Study Guide

Fallen

By Lauren Kate

Fallen Introduction

Anyone who's ever gone to high school knows that it's practically a jungle in there. Finding a place to sit in the cafeteria is an art and a science; there's pressure to keep up with the latest trends and know the latest gossip; and with the mountains of homework, how is there ever time for a social life?

High school may not be a cakewalk, but at least we've never had to worry about shadows trailing after us, boys spontaneously combusting after we kiss them, or fallen angels battling over our immortal soul, right?

Um. On second thought, maybe our high school experience wasn't so bad, after all….

Welcome to the world of Lauren Kate's Fallen.

For seventeen-year-old Luce Price, high school is anything but simple. She goes from being the top of her class at a preppy private school to getting shipped off to Sword & Cross, a school that's more like a dilapidated bayou than a place for learning. The gym is in a run-down church, the teachers are weird, the uniforms are drab, the cafeteria food is gross, and Luce's nemesis, Molly, crushes meatloaf into her hair on her first day.

Yeah, it's bad.

To make matters worse, this a reform school: it's where the worst of the worst go to be monitored because other schools can't or won't take them. Cameras dot the campus, cellphones are outlawed, and some students wear electrified collars to keep them in line. Luce feels like a total outsider.

So things seem pretty grim—until, that is, Luce catches a glimpse of troubled dreamboat Daniel Grigori. She feels instantly drawn to his blonde hair and violet-gray eyes and toned muscles—er, we mean, she feels instantly drawn to him, as a person (right?) from the moment she sees him. It doesn't matter that he's mean to her. He's just so hot. And there's just something about him.

But is Daniel really her true love, or is Luce simply having delusions? Why is he so mysterious and aloof? Why does he seem to find reasons to ignore or belittle her at every turn? Why does he draw her toward him like a pretty moth to a hunky flame? And why does his shadow always look like it's sprouting wings?

Could it be…because he's an angel?

Fallen, the first book in a series of four, climbed to the top of the charts for YA paranormal romance. It was number three on the New York Times bestseller list and was also dubbed a USA Today bestseller, an Indie bestseller, and a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. To date, more than ten million copies have been sold, the book has been translated into over thirty languages, and it's been made into a legit movie.

All we have to say is, move over, vampires: there's a new paranormal love interest in town—with wings and blood-free diets and histories just as tortured as yours.

Oh, yeah.

What is Fallen About and Why Should I Care?

Love stories about star-crossed lovers and forbidden passions are tales as old as time.

Fans everywhere love a good love story, and young adult fiction has this business on lockdown. In fact, the YA genre is usually willing to pull out all the stops to give its readers love stories that haveit all. And by all, we mean things like love triangles, paranormal twists, and life-or-death encounters that could end the universe.

Think about it. Whether you're in a relationship or single as a Pringle—which is actually a weird phrase, because Pringles come in a pack of, like, fifty, but whatever—you're going to identify with a good old-fashioned love story, even (especially?) if it's set in the modern day. Throw in some mystery and a love interest with a shady past, more questions than answers, and a high school setting that's grittier and more Gothic than any school campus you've ever actually been on, and you've got yourself the makings of a solid YA romance.

Fallen is no different. It has all the appeal of a timeless love story: it has a spicy love triangle with a baddie who's as charming as he is dangerous and it has the added implication that the love between two people can change the course of life forever. There's just so much more hanging in the balance here than whether your crush will ask you to prom. This is an epic love story about a couple torn apart by fate, destiny, and time, and they're fighting the forces of nature, darkness, and curfew to save each other's lives.

Literally.

How could you not care?

Fallen Resources

Websites

The Angel Trend
Are angels really that popular in YA lit? This article from The Guardian seems to think so.

Top 10 Books about Angels
Just can't get enough fallen angel stories? Someone over at Strange Chemistry compiled this handy-dandy list of books all about our heavenly friends. Surprise, surprise: Fallen's #1: http://strangechemistrybooks.com/2011/12/02/ya-novels-you-should-be-reading-angels/

Movie or TV Productions

Fallen for the Big Screen (2016)
Of course there is a movie.

Articles and Interviews

Lauren Kate Talks Inspiration
The author spills the beans on why she wrote Fallen.

Kate on Goodreads
Here, our author talks a lot about Cam, the Sword & Cross heartthrob with a penchant for evil, and his book, Unforgiven.

All about Fallen
Even more details about how Lauren Kate created this series.

What Makes a Good Young Adult Novel?
There's a checklist. Fallen pretty much checks all the boxes.

Video

Watch the Fallen Trailer
Reading about the movie's fine, but why only read when you can watch it, too?

Book Trailer
Before the movie was even a glimmer in some director's eye, there was this swoon-worthy book trailer. Maybe the movie is just the reincarnation of this book trailer?

Audio

Hellhound on My Trail
Just in case you wanted to know what Daniel's karaoke jam sounds like, we've got it here.

Lucinda Williams, Luce's Namesake
Here's a link to one of Lucinda Williams' greatest hits, just to give you an idea of what Luce's parents were raving about.

Images

Angels in Art
Check out this list of famous angel paintings throughout history.

Someone Actually Converted a Church into a Gym
We know, we're surprised, too. But it happened. Yay, church-nasium.