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.
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Everything changed the night I saw the burning man fall from the sky.
I'd been reading well past a reasonable hour, the white eyelet quilt tented over my iPhone to block any escaping light even though my father was already tucked away in bed dreaming of new ways to make me safer.
The cell phone was a compromiseI added extra music lessons to my scarce free time in exchange for a phone. It was win-win for Father; the few hours a day I wasn't with him or sheltered in the safety of my pink and ivory room, decorated by a prestigious designer to gild my cage, I was now instantly accessible. In addition, there were now even fewer hours in which I might find trouble. He didn't know I could read e-books on the phone; he didn't even know what e-books were. Father just thought he'd finally broken me of reading by flashlight.
It would never have occurred to him that I hadn't been brokenI'd graduated. Every night I went somewhere new and pretended to be someone elsesomeone interestingon the device he'd purchased to control me more than he already did. A priceless freedom to a girl with a strange British accent living in the small town of Serendipity Falls, California, under her watchful father's thumb.
But the burning man falling from the sky pulled me from my faraway world. My gaze wandered to the window an instant before he appeared. And then, slowly, like a feather caught on a light breeze, he willowed past my window, turning his grotesque head towards me, his mouth open in a silent scream. He was more than on fire. He was fire.
Orange and red flames braided together in the shape of a man, but it was his eyes that caused me to suck in my breath and hold it as I ran to the window. His eyes, scared and imploring, told of a darkness and agony I couldn't begin to understand.
I leaned farther into the window, the glass surprisingly warm from his brush past it. Like I touched a trace of him. As he completed his unhurried, torturous descent to the lawn, he kept his gaze locked on mine. Beseeching me for something I couldn't give as the flames consumed him. So many things I should have felt, wondered, or worried about, yet I just watched, fascinated and compelled to see him to the end.
He landed in the yard, still burning alive. My father's pristine lawn would be scorched.
He'd be so disappointed.
Afraid to leave my perch, I was unsure what to do next. Surely what I was seeing was a figment of my overactive imagination. A dream caused by too much reading and not enough sleeping. But what if he suffered while I did nothing?
I turned and ran, as quietly as I could, through my room, down the stairs, and finally out the back door. The dew-covered grass beneath my feet reminded me of my state of undress. The nightgown felt thinner and more revealing than what my father had intended when he approved its purchase.
I shivered, not with cold but with nerves. The flames of the burning man sputtered and cooled, revealing charred bones and hunks of flesh. Yet he moved and groaned.
I sank to my knees, horrified that God would be so merciless as to let this poor human being endure such misery. The scent of cooked meat triggered my gag reflex. Strips of bumpy, burned flesh covered his bones here and there, buthis eyeshis eyes remained whole and lucid, giving him the garish appearance of a Halloween corpse.
The smell of sulfur stung my nose, making it hard to breathe. Yet the burning man continued to rasp and sputter.
How could he? His lungs had been incinerated.
For the first time, I noticed I still held the phone. Stupid girl. I should have dialed 911 a long time ago. I'd just pressed the 9 when he spoke.
I whimpered at the sound of his raspy, inhuman voice. "You need an ambulance."
The skeleton gurgled a bit, the sound grating and raw. "Too late. I don't have much time."
He shouldn't have had any time. I looked to the sky, but there was no sign of smoke or anything else falling. He groaned again.
"I…; I'm sorry." Lame, stupid girl. "I don't know what to do. I…; wish I could make you more comfortable."
"You must be so frightened." He whispered now, slowly yet with a carefully measured cadence. "I'm sorry you had to see this."
How could he worry about my comfort right now? "Do you want to…; um…; pray or something?"
His answer came too quickly, too vehemently.
"You'll stay?" he askedno, implored. "I have no right to ask it of you, but…; I'm afraid to be alone right now. Will you stay…; until…;"
Moisture from the cold, wet grass seeped into the material of my nightgown, promising ugly stains in the virginal white shroud. I already felt the weight of yet another of Father's disappointments.
"Do you want me to ring anyone for you? To say good-bye?"
"There…; is…; no…; one." His whisper weakened with each word.
No one to mourn him? I forced myself to look him, death, in the eyes, and leaned closer, blocking out the revulsion of his grotesque appearance. His last vision should be of someone caring that he died. Someone mourning him. He raised his bony fingers as if to touch me and I steeled myself not to flinch as his hand, still smoldering, neared my face.
He rattled and spoke his last words. "Worth…; the…; fall."
His hand dropped, and the grass sizzled beneath it.
Then his body turned to dust, leaving only a blackened scorch mark on my father's lawn.
I rolled away from the sunlight streaming through my lace curtains and burrowed my head under the pillow. It was a dream. It must have been. Burning men don't fall from the sky. Skeletons don't speak one minute and turn to dust the next.
I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and stared at the ceiling. I was going to have to look. Resigned, I walked the distance from my bed to the window, and it seemed to stretch farther and farther away, the way things do in nightmares. I touched the glass firstit was cool, of course. My fingers splayed on the window and I leaned into it, looking down, hoping to find the perfectly manicured lawn I'd known just yesterday. But the perfection was marred and the grass seared where he'd lain. The burning man.
My heartbeat sputtered and restarted, thumping wildly and faltering with its own rhythm. My mind raced to find an explanation that didn't include a fiery cadaver with scary eyes and a lonely soul.
What kind of…; people…; fell from the sky? Aliens? Fallen angels? Skydivers?
Maybe his plane crashed. But none of that explained his ability to talk with no lungs…; or skin, or organs, or…; No. I must have dreamt it. There was no other explanation. Best to put it out of my mind. Nightmares had no control over me and there was nothing to fear.
Besides, nothing happens in sleepy towns like Serendipity Falls. That's why Father bought a house here. His commute to the city wasn't bad, a half hour unless the fog blanketed us in. He did whatever it was barristers do in their offices all day and made it home for supper almost every evening.
He'd chosen this town precisely for its lack of drama, I reassured myself as I grabbed my pink robe off the hook. What devilry ever befell a girl in a counterfeitly cheerful Victorian house? Surely the heavy cornices and gingerbread trim were wards against all things evil.
It wasn't until I turned on the bathroom light that I remembered what day it was.
The familiar numbness that got me through this day every year painted itself over me. One foot in front of the other, one routine, then the next, lather, rinse, repeat. I'd go downstairs, drink my orange juice, take a vitamin, walk to school. It was just a day, after all.
Father would already be gone to his San Francisco office. It was easier that way, at least in the morning. Not having to face each other meant not having to acknowledge the significance of the day, this day.
The anniversary of my mother's death.
I struggled with my hair. The wild curls preferred to be loose and resisted the taming of elastic bands or clips. The wildness of my manea curse, according to my father, who'd tried unsuccessfully to convince me that I should style it shorter and sleekerwas a gift from my mother. The wildness of my heart was yet another unwanted motherly inheritance. Father tried to convince me that I should live carefully, and the struggle to rein in my spirit, as well as my hair, kept me battleweary day after day.
Wanting to please Father, I always pushed back my impulses. He needed me. Sure, he could be gruff and impossibly strict, but I was all he had. Things would have been different if my mother hadn't died, but there was no sense going down that road. Especially today.
I sprinted down the stairs and then chastised myself for the recklessness since Father wasn't there to do it for me. I took the vitamin he'd left out, drank the juice he'd poured, and ate the biscuitI mean cookieonly after I'd first double-checked that he'd actually left, and then made sure no stray crumbs would give me away. I avoided the greeting card left on the center of the polished table for as long as I could.
My hands shook as I opened our one exception to completely ignoring that this day existed. Happy 17th Birthday, Theia.
I put the card in my pack, grabbed a sweater, and walked to school.
Nobody at Serendipity High extended me birthday wishes because that was the way I wanted it. My friends, now that I had them, shot surreptitious glances at me all day, but respected my request. I was lucky for their friendship; my life had been so different only four years ago, when we had first moved to the States.
Life in London had been even lonelier. Our estate had been a cold place, steeped in Alderson history but not love, not laughter.
After all the years of homeschooling with a stodgy tutor, I had been surprised that Father had given in and allowed me to attend a public school when we moved to America. Surprised and grateful, until I realized that the strange girl with a funny accent was not going to be welcomed easily into a small school with cliques already firmly in place.
Everything about me was different from my American peers, starting, but certainly not ending, with my accent. Not having spent much time with my British peers either, I was as awkward as a foal taking its first steps when it came to interacting.
"Earth to Thei."
I blinked at Donny across the cafeteria table. "Sorry. What were you saying?"
DonnyDonnatella to those who dared call her thatrolled her eyes and stole another Tater Tot from my lunch tray. "I asked if you had figured out your prison-break plans for this weekend."
Father preferred I not spend much time with Donny. Which, when I was being honest with myself, I realized was part of the appeal. Donny was irreverent and maybe a little wild.
Okay, make that a lot wild. Why she wanted to be friends with me, a girl who worked so hard at being completely boring, was a mystery. Whenever I asked, she would reply with a comment about liking my hoity-toity accent, and then she'd wink at me mischievously. She'd taken me under her wing during a particularly bad experience in my PE class that first year, and I would do anything for her.
Donny's family was the kind I used to dream about. They lived in a much smaller house, but it was a lively, almost-too-loud house. Someone was always laughing…; or yelling. It was never quite clean, but there were always good things to eat and someone to listen to how your day was. I even envied her for her little brother, as mischievous and destructive as he was, and for her parents, who didn't put up with much but did it with a sense of humor.
Also, I envied how comfortable she was in her body. A couple inches taller than me, mostly due to her legs, Donny exuded this aura of confidence about her appearance that I would never have. Everything she wore was chosen carefully, as if to exhibit her assets. Her brown hair was layered around her face to draw attention to high cheekbones, and the part was on the side, accentuating her proud forehead. She always wore earrings that peeked out when her hair moveda whisper that there was more to see if you took the time to look.
"Why is it so important that I go to this club with you?" I asked. Donny was very social, whereas I was not. She often had her own plans on the weekend that didn't include me, and I was more than okay with that.
"Because you need to get out more. I swear to God, you are going to explode one day if you don't vent a little wickedness now and then. Does your father know what happens to daughters of overly uptight and strict parents when they get their first taste of freedom at college?"
"Girls Gone Wild, that's what."
The thought of me flashing my breasts to a camera in exchange for a trucker hat made us laugh so hard we couldn't breathe. The funniest part was that we both knew Donny would do it for a stick of gum.
Our third musketeer, Amelia, joined us as the giggling subsided. As usual, she was dressed in what Donny liked to call "rebellious goth." Ame liked the alternative styles of the emo/goth kidsbut she hated black and dark colors. Instead, she looked like a rainbow with skull and spider accessories. "What's the laughing about, or do I want to know?"
"You don't. Trust me." Donny patted the bench next to her. "Ame, help me convince Theia that she needs to cut loose with us this weekend." She bit the tip of her pizza, the cheese stretching a mile before breaking. Only Donny could make that sexy. When I ate pizza, I cut it into bite-size pieces.
Ame unpacked her lunch from the reusable tie-dyed sack she brought every dayshe was very conscious of her carbon footprint. "Theia, if you don't cut loose with us this weekend, I will have to listen to Donny bitch about you all night and it won't be any fun at all. And I won't have anyone to talk to when she ditches me for the first pretty boy who comes along. You have to come."
Amelia wasn't joking. Donny really enjoyed her pretty boys. Amelia, on the other hand, had pined hopelessly for the same bloke since he'd moved to our school in seventh grade, the same year I did. She'd been stuck in "just a chum" purgatory for four years, but refused to tell him how she felt or give any other boy the time of day.
Ame carried herself differently from Donny. Donny was catlike and slinky, while Ame was more like a happy puppy. She bounced a lot and used her whole body when she spoke. She was also beautiful, but you couldn't tell her that.
Now that Amelia had let her hair grow back to the shiny black-brown it was naturally, and not the brittle blond she'd been trying to keep it, Donny and I both felt like she was the prettiest of all three of us. Amelia, however, saw only flaws with the features we thought made her exotic and outstanding.
Ame was born in Korea and adopted by a family perhaps even whiter than my own. Most of the time, I think she handled the diversity well. Sometimes she acted like we didn't see her wishing away her heritage. Other times, though, she talked about going to Korea someday, not so much to find her birth parents but just to walk where her roots had once been.
But when it was just the three of us together, roots were never an issue.
Donny put her hands together as if in prayer. "Pwetty please, say you'll come with us on Friday. You will love this club. It's the only under-eighteen club I've ever been to that didn't make me worry about our generation. It's actually fun. And not lame."
"I have nothing to wear to a dance club." And I didn't. Father's personal shopper chose my wardrobe according to a strict outline of recommendations—none of which included anything that would be suitable for dance clubs.
"I have your outfit all picked out," Donny answered a little too gleefully. "Oh, yeah, and Sandra Dee called; she'd like her sweater sets back."
That was low, but not wrong. Father's shopper believed thinking outside of the box meant three-quarter sleeves in place of long ones. And I have bottoms in every shade of khaki ever made. You know, for my wacky, carefree days.
All the same, Donny was not to be trusted as a replacement for the shopper. "Your clothes won't fit me, Donny. Your legs are a mile longer than mine."
"All the better to wrap around a boy with. Speaking of" She paused so Amelia and I could groan.
Donny really was certifiably boy crazy. I had no such aspirations. Aside from my accent and "strange" English ways, my real boy problem had less to do with my looks and more to do with my upbringing. As in: Father says no. I'd been segregated from boys my whole life, not allowed to have coed parties even as a child. And dating was out of the question.
I was untouchable.
He just wanted me to be safe, and he worried that boys would make me reckless and distract me from my music studieswhich were far more important to him than they were to me.
I love the violin, truly I do, but I'll admit to sometimes being bored by all the work involved in maintaining my skill level. However, musical proficiency is important.
It didn't matter to him that I was beginning to feel less joy in the music. The more he pushed, the less I cared. In fact, I preferred playing modern music but could do so only when he wasn't home. Because modern music wasn't respectable. It didn't pay tribute to the deep roots of my family tree.
Aldersons were to be the best at whatever they did. Father proved that daily at his workplace, or so I heard from his colleagues at the picnics every summer. His company had transferred him twice to the States to fix its sorrier officesonce the year he met my mother, and again when I was thirteen. He was also unbeatable at racquetball and sailing. I was to follow in the grand tradition of all the Aldersons before me and excel.
Whether I wished to or not.
Donny continued, ignoring our groans. "My sources in the admin office tell me we are getting fresh meat tomorrow. All the way from New York City. God, I hope he's cute. We need new cute at this school."
Amelia picked at her salad. She hated salad but was on what Donny dubbed a foreverdiet. "We only need new cute because you have exhausted the population of already-here cute. Take it easy on the new guy, will you?"
"He's probably a sneetch anyway," Donny said.
"Sneetches" was what we called the in-crowd at school, the haves as opposed to the have-nots. We named them from a Dr. Seuss story in which the Star-Belly Sneetches, who were born with a green star on their bellies, thought they were better than all those who had no green staror in this case green money.
By current standards, I possessed all the right accoutrements to be a sneetch, except the ones that would have made me want to be one. Much to my father's dismay, the children of his business associates and fellow golf club members were not the chosen brethren of his daughter. Of course, he never helped me get accepted, since he resolutely shielded me from their activities and social situations, but try telling him that.
Donny pulled out her compact, checking for nonexistent damage before fourth period. "Amelia, if you tell me you want the new guy, sneetch or not, I'll stay away from him. But you have to promise to actually talk to him. Not just pine from afar. Reruns are boring."
"I'm not even remotely interested in the new guy, but thanks for the offer. I know how hard that must have been for you."
Donny started on me next, but I held up my hand. "Halt. I am not remotely interested in the new bloke we haven't seen yet either." On a whim, I asked them both, "Did either of you hear anything about a plane crash last night? Or maybe a meteorite?"
"Did you have dreams about aliens probing your secret places, Thei?" Donny asked, again much too gleefully.
"No, INever mind."
The bell rang, reminding me that my fourth-period class was on the other side of campus, but at least it smelled better than the cafeteria. We had to wait for a pack of sneetches, several of them in cheerleader uniforms, to file past our table. As per their social custom, they made no eye contact with those of us without stars upon thars.
When one of the varsity basketball players tried to pass without even seeing us, Donny drew the line. "Hey, Bill, did I ever tell you how much it meant to me that you made sure my needs were still met that one time you couldn't get it up? That makes you a real gentleman."
Of course, Bill did no such thing. Oh, he really did have a problembut he left Donny to finish things for herself when he didn't bring his A-game.
He grunted, someone muttered, "Bitch," and all was right in our world.
By the end of the evening, I was wiped out. I practiced for two hours after school with my new tutor, who knew within ten minutes that I was better than he was. So, like anyone with an overinflated sense of self, he punished me with futile exercises and extra practice time.
Dinner was a somber affair, as usual. Muriel, our housekeeper and cook, tried to sneak in a cakelike dessert to appease her own guilt at my lack of birthday celebration, and Father read his paper throughout the meal, stopping to tell me to "Sit up straight" and "Stop fidgeting so much."
"Father," I began cautiously, "I'd like to spend the weekend at Donny's."
"We'll see," he answered. And that was the end of the discussion.
I'm not sure how my mother could have fallen in love with him. He was so cold. And worse, I think he was trying to make sure I turned out as icily perfect as he was. Sometimes I felt the crystals forming inside, etching a pattern of frost on my heart, and I thought it would be easier to follow his path than diverge from it. If I was careful and cautious, dutiful and obedient, perhaps I could stop the wayward longings I had. The ones where I thought, There has to be more. More than this uncomfortable silence at a table too large for the two people who ate here every night.
But if there was more, Father wanted none of it. He retired to his study and I retired to my fancy decorated cell, finished my homework, looked at my violin and considered playing it for an hour, and then put myself to bed with no hope of falling asleep.
But fall asleep I did. I think. And that was when everything got worse.
Excerpted from "Falling Under"
Copyright © 2011 Gwen Hayes.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Falling Under was a GREAT book. I really loved it. I devoured it in one straight sitting, unable to go to sleep until I finished it. Now where to start. I just want to start by saying I loved this book, so this review might be a bit long and gushy. The story was great and had me intrigued the whole way through. Gwen Hayes was able to keep the reader engaged in the mystery of Haden without making it feel old. Instead, I kept wanting to know more about Haden, who is he? What is he? I loved how Gwen unraveled his mystery. And let me tell you I did not expect anything that Gwen Hayes revealed about Haden. I was fully intrigued. The plot definitely kept me turning pages. And after the mystery of Haden was unraveled, the plot continued, stronger then ever, and I don't want to give anything away, but it was great. The whole last section of the book I did not see coming AT ALL! I love when a book can take me on a ride and through unexpected turns at me, and this book accomplished this. One of my favorite things about this book was the characters. Theia was a great protagonist. She was fully developed and felt like a normal teenage girl, albeit with an extremely over protective father (not something too uncommon). And one thing I loved about Theia was she wasn't a stupid, unthinking protagonist. She realizes that Haden isn't who he seems and realizes he is dangerous and acknowledges this. She was a complex character, confused by what is going on in her life and her own feelings. And that brings us to Haden. Wow. Haden. What a hot, mysterious, dark, complex character. I loved him. I felt the same way Theia did towards him, confused and a bit creeped out by him but undeniable attracted by his mystery. He is truly the goth Mr. Darcy, and I wouldn't mind having one appear in my dreams like he does, even if he is not all good for me (or Theia for that matter). Theia and Haden also had great, great chemistry. While he admitted he wasn't good for Theia, you still wanted them together, no matter what. Theia and Haden definitely have some of the best chemistry I've read recently. Gwen Hayes has written a great book. I don't know how many times I've said this but, truly, it was great. The writing was beautiful and lyrical. Hayes' descriptions were rich with beautiful details, fully establishing the scenes, characters and emotions. I loved the little bits of humor Hayes' included in the story too. I laughed so hard at the little Twilight reference that my roommate though something was wrong. I also really loved the glimpses the reader has into Haden's mind at times. While the book is primarily told from Theia's point of view, these glimpses at Haden's thoughts enhanced his mystery and added, what I felt were little easter eggs to the action occurring. The writing fit the book so well, beautiful, haunting and lyrical. I loved it.
When i sa the cover i was like okay i will give it a try and when i got into to it i finish it in 4 hours. It was that good!
So the first half of this book I felt like I was reading a twisted version of twilight and was tempted to stop but I'm so glad I didn't! The second half was incredible, I was captivated by the way Hayes effortlessly painted this eerie, dark world that was so vivid you feel as though you're there. You can clearly see, smell, and feel what Theia did. It was creepy and haunting yet so beautiful. The second half of this book more than made up for the first. Hayes has an amazing ability to bring a story to life and has created a story that has stuck with me for months.
This review has taken me a while to write because I wanted to make sure that I did it some justice. Though this book is a pretty quick read, it took me a few days to get into it. I think what did it for me was the press release, in which Falling Under was compared to Twilight. After that, Twilight was stuck in my head and I couldn't help but notice every single, solitary thing that it had in common with the widely popular vampire series. It even mentions sparkling vampires in it. I know a lot of people who say the comparison in the book is in jest, but for me it was just... tacky. With that being said, I took a step back before I wrote this review. To be honest, I don't think that I would have noticed the similarities as much if I wouldn't have read any of the PR - sans the whole 'sparkling vampire' bit... that was a little obvious. When my mind was clear, it was easier to see that Falling Under had traits in common with Twilight that most YA paranormal romances have - the dangerous boy, the insta-love and, well, the paranormal. Oh, and there are no vampires. Honestly, despite what I just mentioned, I really enjoyed this book. The concept was engaging and its storyline kept me guessing for a good while before I finally caught on - and even then, there were elements of surprise. This book had a much darker, more gothic feel to it than most books that I've read lately and it's something that I have missed. Theia was a good character that was easy to relate to in most ways, but not in the romance department. The insta-love failed for me because it is beyond my comprehension as to how someone can fall so madly in love with someone so soon after they meet them. Can it happen? I'm sure it can... just not for me, which is why I cannot relate to it at all. The early acceptance of absolute love was the only thing I didn't like. Haden was a swoon-worthy character that I'm sure will leave every girl who reads this book with goo-goo eyes and a goofy grin on their face. I liked him. He reminded me of another old-fashioned, gentlemanly character who felt as though he didn't deserve love because he was a monster. *ahem* Without saying too much, the dream sequences in this book really worked for me. The descriptions were amazing and everything came together perfectly at the end. I absolutely adored Gwen Hayes' writing style in this book, it's entrancing and poetic. Overall, this book was everything that I expected and then some. I really enjoyed it.
If you like books like the Hush Hush series or First Grave on the Right, then this should be an enjoyable easy read for you. Falling Under is an interesting read whose lure lies in the intentions and draw bad-boy, charismatic Haden has toward sheltered, good-girl Theia, and how his very nature/world puts her in danger yet he can't completely let her go. Moreover, she continues to put herself in danger by going to his world and refusing to let him go, even if it means striking a deal with the devil. The ending leaves a loose ending or two that has the potential for a great sequel.
I enjoyed Falling Under-but it is like most other romantic YA books out there right now. Of course there are certain unique things about it but if you are looking for something different than what's come out the last few years you might want to look elsewhere-but if you like the whole girl meets boy-boy ans girl have instant connection-boy is hot & cold with girl-they fall for each other within 20 pages this is a book you'll like. The thing I did like about this book was the-I guess you could call it location- where it partly takes place is very interesting. This is a quick read & I'd recommend it.
I DE-VOURED this book. This book is like a mix between Alice In Wonderland and Romeo and Juliet. It has the scary yet magical upside down world and two star-crossed lovers fighting the odds. The dream sequences were very visual, so easy to imagine. Something i really appreciated in this book is the supporting characters were well developed, they didn't just fill in the gaps of the book they were really a part of it and i became attached to all of them, especially Theia's two best friends Donny and Amelia. It was an amazing read and i am dying for the sequel. It's gonna be a long year. My suggestion GO BUY IT!! This book gets a big 5 stars out of 5.
So I had really high hopes for this book. The book kept me reading but I really did not find anything that stood out in this book that made me want to go look up if theres a sequel to it (there will be). It kept me entertainedFirst, as a couple of reviewers have said, the books starts off a little slow.To me the story picked up and got a little more interesting around chapter 18 and there's a total of 26 chapters so that says a lot.The MC, Theia, was raised by a strict father and is portrayed as someone who is independent and rational.Basically more mature than those around her. So how come almost ALL of the decisions she makes in the story are irrational and stupid? Yeah, love blinds you, blagh blagh but seriously? She meets this guy from her dream in real life and the second she sees him she goes gaga. Of course this was obvious from the synopsis but she doesn't even know him yet she feels more attracted to him. From the snyopsis it even states she's willing to 'give up her soul' to be with him. What kind of rational character does that? In the book she certainly has given up her common sense.Haden on the other hand has his own agenda. He is there for another reason but he soon begins to feel something for Theia to the point where he is teasing her and then pushing her away. Haden didn't really have much of a personality in my opinion but was much better and bearable than Theia. Usually I don't like to compare books but this one had a few scenes where I automatically thought 'Twilight'. In one instance is where Haden refers to Theia as 'little lamb'. I just couldn't enjoy this book as others did.The plot was unique and original. i really liked the concept of 'stranger in my dreams coming out in real life'. It has some original twists but the whole thing was predictable and didn't really surprise me as he revealed what he was. The characters were flat and I just couldn't get into it at all.I would recommend this book when it comes out and it's in the library. Maybe it's just me but I couldn't get into it.
When I received this book I was in a YA slump. I was starting to doubt my love for the young adult paranormal world, but this book completely destroyed those doubts. That summary up there is a good teaser, but it does not even begin to cover what goes on in this book. I feel myself getting ready to ramble because of my excitement, so I am going to try and break down the reasons behind my giddiness and not go on a tangent.First up is our main character Theia, who is a run of the mill average human. Best quality: she is not a whinny teenager. Thank you Gwen! When Theia has a problem she confides in her friends and tries to talk through her worries with them. Not keep them pent up and pine and mope for three months. Speaking of her friends, they are great girls. They do not try to steal boys from each other, they look out for one another and they just have fun, their friendship feels genuine and it helps the reader to relate with the characters. I also loved their nick names for the "popular" kids as well, they called them Sneeches. As in the creatures that wear stars on their bellies from Dr. Suess, such a clever reference.Haden is also another main focus of the story, of course. I loved that every now and then Gwen would let us get into his head and hear what he was thinking. I often wonder what is going on inside the mind of the mysterious characters in books, so getting a rare glimpse into his thoughts helped fit pieces together. He is a real enigma and it definitely took me a while to figure him out. I thought I had him pegged from chapter one, yeah, nope! I was totally off base and it was fantastic! I relished the fact that I did not have a clue what was going on with him.I was also surprised by how much humor is laced throughout this book. I found myself laughing out loud so many times. The dialogue was witty and the characters made me chuckle right along with them. I did not expect the book to be so funny, but it was a pleasant addition to the story.Overall, Falling Under is a welcomed change in a genre that can sometimes be filled with mundane. It completely blindsided me, in the best way possible, and I ate it all up in one night. I cannot continue to say enough good things about this book, I can only hope Gwen has plans for a sequel so I can be lost in this world again. I will leave you with a quote from the book said by Haden that I think sums things nicely, "Sometimes the answers are more questions. Sometimes down is up."
Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyWhen I think of the BIG titles that broke out a specific trend in Paranormal YA, I think of TWILIGHT and vampires, SHIVER and werewolves, HUSH HUSH and angels, WICKED LOVELY and faeries, and now I think we¿re about to add FALLING UNDER to that list. You¿ll have to read the book to find out what new trend it¿s breaking. In the tradition of those aforementioned titles, FALLING UNDER is part gothic romance, part paranormal mystery, and part coming of age story. It¿s breathtakingly written in a way that I think will elevate it above most of it¿s peers (excepting maybe SHIVER). The characters, even the secondary ones, are all given dimension and distinct motivations. I didn¿t necessarily like every character, but I believed they were real. Specifically, FALLING UNDER is like a mash-up of HUSH HUSH and WICKED LOVEY. Like, Patch, the romantic lead is dark and dangerous and his motives are rarely pure. You¿ll hate and love him a dozen times before the book is over. And like the unseen Faerie realm, Theia¿s `visits¿ to Under are fractured and macabre. It frighteningly easy to lose herself there and revel in the dance even while knowing it¿s destroying her. The entire book is surprisingly dark and delightful. Even readers who are growing jaded by this genre should find something to enjoy here. The ending is less of an ending and more of a setup for the next book, but it¿s so provocative that I don¿t even care that it¿s a cliffhanger. All I care about is finding out when I can tumble back down this rabbit hole and fall back Under. Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex. Some coarse sexual dialog
This review has taken me a while to write because I wanted to make sure that I did it some justice. Though this book is a pretty quick read, it took me a few days to get into it. I think what did it for me was the press release, in which Falling Under was compared to Twilight. After that, Twilight was stuck in my head and I couldn't help but notice every single, solitary thing that it had in common with the widely popular vampire series. It even mentions sparkling vampires in it. I know a lot of people who say the comparison in the book is in jest, but for me it was just... tacky.With that being said, I took a step back before I wrote this review. To be honest, I don't think that I would have noticed the similarities as much if I wouldn't have read any of the PR - sans the whole 'sparkling vampire' bit... that was a little obvious. When my mind was clear, it was easier to see that Falling Under had traits in common with Twilight that most YA paranormal romances have - the dangerous boy, the insta-love and, well, the paranormal. Oh, and there are no vampires.Honestly, despite what I just mentioned, I really enjoyed this book. The concept was engaging and its storyline kept me guessing for a good while before I finally caught on - and even then, there were elements of surprise. This book had a much darker, more gothic feel to it than most books that I've read lately and it's something that I have missed.Theia was a good character that was easy to relate to in most ways, but not in the romance department. The insta-love failed for me because it is beyond my comprehension as to how someone can fall so madly in love with someone so soon after they meet them. Can it happen? I'm sure it can... just not for me, which is why I cannot relate to it at all. The early acceptance of absolute love was the only thing I didn't like. Haden was a swoon-worthy character that I'm sure will leave every girl who reads this book with goo-goo eyes and a goofy grin on their face. I liked him. He reminded me of another old-fashioned, gentlemanly character who felt as though he didn't deserve love because he was a monster. *ahem*Without saying too much, the dream sequences in this book really worked for me. The descriptions were amazing and everything came together perfectly at the end. I absolutely adored Gwen Hayes' writing style in this book, it's entrancing and poetic. Overall, this book was everything that I expected and then some. I really enjoyed it.
This was certainly a quick read. I probably preferred the first book, which was very -ahem- steamy. But that's not why I liked it. Theia's POV worked better, and Haden was much more compelling in the role of the 'hunter'. I also felt the second and third books brought about a change in the pace. But, overall, it was an intense read. Kinda Twilight-esque, but then I have a lot of respect for a book that sells millions of copies. So definitely recommended for Twilight fans.
Falling Under by Gwen Hayes was a really nice surprise for me. I wasn't expecting too much of this book, but I ended really impressed with the her writing style and the plot. When I read the synopsis, I thought it would be another YA book, with a girl who feels invisible, and it's when she meets a new mysterious boy... almost the same thing than Twilight, Fallen, etc, etc.... And of course, they fall in love but they cannot be together because they are different and etc, etc.... But even though that it's what happened in the first part of the book, the story changed completely a few pages later!I don't want to spoil too much, but I was really happy to see no vampires, no werewolves, no ghosts, and no fairies. The story is really dark, and in the first part of the book, a little bit confusing, but later, I just loved it. I read it in less than two days, and I was really surprised. I really mean it. The characters are nice, specially Theia's friends. But of course, they have a minor participation in the story. Also there were a few things I didn't like too much about the plot, specially at the end, I found it a little bit weak. I think this story was great for just one book, and not for a series... but, well, we don't know... maybe the author will surprise us all...Falling Under was a nice reading, and I really enjoyed it. The cover is lovely, with a lot of things about the story; the girl's hair and the dress and the flowers... but of course, you need to read the book to understand what I am talking about... : )4/5 Stars
I loved this book! I read mixed reviews before picking it up for myself, and I'm happy I ended up in the positive camp.I'm a huge Gothic fan. The whole squeaky door/creepy character/horror/ romance combination is crazy awesome. This book combines all those characteristics to great effect. The ominous tones in the background of the story are as major a character as the people involved in the plot.At one point, there was a malevolent force in the room with her that was so threatening that the shadows in the room fled from it. Dude, I thought that was flippin' awesome. What better way to illustrate fear and evil? That there is good writing. Take note.Let me emphasize again: I love the mixture of horror and mythology. Mythology is the new vampire as far as overused plot devices go, but Gwen Hayes is able to make it all her own by combining it with the horror/gothic genre.For once, I'm thrilled that this is a series (trilogy I think?). I'm not done with these characters or their story and am already more than ready to return to their world. Despite seeing several negative reviews, I fell in love with this story and highly recommend picking it up!
So...I've been waffling a little because I wasn't sure I was going to write a post for this book. Falling Under is a book I bought for myself, purely based on the cover. I think this quite possibly may be the most gorgeous cover, EVER. I like to have a few books I read just for myself, no note-taking, just reading. But I just can not help myself. Here's the deal. I LOVE this book. Major love. I can't-freaking-wait-for-the-sequel kind of love. You may be asking yourself: "Has she completely gone off her rocker?" And, maybe I have. My kids have been away for two weeks. I've been staying up until 2am every night reading. Reading all day. Reading, reading, reading. So you don't think I'm just babbling, let me tell you why I loved Falling Under. The Characters. Haden and Theia. He's a dark, mysterious stranger with hidden, dangerous secrets. She's a reserved good girl, always forced to push her true self down to please a demanding father. When their worlds collide, the love they share could possibly destroy everyone around them. And sure, sometimes they acted in ways that infuriated and exasperated me. I literally wanted to shake Theia at a few different points. Real characters, just like real people, do that to us. Theia and Haden weren't kept apart by little misunderstandings or jealousies or any other minor obstacles. They were given horrible, disastrous obstacles. The kind of obstacles that are life-threatening and earth-shattering. The Villain. Well...to avoid spoilers, I can't say who is the villain in Falling Under. But I will say this. This villain is literally what nightmares are made of. He/She and the world they live in scared the crap-ola outta me. I'm still kinda creeped out. The Story. Like I said before, I bought this book based on the cover. I barely skimmed the synopsis. So, I didn't even really know what it was about before I started reading. For the first bit, I thought it was a tortured by differences love story, a la Twilight. There were a few similarities. The dangerous boy falling in love with the innocent girl. Will he kill her; will he overcome his nature to be with the girl he loves? I would have been completely fine with that. But this book took me to so many different places, a whole other world. At certain points, it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. I really could go on and on. I was left swooning one moment and creeped-the-hell-out the next. I loved that this book continually surprised me and kept me on my toes. Gwen Hayes' Writing. This is the first book of Hayes' that I've read. She roped me in from the first line: "Everything changed the night I saw the burning man fall from the sky." She wrote real, heart-breaking, evil, fear-inducing characters. Hayes gave a beautiful depiction of this world and a spectacular, horrific other-world. She managed to keep my head spinning and inspire a few nightmares. Gwen Hayes also earned herself an enthusiastic (in case you didn't notice) new fan, probably for life. The sequel to Falling Under, Dreaming Awake, is set to release January 2012. I'm dying to get my hands on that book. But until then, I'll longingly look at my precious, Falling Under, and stalk Dreaming Awake of GoodReads.
I loved this book! I didn't think I was going to like it but was pleasently surprised by it. I thought this book took the mythology of dreams, heaven/hell, and demons to the right degree. I found the introduction of 'hell' or Under as very interesting and it reminded me of something Tim Burton would concoct. I felt the characters were indepth and interesting enough to keep me wanting to know more about them and root for them. I loved the secondary characters as well and they all felt 'real' to me. I enjoyed the amount of horror/paranormal mixed with reality in this book and my only complaint was it was just too short! Can't wait for the sequels!
Gwen Hayes in a good writer who sure knows how to tell a story. Falling Under was full of interest and intrigue. There was also a dark side to the story that I really enjoyed.The characters were very fun. Theia's best friends, Donatella and Amelia, kept the story moving at times when the plot felt just a little slow. They were both so different from Theia, but they were wonderful friends. They were vibrant and vivacious. Theia herself starts out as a very shy and quiet girl. She's been living under the very strict rules of her father since her mother's death. She is not allowed to wear her hair down, as it is wild and untamed. She wears the "virginal" clothing that a personal shopper has picked out for her. With the arrival of a certain someone, Theia behind to step from behind the curtain her father has drawn around her. I liked seeing her gain some independence. Enter Haden. He is handsome, mysterious, dangerous and alluring. I wasn't quite sure how I felt about him throughout the story. I didn't hate him, but I wasn't in love with him. His motives were questionable to me and I wasn't sure exactly what he was trying to accomplish. I couldn't really pinpoint whether he was good or bad. I did like the darkness that hung around him. It added more intrigue to the story. But with his alternating hot and cold attitude with Theia, I don't know why she continued to put up with him. By the end of the book, he grew on me a little more.Theia and Haden's trips to the Under felt like something straight out of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas or Corpse Bride. There were people who were disfigured, taken apart and haphazardly sewn back together. The Under was dark and nightmarish. Haden's mother was sinister and evil. With these trips, Theia isn't sure whether she is dreaming or truly living a nightmare.Overall, this was a great read. Full of twists, turns and darkness looming around every corner, Falling Under is very appealing and worth the read. And of course, the cover is beautiful!"Part of me wants to set you on fire and hold you while the flame consumes us both, to eat your heart so I know that only I possess it entirely." (Haden, pg. 171)
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the different story and the switching the character perspective. I hope there is another book because it kind of ended with some loose ends. If there isn't any other books then it was a really abrupt ending like they only needed to be 250 pages and she couldn't write anymore. So in that aspect I really hope there is another book.
Falling Under was a GREAT book. I really loved it. I devoured it in one straight sitting, unable to go to sleep until I finished it. Now where to start¿I just want to start by saying I loved this book, so this review might be a bit long and gushy. The story was great and had me intrigued the whole way through. Gwen Hayes was able to keep the reader engaged in the mystery of Haden without making it feel old. Instead, I kept wanting to know more about Haden, who is he? What is he? I loved how Gwen unraveled his mystery. And let me tell you I did not expect anything that Gwen Hayes revealed about Haden. I was fully intrigued. The plot definitely kept me turning pages. And after the mystery of Haden was unraveled, the plot continued, stronger then ever, and I don¿t want to give anything away, but it was great. The whole last section of the book I did not see coming AT ALL! I love when a book can take me on a ride and through unexpected turns at me, and this book accomplished this. One of my favorite things about this book was the characters. Theia was a great protagonist. She was fully developed and felt like a normal teenage girl, albeit with an extremely over protective father (not something too uncommon). And one thing I loved about Theia was she wasn¿t a stupid, unthinking protagonist. She realizes that Haden isn¿t who he seems and realizes he is dangerous and acknowledges this. She was a complex character, confused by what is going on in her life and her own feelings. And that brings us to Haden. Wow. Haden. What a hot, mysterious, dark, complex character. I loved him. I felt the same way Theia did towards him, confused and a bit creeped out by him but undeniable attracted by his mystery. He is truly the goth Mr. Darcy, and I wouldn¿t mind having one appear in my dreams like he does, even if he is not all good for me (or Theia for that matter). Theia and Haden also had great, great chemistry. While he admitted he wasn't good for Theia, you still wanted them together, no matter what. Theia and Haden definitely have some of the best chemistry I've read recently. Not only did I love Theia and Haden, the two main characters, but the supporting characters were great too. I really loved Theia¿s two best friends Donny and Amelia. They were great characters and great friends to Theia. I loved that they were fully developed unlike in other books where the friends are just there to give advice to the main characters. Varnie and Gabe were also two very great secondary characters. The secondary characters are great and prove to be important to the plot and provide great scenes.Gwen Hayes has written a great book. I don¿t know how many times I¿ve said this but, truly, it was great. The writing was beautiful and lyrical. Hayes¿ descriptions were rich with beautiful details, fully establishing the scenes, characters and emotions. I loved the little bits of humor Hayes¿ included in the story too. I laughed so hard at the little Twilight reference that my roommate though something was wrong. I also really loved the glimpses the reader has into Haden's mind at times. While the book is primarily told from Theia's point of view, these glimpses at Haden's thoughts enhanced his mystery and added, what I felt were little easter eggs to the action occurring. The writing fit the book so well, beautiful, haunting and lyrical. I loved it. Falling Under was one of those books that I desperately wanted a sequel to. Thankfully there will be a sequel because I want more, more, more of Theia and Haden and all the other characters. I cannot wait to return back to the world Gwen Hayes has created. The sequel cannot come soon enough.While this book is not out until March, so far away, and I already read it, I will be anxiously awaiting it¿s release. I was truly enchanted by this story. It was something new, fresh, clever and lovely. Gwen Hayes has written one of my new favorite books for 2011 and the year hasn¿t even started yet. I will definitely be picking u
Quick & Dirty: A wonderful plot and engaging characters mixed with mayhem and a fascinating Under realm make this a delicious and highly entertaining read.Opening Sentence: Everything changed the night I saw the burning man fall from the sky.The Review:In the small town of Serendipity Falls, Theia Alderson lives a sheltered life. In her dreams, Theia is pursued by a dangerous yet seductive stranger. The surroundings are unfamiliar because Theia has fallen Under. In the Under realm, her irresistible suitor shows her things that Theia can hardly fathom. Theia¿s dreams soon become reality when her dark suitor, Haden Black, shows up as the new student in her school. As their connection grows stronger, Theia has trouble resisting Haden and the horrifying world of Under. Now that she has fallen under his spell, will she be able to save her soul?I didn¿t know what I expected when I set out to read Falling Under. I never read reviews for books that I¿m interested in because I hate spoilers. I was intrigued by the synopsis. In any case, I would have read the book based solely on its beautiful cover. Even though things start slowly, the story still managed to hold my attention. I¿m pleased to say that Falling Under ended up being one of the best YA novels that I¿ve read this year. Falling Under is an edgy and layered world filled with danger and despair. This darkly riveting story is intense and certainly stands on its own in the YA paranormal genre. Ms. Hayes exposes the reader to a macabre world and all its dangers. The world-building is truly inventive and the characters are intriguing. The powerful sexual and emotional undertones give this story an edge that you rarely see in a YA novel.One of the many exciting elements of the story is Theia¿s forbidden relationship with Haden. Theia knows that she¿s placing herself in grave danger, both emotionally and physically, but the connection that she shares with Haden is undeniable. Theia and Haden exchange some pretty risqué dialogue. The attraction, teasing and wordplay between these two is completely enthralling. Without a doubt, Haden is the strongest character in the book. The unbeatable combination of the dark, twisted, sexual and dangerous makes for a wonderfully complex male lead. Ms. Hayes delivers richly detailed characterizations, pulling the reader ¿under¿ with ease.Theia has realistic flaws, which makes her interesting, but there¿s nothing to really set her apart from other protagonists in the crowded YA paranormal genre. I was left with just a so-so impression of Theia. I liked her character, but I didn¿t love her character. I do sympathize with her struggles to shape her own identity and break free from her father¿s death grip. Theia was raised by her father in a very regimented, sterile and structured environment. Her ¿Father¿ is very cold and Type A, bordering on sociopathic. For the most part, I like the fact that Theia was a very mature and practical young adult. She did have a few moments of girl weaknesses and became obsessed about being with Haden a la Bella¿s feelings toward Edward in New Moon. Needless to say, at this point I wanted to slit my own wrists. I think the ¿obsession¿ trope in YA novels is often heavy-handed, misplaced and unnecessarily overwrought. Generally speaking, it can only be resolved one or two ways. The heroine has a ridiculous epiphany that leads her to conclude that she is an individual with her own personality and life goals before she met her otherworldly hottie, and that life will go on and aforementioned otherworldly hottie will not objectify her and define her self-worth. Alternatively, she will forsake everything to get her dangerous, worthless, and good-for-nothing otherworldly hottie who turns out to be the good guy in disguise. Don¿t let this plot point deter you because there are many other good elements to this story and the ending will surprise you.Falling Under is a fantastic debut novel. The
I generally liked this book, but I had the same problem with it that I've had with some other YA novels. I didn't quite get the appeal that Theia had for Haden. He was never particularly nice to her and his only draw for a good part of the book seemed to be that he was handsome. I had a problem with the scene in which Theia takes sleeping pills in order to see him. I couldn't connect with the desperation and instead ended up being afraid that it would send the wrong message to girls reading the book. Still, I think Gwen Hayes's writing shows a lot of promise and I'd enjoy writing whatever she puts out next.
When this book showed up in the mail, I was so excited about it and immediatly put it at the top of my TBR pile. I'm so glad I did because this book was spectacular and kept me up until the early hours of the morning reading, needing to find out what would happen next.Everything about this book did it for me. The characters were well developped and I felt connected to them from the very beginning, the plot was gripping and the story was unique and unlike anything I've ever really read before.Theia is a seventeen year old girl who lives a very shelted life. Her father tries to control pretty much everything about her; he never lets her wear her hair down because it is too wild and untamed, everything that she wears was picked out for her by someone that her dad hired, every aspect of her life is controlled by her father. It's obvious from the very first page of this book that Theia is desperate to break away from her father's control, but as soon as Haden shows up in town, not only does Theia's father loose all control over her, but Theia begins to loose control of herself.I had a love/hate relationship with Theia. I hated that she allowed her father to have so much control over her, but I loved it when she started to break free and finally be her own person and not just the person that her father wanted her to be. Ever since the first moment that Theia spent with Haden, her world started to unravel. I really enjoyed watching Theia break out of her shell and really blossom from a shy girl who was next to invisible into someone much stronger, someone who was willing to fight for what she wanted.Haden was probably one of the sexiest guys that I've had the pleasure of reading about in quite some time, and that's no suprise considering what he is (which you'll have to read the book to find out!). He could be so dark, wicked and menacing one moment, and so sweet, loving and gentle the next. As the book progresses and we find out what the cause of these conflicting actions and emotions is, we really start to see Haden in a completely different light as the struggle that he's going through becomes even more apparent. I really, really enjoyed Haden's character, he was the perfect blend of bad boy and sweetheart for me. He could have me annoyed with him one moment and swooning the next! I really hope that there's going to be a sequel to Falling Under (which I'm sure there will be considering how it left off) so that I can have even more of him!I seriously loved everything about this book! Gwen Hayes' writing was beautiful. I was able to feel so connected with the characters and really feel their emotions. Falling Under was definitly a sexy book, maybe not recommended for younger readers, but for me the sexiness of it was just right; it fit perfectly with the story, only adding to my enjoyment of the book.
The summary makes this book sound like a very typical paranormal teen story, but it is much more than that. I was thinking this would be a Twilight type of story when I began reading it. I was so wrong! Falling Under is the story of Theia, a girl who encounters a mysterious boy in her dreams. It turns out that those dreams were a link to a world called Under. I don¿t want to tell much else because it would spoil the story, and I think that¿s why the summary in the back of the book is so vague. So many things happen! Let me just say that I love Haden. He was so mysterious, creepy, yet romantic and just plain amazing! I could really feel the connection between the characters. I mean, they both did whatever it took to be together. They truly love each other. This brings me to another point I wanted to mention, love triangles are not really necessary to make a story interesting. This book is a perfect example of that! The obstacles these two had were enough to keep the tension going. Plus, the bad ¿guy¿ in the mysterious world was another element that kept me at the edge of my seat. I can¿t wait to see what happens in the next book, and if Theia and Haden can beat that evil person. I just have one thing to say: Go read this book! You won¿t be disappointed!
I absolutely loved the first part of the book. But didn't care much for the second part.
Anyone who follows my status updates on Goodreads (or Twitter) should probably know that I was more than annoyed with this book. It isn't even the plot - which is unique enough, considering many books follow the beaten path of: girl meets boy, girl loves boy more than the world and vice versa, something terrible happens that threatens to destroy the relationship, they overcome it, the end. Falling Under is a little bit differen in that regard.But! And this is a pretty big but: It's very Twilight-y. Starting with an old dude in a teenagers body, the shy/unknown girl who is of course utterly gorgeous, symapthetic side kicks, Haden calling Theia his "lamb" and when he's questioning whether he has a soul ... I just really couldn't get into it. Maybe I'm just extremely prejudiced when it comes to Twilight. Don't get me wrong, when it was released here in Germany, I breathed those books. I even read the third and fourth books in English, which was a grand thing for me then. But since then I've learned to spot the faults in the books and I just can't overlook them in other books. The similarities are subtle enough, at that. One thing that gets me all the time (maybe it's a pet peeve in development?) is when two people fall in love at first sight and would immediately die for each other, or take each other's place in hell. I just don't believe in that kind of love. Maybe I'm unromantic, but I think it's unrealistic, let alone healthy! Is this what we want young girls to believe? That it's okay if you can't live without your boyfriend, that - in fact - you need a boyfriend to live? We should encourage girls to be strong and independent and not resort to long since abandoned preconceptions.So, that's where my two star rating comes from. I couldn't wait to finally finish this book so that I could move on to other things. And as much as it resembles Twilight, the only worse book in that way I can think of right now is apparently Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon, which seems like a complete rip-off judging be the reviews.