Fallen by Lauren Kate.

 

Book Review by Cari Mayhew.  Rating 8/10.

 

This bestselling genre-crossing book has a captivating start and end, and I’m already looking forward to reading the next in the series!

 

The gist of the book is given away on its cover, so there’s no element of surprise here.  It’s a love story between a human girl and an angel.

 

Although it clearly lies under the paranormal genre, the book is predominantly a romance, and the characters, even though they’ve been alive centuries, are presented as come-of-age teenagers, placing the book under the young adult genre also.  It also comes under the urban fantasy genre, with its edgy beginnings at a reform school.

 

The prologue is enchanting with its snippet of the angel’s love for the girl in her previous life.  The rest of the story is written from the viewpoint of the girl, Luce.  Lucy would be your typical, if a little nervous, American girl, if it weren’t for her visions of black shadows that seem to appear only to her.  With no reasonable explanation for the shadows, she was put on anti-psychotic medication.

 

Her story begins when she’s placed at a reform school, following the death of a friend that for some reason she has little recollection of, and (perhaps therefore) blames herself for.  As you can imagine, the reform school has some lively, dramatic and intriguing characters!  A love triangle is sparked on her first day.  There’s the somehow familiar Daniel, who smiles, then flips her the bird, and the charming charismatic Cam, who can’t wait to spend time with her.

 

Luce finds herself drawn to Daniel, but he keeps giving her the brush off.  Cam meanwhile takes a special interest in Luce.  Once Luce has her “first” kiss with Daniel, she decides to meet Cam to apologize for leading him on.  However, she ends up kissing Cam and the black shadows come after them.  Daniel’s identity as a fallen angel is revealed to Luce and a battle (rather than their previous fist fight) begins.  Luce flees for safety, only to find herself in further danger!

 

The obvious comparison here is with Stephanie Meyers Twilight Saga, which has a similar love triangle, but with a vampire and werewolf rather than fallen angels.  Lauren Kate’s writing is not as good as Stephanie Meyers’, but is just as good as some of the other YA paranormal authors such as L J Smith, and Cassandra Clare.  Although the romance is the central feature of the book, there are no erotic scenes.

I watched the film before reading the book, and found the film quite forgettable – but the book had me hooked!  My interest in the next book in the series isn’t so much for the romance between Luce and Daniel, but for the inclusion of the other characters and the clear impression that there’s a lot more to the story than what’s been discovered so far!

The Dark World by Zak Bagans.

 

Book Review by Cari Mayhew.  Rating 8/10.

 

In The Dark World, Zak Bagans talks about his ghostly encounters, as the lead investigator for the documentary series Ghost Adventures!  As one of the more seasoned and experienced professionals in the field, Zak has had some pretty crazy experiences!  They cover the entire spectrum of ghost hunting phenomena, from seeing full body apparitions, to having his butt pinched by a spirit, LOL! Continue reading The Dark World by Zak Bagans.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.

Book Review by Cari Mayhew.

I would prefer to be saying this book is a beautiful love story, but above all else, this book is a horror story, depicting one person’s actual experience as a prisoner and worker in Auschwitz.  It is important that books like this are written so that similar tales need never be told again – it is a warning. Continue reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.