. That's not accurate. Let me try again . . .

These books are about shallow, colourless teenage girls getting to be the key to the world's salvation without really doing anything.

And they're selling like discounted lip gloss in the hottest sparkly shade.

(And in case you're wondering if there was anything I actually liked about Fallen, please read my Locus Focus: Take Nineteen!)

Image Source: Fallen by Lauren Kate


Jillian said...

I am going to keep recommending YA books to you similar to Hush, Hush (that I have unfortunately read) and ask you to do more reviews like these. Seriously. I will.

Try Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I would love to see what you think of that one.

Sullivan McPig said...

Another YA book I've been avoiding because of everything you just confirmed again. Have you read The Moth Diaries? I didn't think it was very good, but there at least the girl is being punished for her delussions instead of those being reality because she is always right.

Enbrethiliel said...


Jillian: I'm so glad you liked it! One reason I don't do reviews so often is that I don't think people will read them. (LOL!)

It might be a while before I get to Shiver, I confess. There are no public libraries here and the only copies I've seen are about twice as expensive as what I usually pay for a fiction book to read in my leisure time. =( And that's doubly sad for me because I've been hoping to add more werewolves to my reading regime.

Sully: You have really good instincts when it comes to books!

Thanks for the recommendation. I haven't heard of The Moth Diaries, but it sounds very refreshing, for obvious reasons!

readerbuzz said...

Shiver is one I keep hearing about. See what you think.

Enbrethiliel said...


That makes two recommendations! I'll see what I can do, Readerbuzz. Thanks. =)