One of the biggest trends we’ve seen in YA fiction over the last few years has been angels. Because I really enjoyed reading books like Unearthly, Angelfire, The Fallen, and Hush, Hush (just to name a few!) I was eager to read Laury Falter’s Fallen. Originally published in 2009, Fallen was released well before many of the most well known angel-related series.
Fallen takes place in New Orleans, where Maggie will be attending a private high school and living with her aunt’s friend while she is away for a year. At first, Maggie is not thrilled at her relocation, but New Orleans is an exciting city with new food, people, and a fascinating history to explore. But as she is settling in to her new surroundings, she keeps finding herself in deadly situations. Every time something happens that jeopardizes her life, the same handsome stranger rescues her.
Maggie feels an unexplainable attraction to Eran, but trying to form any kind of relationship with him proves difficult. He’s only around when she’s in danger, and he is mostly mysterious to her. Once Maggie uses her abilities as a messenger-someone who can travel to the after life and converse with those who have passed on-she learns that their souls have been intertwined for lifetimes. Because of things Maggie did in a past life, one she cannot remember, her current life is now at stake.
Through Maggie’s point of view, I got to experience a city that I have been interested in learning more about ever since hearing about friends’ trips there and even since watching The Princess and the Frog. I admittedly know nothing about the city other than what I may have seen on TV or read in other books with the same setting, but Laury’s descriptions felt accurate to me.
In a market that is saturated with YA books with similar plots and characters, Fallen was refreshing. I loved getting to take trips with Maggie to the after life and experiencing her conversations with dead people. I especially loved her take on heaven, and how individuals create their own versions of it.
As much as I enjoyed the plot and the characters in Fallen, I did expect a bit more in terms of editing. While I only read for pure enjoyment, I have a technical eye and also notice things like pacing, sentence structure, punctuation, and grammar. I had no problems with the pacing, but often found errors in sentence structure, punctuation, and grammar. At only 260 pages, Fallen is the type of book most will be able to read in just a few hours. Because I kept getting distracted by the errors I unfortunately found, I spent a bit more time reading the book. I’m glad I finished it because I really wanted to see how things would work out for Eran and Maggie.