Sponsored by [personal profile] erinlin.

A while back, I picked up a YA novel called Madapple because, based solely on the title, I thought it might be re-telling the story of the Garden of Eden in a modern American high school. It turned out to be about something else entirely, and I thought I would have liked my imaginary book better. Fallen doesn’t exactly retell Eden, but it does place reincarnations or descendants of Lucifer, etc, in a modern American high school. It is surprisingly boring. I still like my imaginary book better.

In a prologue in 1854, an emo guy mopes around and woefully tells a girl that they can never ever be together, apparently because every time they reincarnate and kiss, he or she or both of them explode or something, it’s not made clear. They kiss. Then they explode. Or something.

Cut to modern USA. Teenage Luce (short for Lucifer Lucinda) has been diagnosed as psychotic because she sees menacing shadows. Then she kisses a guy. He bursts into flames and dies, and she’s sent to Hell a reform boarding school, Sword & Cross, where many people have names like Gabbe (Gabriel, I assume) and Diante (Dante.) There she sees a hot guy, Daniel Grigori, to whom she is instantly drawn and who seems strangely familiar.

Over the next 100 pages, he flips her off, ignores her, tells her to go away, and tells her to stop stalking him. Then a statue of an angel almost falls on both of them. Meanwhile, another boy, Cam, actually interacts a bit with her, and gives her the highly symbolic gift of a bit of serpent snake skin. At this point I am rooting for Cam, insofar as I’m rooting for anyone, on the basis that Cam and Luce have had an actual conversation.

For the next 100 pages, Luce stares at Daniel, who ignores her, and flirts with Cam, who gives her a guitar pick. She is still menaced by shadows no one else can see. Then the school bursts into flames, and shadows apparently rescue Luce but kill the boy she was with. This apparently prompts Daniel to start flirting with her, or possibly that was coincidental. I’m still rooting for Cam, though clearly he is not The One and is possibly Sat-am, again because there has been actual interaction.

For the next 100 pages, Cam and Daniel flirt with Luce. Cam displays superhuman strength, and Daniel the ability to scare off the shadows which he denies that he can see. Then a girl, Gabbe, superhumanly beats up Cam, and Daniel FINALLY decides to tell Luce what’s going on. Sort of. He informs her that he is immortal, and every seventeen years, he meets Luce, and they fall in love, and somehow that kills her, whether or not they kiss. But this time, they kissed and she did not drop dead. Woo-hoo! Not sure why he doesn’t think it just hasn’t happened YET. Inexplicably, Luce does not question him further.

The school librarian (Sophia, wisdom) confirms that they’re both damned. Inexplicably, Luce does not question her further.

Then Luce remembers! ”You’re an angel,” she repeated slowly, surprised to see Daniel close his eyes and moan in pleasure, almost as if they were kissing. “I’m in love with an angel.”

In the last twenty pages, stuff finally starts to happen. There is a revelation I wasn’t expecting. Unfortunately, it’s a supremely stupid one. The climax and ending tip over from slow and dull into hilariously ridiculous, but it’s too little, too late. Though I did like the random introduction of a helpful Vietnam vet with a private plane with which to ferry around a winged angel.

Fallen
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