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Monday, February 14, 2011

Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

I will be raving about this book in this review.
You have been warned.

I have had my eyes on this book ever since I saw it last year. It was like love at first sight. The cover called out to me and I fell in love even further when I've read the summary. So imagine how happy I was when I was given the chance to read this book in advance.

Reading Falling Under felt like I just took the biggest ride of my life and just got my feet back on solid ground a few seconds ago.

No, Gwen Hayes took me for a ride and I followed after willingly, and I got so caught up in it I almost forgot to breathe.

Title: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
Pages: 336
Release Date: March 1st 2011
Published by: New American Library
Source: Berkley NAL (thank you, Kayleigh!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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.

Oh look! No vampires here! Hooray!

Theia had always lived by the rules ever since she can remember. Playing the part of the perfect, docile and obedient daughter, living a sheltered life was all that she knew to do. But all of that slowly changed when she met Haden Black. Haden had been in Theia's dreams even before they had lain eyes on each other, but how is that possible? As Theia learned to outgrew her shell and let loose the free spirit she had always reigned in, Haden sends mixed signals that Theia just couldn't figure out. Should she stay away? Why? Why not? And when Haden finally convinces that being close to him could mean losing her soul, would Theia listen or run away?

The first Gwen Hayes work I have ever read was her short story, Butterface, which I utterly loved and has somewhat set the stage for me, taking a peek into her delightful writing style. So going into Falling Under, I was somewhat familiar with how things might work. Or so I thought.

I always say that too much predictability often makes a book boring, but its the last thing you should expect from reading Falling Under. You just had to guess. And guess. And guess. For the first time, I was stumped when I realized I had no idea what will happen to the story. When things started going south for Theia and her friends, I didn't know what to do.

I especially liked how both characters just loved to torment each other, dancing around each others feelings, toying with it, turning all hot and bothered one minute and stone cold the next, which was like a teasing, sensually charged dance between the two characters. I can feel the tension between Theia and Haden as if it was a tangible thing with every turn of the page.

The plot had too much twists and turns it felt like I was being led into a merry chase for some phantom ending. I had no clue where the story was going, so I didn't know what to find and what to expect. Less than forty pages before the end, I was ready to whip the book out of my hands and my brain was literally screaming "what the hell is this part for?" "why the hell is this supposed to happen?" because a lot of it wasn't agreeing with what I hoped would happen.

To be honest, I've had my reservations giving this a high rating at first. More than half the time, I was trying to figure out if I like the shift between dreams and reality and if it was helping the story develop or if it's just muddling the story further. I lose grip of the story whenever Theia dreams, because it felt like Haden, the boy, was not the same Haden in the dreams. However, reading the last 100 pages completely altered my perception of the story. What I think was a mediocre, messy ending turned into one of the most exhilarating reads I've had this year!

One aspect about Falling Under that I love was that the supporting characters, Donny, Amelia and even Varnie are not as one dimensional set of characters as I first thought they would be. Their stories progress alongside Theia's and Haden's and I love how they seem to complement Theia's overly shy, always playing it safe personality.

I stopped from quite a few times, but it was very easy to just dive back into the story and get lost inside their world as if it was the first time you are reading as Gwen was able to create two memorable characters in Theia and Haden. Haden reminds me a bit of Sin in Nina Malkin's Swoon (who aggravates me so much), a very wicked boy you just can't help but love.

The things that made me love Gwen's 17 paged short story made me fall in love with Falling Under and more. With Gwen's easy, simple writing style she was able to bring to life dynamic characters, riveting storyline and each of the characters unique, captivating voice, Falling Under is one paranormal novel you shouldn't miss! There's a reason why everyone is looking forward to reading this book, find out for yourself why everyone seems to be holding out their breaths until this book comes out!

My rating:

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:

Book cover crush alert! Theia is so captivating in that pose! You should get the finished copy, the gold gleaming letters they used for the title is so gorgeous!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I love your review! I've been aware of this book for months, but this is the first review I've actually read and it's safe to say you totally pumped up my excitement for release!

    And you had me sold on Haden from this one line "...a very wicked boy you just can't help but love." I'm insanely curious as to what exactly the paranormal element is - gah! Waiting sucks! Thanks for making me even more impatient :)


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