By Lauren Kate
Fallen is another book with a lot of hype (good publicist!) about the newest trend in YA literature, fallen angels. I bought this book at the same time that I bought Hush, Hush in order to compare the two.
In some ways, the books were quite different. As I said in the Hush, Hush review, it has a modern take on the fallen angel theme. Fallen is definitely more gothic, although also set in present times. The majority of action in Hush, Hush occurs at school or in the small town outside of Portland. In Fallen the setting is a school for juvenile delinquents called Sword & Cross. The campus is old, dark, and crumbling, creating an undertone of danger, deception, and a touch of the paranormal, which is only enhanced by the quirky and mysterious students and faculty. It seems bleak and desolate.
Video cameras supposedly monitor student movement within the buildings and throughout the campus, but there are many instances within the book when it seems the author forgot about the cameras, because much of what occurs should be caught on film. The students seem virtually without supervision, allowing them to get away with anything. Very unrealistic. I was disappointed in the author’s inconsistency on this point.
There are also differences between the two main female characters. Nora, from Hush, Hush is a good student who basically raises herself since her mother is away often for her job. Luce, on the other hand, has been enrolled at Sword & Cross by her parents after an incident with her ex-boyfriend (which never gets fully explained) and because she suffers from bouts of what is believed to be paranoid schizophrenia as she sees dark shadows flying above her. Nora is strong and capable, while Luce is troubled and susceptible to manipulation. Of the two, I found Nora to be more likeable.
In both books, the girls are inexplicably drawn to the “bad” boys (in Hush, Hush it is Patch; in Fallen it is Daniel), which I find very Twilight-esque, but I also understand that most romances, adult or young adult, seem to begin this way. Also, in both books, the love interests try very hard to stay away from the girls. The boys’ hesitation to get involved with these ladies is for differing reasons, but explaining them would give too much away. I will say that in Fallen, reincarnation plays a part in the plot.
Fallen seemed to move at a slower pace, but was darker and more twisted. The ending left me with a lot of questions and some confusion, but the climax was more intense. In Hush, Hush, the main conflict involved a couple of angels and Nora. In Fallen, it is evident that a full-scale battle between fallen angels is about to commence.
Overall, Hush, Hush – while it had its cheesy moments – was still fun, while Fallen had a more complex plot.
If you like paranormal teen fiction, you might want to give them a chance.
Let me know if you disagree. Feel free to give feedback!
See what Lauren Kate has to say about the series: