I chose this book Fallen by reading a review. It sounded interesting and reminded me of Beautiful Creatures, which I enjoyed. This book about obsession was obsessive in my need to read it constantly. There is a sequel, Tormented, but I think I will read a few other things first.
The main character is Luce. She ends up at a reform school in creepy old buildings that were a former Civil War military academy next to an equally creepy cemetery. The students are misfits there for varying crimes or other reasons. She becomes friends with Penn who is there because her father was the gardener and is now dead and buried in the cemetery.
Luce for years has noticed weird and threatening shadows that show up around her. She hadn’t told anyone about this and tries to avoid the sorts of places they show up, such as dense forests. She is at the school because of an accident where a boy she was with was burned to death. She still doesn’t understand what happened, but she was blamed for his death. Shortly after she comes to the school there is a fire in the library and another boy she did not know well dies by falling down the outside stairs.
As a teenage girl, she is flattered by some students’ attention, tries to decide whom to be friends with, tries to figure out the teachers and the rules, just as most people do when they come to a new school. She is obsessed with two boys, Cam or Cameron and Daniel. It was strange that even though the author kept reminding me of what they looked like, because of their personalities, I kept picturing Cam as the light haired boy and Daniel as the dark. Daniel had more of that brooding Heathcliff sort of quality.
Cam is dark haired and very friendly toward Luce in that “I want to get to know you and be your boyfriend sort of way. ” He gives her a gold necklace and keeps noting that she is not wearing it. He gets her to skip classes and go with him to the cemetery for a gourmet picnic. He sends a car to pick her up for a forbidden off campus date which almost turns into a disaster. She wants to tell him that she just wants to be friends but he is very persistent. I think many teen age girls can empathize. You are flattered by a guy who should be “a catch” even though you might like someone else more.
Daniel is blonde and the “hot and cold” sort of guy. She is immediately attracted to him and feels like she knows him from somewhere else. The first day she sees him he flips her off. He seems to show up when she is in trouble to save the day. He often shows up when she is with Cam and there is obviously some tension there as he tries to keep her away from Cam. He will take her to do something cool like swim in a lake together, but then, when she asks too many questions or things start getting romantic, he takes off. So confusing. Of course, that sort of mystery sometimes serves to make someone more attractive.
Things start to heat up, often literally. The black shadows increase. Luce tries to find out more about Daniel but his school folder is almost empty and a book written by a member of his family has disappeared from the library.
The book is a page turner and would adapt well to be a movie. I was trying to think who would be good for the parts. Emmy Rossum is now a little old for the Luce role but has the look. Anyway, recommended summer read for 14 years and up (so more Teen than Tween fiction).