Study Guide

The Fallen Star

By Jessica Sorensen

The Fallen Star Introduction

Having feelings can be hard, right? Thing is, we have them about pretty much anything, from ice cream to war to getting out of bed in the morning. Now imagine if you lived a life without feelings—like, none whatsoever—until all of a sudden, one day they showed up. Can you imagine what a doozy that would be? No thank you.

This is exactly what happens to Gemma, our teen leading lady in The Fallen Star—the first book in Jessica Sorensen's Fallen Star series. And yeah, the whole arrival-of-feelings thing is pretty freaking rough, Gemma will have you know. Published in 2011, The Fallen Star doesn't just tackle the complexities of emotions, though; it's also brimming with supernatural elements, too, including vampires, Foreseers (who are like psychics), witches, and the scarily named Death Walkers. Oh, and the fate of the world rests on Gemma's shoulders to boot.

Sorensen doesn't shy away from troubled relationships in her YA books (she also writes the Coincidence series), and The Fallen Star is no exception. When a hot new kid named Alex shows up at Gemma's school, she finds herself experiencing the pangs of a teenage crush for the first time ever. As for Alex? He seems to hate for no reason. We won't give too much away now, but suffice it to say that sparks fly between these two… literally.

Ready to dig in, Shmoopers? Fasten your seatbelts because as Gemma embarks on her quest to save the world, it's sure to be a bumpy ride.

What is The Fallen Star About and Why Should I Care?

With all of these witches, vampires, stars, and icy demons set on destroying the world, it might be hard to imagine how ordinary teens could possibly relate to The Fallen Star. But when we peel back the supernatural layers, we find that the heart of the story lies with Gemma and her desire to be loved and feel like she belongs. And that's something we can all relate to.

Before her feelings kicked in, Gemma lived an emotionless life. Her guardians, Sophia and Marco, have been tasked with keeping her as unemotional as possible, so the feelings don't exactly flow freely on the home front. As for school, well, Gemma's pretty much kept to herself. When her feelings arrive on the scene, however, suddenly Gemma doesn't want to live this way any longer. Now she wants to belong, to feel love and have family and truly connect with people around her. Is it always easy? Nope. But so it goes in life—we take the good with the bad.

A lot of the story centers around Gemma learning about the supernatural and the prophecy that says she's the only thing that can save the world, but it's equally (if not more) important to Gemma to find a place where she belongs. So while you might not have ever felt responsible for the fate of humanity, if you've ever struggled to find such a place yourself (and let's be real; we all have), get ready to root for Gemma. She might have the power of a fallen star inside her, but when it comes to fitting in, she's just an ordinary teen trying to find her way.

The Fallen Star Resources


Read All About It
If you loved The Fallen Star, you're in luck. Author Jessica Sorensen's website has tons of information about her other books, including all of the sequels to this one.

Get Your Own
Get your own copy of The Fallen Star in paperback or ebook format here.


The Color Purple
Apparently, Sorensen's favorite color is purple. Gemma's strange eye color suddenly makes a lot more sense…

That Special Something
According to Sorensen, she chose Gemma's name because "gem" means something precious and valuable… and she's a pretty special character.


Coming to a Bookstore Near You…
The book trailer for The Fallen Star is definitely full of action and intrigue. Is there anything you'd add or take out if you made a trailer of your own?

Real Talk
Check out this interview with Jessica Sorensen where she discusses how she develops her fascinating, troubled young characters.


Look Into My Eyes
The cover of The Fallen Star puts Gemma's peculiar physical trait front and center. Check out those vivid purple eyes.

Meet and Greet
Jessica Sorensen looks like she could be one of the cool, edgy characters in her own books.

The Fallen Soul
The Fallen Star series also comes with an off-shoot series—The Lost Soul series. If this book cover is any indication, Gemma and Alex aren't going to hate each other forever.