Monday, April 16, 2012

Reading Reflection: Falling Under

Falling Under (Falling Under #1)
by Gwen Hayes
Published March 1st 2011
P. 324
Rating: 4/5

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

What a deliciously dark read... that's what I thought throughout this entire book.

Alright, I loved this book.  I was hesitant to read it because of the negative reviews, but so glad I finally did.  I only picked it up out of sheer desperation.  To my pleasant surprise, loved it.  I understand a lot of the other perspectives, the good girl-bad boy-love at first sight-cliche is found in every YA book I read.  But, I come to expect these story lines in paranormal romances. I was very happy to discover no love triangle... just one super creepy/dreamy/stalker-ish/ love interest. 

Theia is a seventeen-year-old high school student who is very different from her peers.  Her mother died during birth and her father is emotionally detached, but extremely strict with her.  They lived in England for a great portion of her life and moved to the United States in her teen years, so she has a British accent -- which I like.  It makes her sound old fashioned, but I believed it fit her character.  She is sheltered, reserved, naive, and just a bit awkward.  She might not be my favorite literary girl, but I liked her.  Especially in the end... finally!

Enter bad boy... Haden.  I can't say much without giving away spoilers.  He's bad, slightly creepy, intriguing, and bad... did I say that already?  I liked him.  I normally prefer the good guy, but there was something about him that was almost haunting, but enticing... that doesn't sound appealing, but it was. 

Donny and Ame were Theia's best friends and I loved them.  They both played their roles very well, they might be my favorite "supporting characters".  I loved Donny from the beginning: brash, emotional, sexual.  Ame grew on me toward the end when she began to discover her own hidden strengths.  Gabe and Mike were the best friends' love interests... and again, they played their roles in this novel amazingly.  I prefer Gabe to Mike and I loved how the importance of his role increased throughout the novel.  The same goes for Varnie, the cross dressing fortune teller turns up at the beginning, but plays an important role toward the end.  This group of characters is one of my favorite aspects of the novel.

My favorite part of this novel was the eerie feeling in some of the sections.  I read a review (I wish I could find it again to credit this person) where the reviewer suggested the scenes were comparable to a Tim Burton movie... they were so right.  The novel begins so drastically, and Theia is so naive/innocent, I found myself drawn in immediately.  Then the novel switches from reality to dark dreamlike scenes, very interesting.  Not to mention the last third of the book, which is amazing.  The villain, plot twist, and choice really tied the book together for me.  It overruled any annoyance I may have developed in the beginning of the novel.

Great read if you can over look the cliche: good girl falls for possibly dangerous bad boy.

One of my favorite quotes was one of the few very funny lines in this novel.
(Donny forced Theia to a club and dressed her in less than virtuous clothing)

"If my future included a street corner and a pimp named Ice Money, I'd be ready" ~ Theia, pg 103 

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