“Fallen” by Lauren Kate

Luce is sent to reform school after a mysterious fire kills her boyfriend and she can’t explain what happened. A world away from her previous private prep school where she was on a full academic scholarship, Sword & Cross reform school has strict rules, constant surveillance and strange classmates. But when Luce encounters Daniel, she’s sure she has met him somewhere before …

Yet another foray into teenage fantasy books, and this was a pleasant surprise as I was beginning to wonder if I’d become jaded by a surfeit of them, but I found myself completely engrossed in this story. Intriguing characters and with a niggling creepiness to the story which gradually builds to a thrilling crescendo before an epilogue to set up the rest of the series.

I loved the relationships between the characters and there were some genuine surprising plot twists and developments. A very satisfying piece of story telling on the whole, although sometimes I found myself thinking, “have you never seen a horror movie? DON’T DO THAT!!!!”

In fact, my only minor complaint about the book (but it’s more of a general moan) is what happened to books that deliver a complete story? Don’t get me wrong, I love series and I devour them with glee, but I’d much rather have a book that could be read as a single story, yet a lot of serial books I’m reading lately, whilst leaving me wanting more, leave a slight taste of disappointment when the final chapter or epilogue tries to entice you with some ideas of where the story will continue.

As a final word, my copy of the book has a very short blurb on the back which gives nothing away, but if you read the full synopsis from either amazon.co.uk or waterstones.com, then you will find out something that I think is a spoiler, so beware!

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