Author: Gwen Hayes
- Series: Falling Under #1
- Published: March 1, 2011
- Publisher: New American Library
- Reading Level: Young Adult
- Pages: 324 pages (Paperback)
- Source: Bought
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.
The easiest way to describe this book is by calling it a roller-coaster. I thoroughly enjoyed some parts of it, I thoroughly hated others. Half of the time I was incredibly confused and the other half of the time my jaw was on the floor in complete shock. A few times I found myself battling to continue because the creepy parts came on and I was trying to decide if I could survive. This book seemed to be a little bit of everything.
The opening of this book really got my attention. On page one a burning man falls from the sky. Not only was this incredibly unique, but it piqued my interest and made me want to keep reading. Unfortunately, such an awesome opening didn't set the tone for the rest of the book. I had a bit of trouble as I got to know the characters. That was where most of the problems were for me.
Theia is the ultimate goody-goody because her father would have no other way. She has to be the ultimate Englishwoman. I kept forgetting that this girl was English because it was not a reoccuring theme throughout the book. She didn't truly speak the way someone from England would besides occasionally saying "bloke" or "lad." Such occasions would throw me off because they were so out of the ordinary compared to the rest of Theia's speech. Theia, unfortunately, seems to have found her true love because he's insanely gorgeous. The connection was based on looks and I wish it wasn't so that it could have developed slowly the way a relationship should. She saw a cute boy and BAM...that boy is her soul mate.
That boy's name is Haden and I struggled with his character. He is truly a case of Jekel and Hyde. Half the time he's this sweet, sweet boy who blushes around Theia. The other half of the time he is manipulative and doing weird things while his eyes turn black. As Donny describes it in the book... "I can't get a handle on the guy. Sometimes he seems so into you, and other times he's...sort of the Antichrist." Way to go, Donny, I couldn't have describe him any better myself. Of course, once we learn what he truly is, we understand why he's so hot and cold, but I still am not a fan of his characterization. I like Gabe, Donny, Varnie, and Ame a lot more than the two main characters because the supporting characters have more substance.
What I really enjoyed about this book were the dream sequences. Somehow, Haden could meet Theia in her dreams. (No, I can't tell you how, but it was pretty cool!) They were more descriptive and unique than the cliche's that took place in the real-life aspects of the novel. I was a bit upset when they disappeared.
The ending of the book is what really disappointed me. While everything was built up, my heart didn't beat as fast as it should have as all the action broke down. I like Theia's ability to grow a backbone in the last bit of the book and the temporary role reversal of perspectives, though I did enjoy Theia's voice more.
All in all, I just didn't like the characters and had trouble with the book because of this. But this book had a little bit of everything. The villain is truly fantastic and her minions were awesome! I found myself loving them even though their approaches really freaked me out. This book is full of slight contradictions, but it all makes sense and comes together at the end. All in all, I'm giving this book 3 stars. With the changes in the characters, I'm hoping to connect with them better in the sequel so that I will enjoy the next installment in the series more.
And remember, up is down and down is up!
I do love this cover, though I don't know why. It's certainly haunting and the black roses in the background are very appealing. The color of Theia's dress contrasts beautifully with the background and all elements of the cover are important points to the story.