There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.
I don't know how many times I picked this book up in the bookstore before actually reading it. I mean, look at the cover - the girl, the dress, the background, the font - simply gorgeous. But I was wary due to the description (which is also found on the inside cover of the hardback) because it just didn't grab me and make me want to read it. But in an effort to read more YA, I borrowed a copy from my local library. Unfortunately, I was right, and ultimately glad I didn't buy it.
The story started out okay, girl with questionable past entering a new school full of other teens with questionable pasts, but after the initial introduction to the characters and general premise, the story dragged.
I figured out the true roles of almost all the major characters fairly early on, so the middle part of the book (which ends up being more than half the book) was pretty unnecessary for me as a lot of nothing seemed to happen in order for more little hints to be given about what was really going on.
The last chapters went light-years faster than the rest of the book, which was a welcome change until I realized I still knew practically nothing more than what I had already figured out. So, square one pretty much, with the MC (Luce) being whisked off to a new location.
That being said... I didn't hate the book. The whole premise was interesting, and the characters were pretty easy to imagine. There were several funny moments (mostly from the character Arriane), and one giant No Way?! moment that completely caught me off guard, which is always good to have. Unfortunately, there were also many What the??? moments that just didn't make a whole lot of sense or seem to serve a purpose, except to emphasize the already-figured-out hints.
Overall, I think most YA readers will enjoy this book, but it was definitely not a page turner for me. The writing style was fine, the characters were vivid, but due to the many issues I had with the plot movement, I just can't quite like this book. The sequel, Torment, actually sounds a lot more interesting than Fallen ever did, so I will probably end up reading it despite my less-than-pleasant experience with the first installment of the Fallen series.