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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book Review: Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell

Fallen Angel (Fallen Angel, #1)
Reading level: Young Adult 
Paperback: 336 pages 
Publisher: HarperTeen (December 28, 2010) 
Purchase: Amazon| Barnes & Noble| Indiebound


Ellie was never particularly good at talking to boys—or anyone other than her best friend and fellow outcast, Ruth. Then she met Michael.

Michael is handsome, charming, sweet. And totally into Ellie. It’s no wonder she is instantly drawn to him. But Michael has a secret. And he knows Ellie is hiding something, too. They’ve both discovered they have powers beyond their imagining. Powers that are otherworldly.

Ellie and Michael are determined to uncover what they are, and how they got this way . . . together. But the truth has repercussions neither could have imagined. Soon they find themselves center stage in an ancient conflict that threatens to destroy everything they love. And it is no longer clear whether Ellie and Michael will choose the same side.

In this electrifying novel, Heather Terrell spins a gripping supernatural tale about true love, destiny, and the battle of good versus evil.

While I found Heather Terrell's, FALLEN ANGEL to have an intriguing premise with strong writing, I ended up walking away from the book with an overall sense of disappointment.  In a genre filled to the brim with angels, werewolves and vampires, so many supernatural-themed books have begun to feel the same to me. I really wanted to love this book though. I thought the cover was eerily beautiful and the description sounded so promising. But sadly, FALLEN ANGEL was not a stand-out novel for me. Part of the problem could've been a simple issue with the book's title and synopsis – I mean it's pretty obvious what type of book this is from the words "Fallen Angel", right? Well maybe if I hadn't known what Ellie was before I even started the book, it would've added more of an an air of mystery to the plot.  As it was, I felt like I had to wait forever for her to figure out what was going on, which was frustrating because I knew what she was before I even turned to page one.

But overall, my biggest issue with FALLEN ANGEL was the romance between Michael and Ellie. It felt way too clichéd for my taste. I didn't feel the electricity between these two at all. Here's the crux of the matter—so often in YA, two characters meet and instantly fall for one another. Why does this keep happening? For me, there's nothing that will make me lose interest in a book quicker than that. I like a slower build-up, more of a getting-to-know you stage in my books. In all honesty, I was more interested in Ezekiel – the dark villain of the group—than I was with Ellie and Michael's romance. As for Ellie, I often felt frustrated with her—for instance, if some random guy started following me around everywhere I went, the word"stalker" would've definitely danced around my psyche a time or two.  But for her, it seemed A-okay!  Ellie reminded me of so many YA protagonists-a pretty girl trying to downplay her looks and fly under the radar who just can't believe the hot guy is interested in her.

To sum up, FALLEN ANGEL was a book with a creative, romantic story-arc and a whole lot of potential that left me underwhelmed.  While I can't say that I'll continue with this series, I do want to point out that Heather Terrell has a clear, strong writing style. It definitely stuck out to me when I was reading FALLEN ANGEL. Also, the last 100 pages of the book do kick into high gear and become more interesting. My hope is that the series will continue to evolve with each new installment.

Books by Heather Terrell

Fallen AngelThe Map Thief: A NovelThe Chrysalis: A NovelBrigid of Kildare: A Novel

Heather TerrellHeather Terrell is a lawyer with more than ten years' experience as a litigator at two of the country's premier law firms and for Fortune 500 companies. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in History and Art History, and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.

Heather is the author of the historical novels The Chrysalis and The Map Thief, which will appear in more than ten countries, as well as Brigid of Kildare. She is also the author of the upcoming young adult series, entitled Fallen Angel.


Alyssa@Teens Read and Write said...

I can see how this could have given you some frustration. At least the last pages ramped up some excitement!

Debbie's World of Books said...

Yes! I totally agree about the romance. (I have my review posted here). Michael just creeped me out and I thought stalker for sure. I hate that the ending finally picked up though because I had totally written off the series until that point and now I feel like it's sucked me back in for the next book.

brandileigh2003 said...

Yeah--I keep seeing the instant connection.
I enjoyed this one though and am excited for the next one.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

You're so right! I like when love is earned. Thanks for the warning and awesome review.