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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Fallen - Lauren Kate, Justine Eyre To see full review click here: http://yalbookbriefs.blogspot.com/2012/07/fallen-lauren-kate.htmlHow do I begin to talk about Fallen. I guess I could tell you that the book is about seventy-five percent description and the twenty-five percent of action and character development that the book has is muddled because of this description. Did I say character development? Wait a minute...there was no character development in this book. Just like there was no internal logic or structure to the book.Let's start with discussing the characters. As I said previously, there is no development when it comes to any of these characters. The most likable out of all of them is the villain and I don't think I'm suppose to like him. As for the main character and her true love well....Let's talk about Luce. Luce has to be one of the dumbest characters in the genre. She's about on the same wave length as Bethany Church from Halo, though not as sanctimonious which is a plus. A lot of her choices don't make sense. Take for instance, her relationship with Daniel. She is attracted to this guy even though the first thing he does is flip her off. And okay, there have been plenty examples in the genre of a teenage girl loving a douche. It happens all the time. But I don't think it happens at this sort of level. Luce's obsession of Daniel borders on full blown stalker. She breaks into the school records to find out about her "true" love and at this point in the book they might have shared one conversation together if you could even call it a conversation. Okay, so sometimes teens can be stupid about relationships that is understandable (sort of), but Luce should be smarter in other things. But nope, she continually screws up just so that Kate can easily move forward the supposed plot of the novel. For example, she decides to spill her secrets about all the weird things that are going on to a person she's barely talked to. It just doesn't make sense.As for Daniel, I don't understand why he's this sought after prize. I know he has loved Luce for eternity. But excuse my langue he is a dick. He gives her the bird the first time he sees her, talks to her horribly. And just because he looks like a freaking Armani model he gets off scotch free because of this. And excuse me, if you've been living forever why would you be in a reform school of all places. Wouldn't you be doing something else with your eternal life...like I don't know see the world, save humanity, or do something else useful. Not sit there and go to freaking high school.Speaking of the setting that brings me to my second point of contention with the book. This book is suppose to take place at a reform school. A place of last chances, so to speak. Besides a harsh orientation, the school isn't that hard core at all. In fact, I'd say that the lack of supervision at Sword and Cross was sort of ridiculous.Did I mention that the school is suppose to be a home for mentally disturbed students. That's right. However, the way mental illness is handled is deplorable. It's viewed as almost a status thing. Like being mentally ill is a good thing. Plus, despite the fact these kids have serious programs there is not even a psychologist on staff at the school. Yeah...that really makes sense. Just like it makes sense that Luce is at the school in the first place. Throughout the book, the reader gradually learn that Luce was sent to Sword and Cross after the mysterious death of her boyfriend Trevor. There is no direct or for that matter really indirect evidence suggesting that Luce caused Trevor's death, so the notion that she'd get sent to Sword and Cross is a little ridiculous. The sad thing is that plot holes like this aren't uncommon throughout the book. And for that matter the plot itself doesn't even really make sense. I still don't understand much of it. Really, what is Luce's purpose other than to be the stupid, silly, little girl that she is described to be by one of the characters in the book. Oh, wait if she dies the apocalypse is inevitable. But even that could easily be fixed...oh, wait plot hole.Best Feature: Descriptions. There were way too many of them. If you looked really carefully through them there were a few sentences that were written quite nicely. However, it's really hard to see these sentences because there was just so much muck in this book.Worst Feature: Cliches. This book was jammed back with cliches. Mary Sue heroine, Insta Love, love triangle, abusive relationship, forbidden love, boarding schools, dead best friends. You named the cliche and Fallen had it. It would've been one thing too if the cliches would've been handled appropriately or used sparingly. But no, when Kate decided to use a cliche. She decided to use a cliche. I've decided to prove my point I'm going to a brief analysis on three cliches.1. Insta Love: The relationship between Daniel and Luce is instantaneous. There is no build up whatsoever. Even after they get together, we really know nothing about them as a couple. Just that Daniel will tell Luce later about the history between the two of them. And that that the reader is suppose to believe that they're a super couple or something.2. Mary Sue Heroine: Everyone at that freaking school, who is worth anyone falls in love with Luce. We as readers are suppose to fall in love with Luce. We're essentially told to. But when I look at Luce's character what do I see: A boring cardboard character who I'm told does nothing wrong. Plus, did I mention the fact that Luce IQ is on range with my dogs. Actually, come to think of it, I think my dogs are smarter than her...maybe her IQ is like a goldfish. Case in point of her stupidity, Luce gets on a plane just because Daniel tells to. Do I even need to go into detail how stupid this is. How Luce easily be sent to some backwards country and be a human trafficking victim. Yeah........3. Love Triangle: Oh my God. Usually I'm on the fence about love triangles. I know that a lot of people hate them, but I secretly like them. If they're done halfway right. Here not the case. And you know why because freaking insta love drove one of the relationships. Then, in order to make us love Mr. Insta Love, Kate decides to vilify the other love interest. I should also mention that most of the development with relationships is done with the guy Kate decides to vilify. Does this make any sense to you?Appropriateness: Sigh....I know that this book is very popular. Why? It's always checked out at the library I go to and I was like twenty something on a waiting list just to get the audio CD. I don't think the book though is appropriate at all for young audiences. It's true there's no sex and the language is fairly mild, but there are several things that I thought made the book appropriate for older teens. The imagery was sometimes very morbid, this book was very violent, and quite frankly I was appalled with the way mental illness was treated.