A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tori's Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

- 336 pages
Price: $9.99
ISBN 13: 978-0451232687 
Released: March 1, 2011 

Gwen's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: ARC Tour 
Genre: Young Adult 

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.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
I must say that, aside from a few issues, I actually did enjoy FALLING UNDER. It is unfortunate to say that while this book was enjoyable overall, I do not think its heroine will leave any last impressions on me. But before I critique the not-so-good, let me list what I enjoyed about the story.

First of all, FALLING UNDER is wonderfully devoid of any love triangles. Yes, I'm sure a lot of people can probably imagine my relief reading a story that doesn't have me wanting to strangle a girl for leading two guys on. This point alone earns one star in my book, since that means FU is unique in comparison to its fellow YA debuts. VERY unique at the moment.

Second, I absolutely LOVED the secondary characters in this book! It took me a while to warm up to them, probably due to a slow start, but once I did, I was enamored. I thought that the interactions were cute and somewhat realistic. Well, up until a certain part in the story, at least. I think what I loved most about the characters was the bond between all three girls. It was touching and something one does not necessarily witness in novels as often as I would like. I wish every single person had a support group like Theia had.

Finally, I thought that Gwen did a wonderful job at making the chemistry between Theia and Haden believable. There were some moments where I was tempted to fan myself because there was so much sexual tension. I think I blushed at one point in particular. And the nice part about it? FALLING UNDER wasn't overwhelmed by all the sexy-ness like some of Penguin's other debuts have been. I thought this one was tastefully done.

However, despite the tension, I wasn't sold so much on the love between the two characters. I definitely think they were in lust with each other initially, but when Theia announces that she thinks she's in love with Haden? I thought it was rushed and announced way too soon. It took some of the magic away for me. And of course, like most heroines, she becomes a hormonal doofus after such a proclamation who is easily reduced to tears. That I could have done without.

Theia in general is the "untouchable" heroine placed upon a high pedestal no thanks to her control freak of a Father (Father is always capitalized in this book like he's some sort of god-like figure). Time and time again readers are told that she is level-headed and rational in comparison to her friends. Yet despite how much more "mature" she is, the second a guy walks into the picture, all rationality is abandoned as she falls into lust with the unlikely, douche-y hero who's really just a puppy deep down.

Her voice was another issue. It was so hard for me to relate with her character. She states that all she does, due to her father's influence, is go to school and play the violin. She tries to come off as boring amongst her peers, and because of that, she was boring for me too. I thought that, while all of Theia's friends were developed, Theia and her father were more two-dimensional.

My primary problem with Theia's character is actually an issue I have with a lot of books: the heroine drops everything due to an obsession with the "forbidden" boy. I know girls at any age can get obsessive, but I don't think it's something that should be reinforced in books too. Maybe that's just me, though. I felt the only way Theia came alive in the story was because of Haden. I'm not particularly a fan of a pointless life that suddenly finds meaning because one's "soulmate" saunters into the picture. What happens when they're gone? Go read this book and you'll see exactly what happens. Or go read the second book in the Twilight series.

This cool, collected individual is willing to sacrifice her soul in the name of love. It's a romantic concept, the idea of sacrificing something--not necessarily a person's soul, though--and one that I do love to read in paranormal romances assuming the hero sacrifices something in return. It's not realistic, though. Oh wait, it's a paranormal book. I don't care. I don't think any teenager would willingly obey their father to the extent Theia did in this story unless they were physically/mentally/emotionally abused and/or brainwashed, and I don't think any teenager is going to sacrifice their soul in order to attain their HEA (which, by the way, Theia does not receive in this book). Not in this day and age. Well maybe some might, but I think they'll learn right away a HEA is not something one attains via soul sacrificing procedures.

While I'm discussing Theia's relationship with her father... all I have to say is HOLY CRAP at that one scene where they finally discuss her mother's death. I think I would have preferred if her dad was like any other negligent YA parent. One comment in particular made me actually pity Theia's character and truly made me despise her father. Not sure if that was the author's intention or not.

I digress though. I suppose Gwen wanted to appeal to the hopeless romantic in her readers, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. And I must, despite my commentary, give the author props for empowering our heroine by the end of the book. I think books that empower the female protagonists are few and far in between. I only wish Theia grew more of a backbone earlier on...

I believe that fans of NEVERMORE will enjoy FALLING UNDER. The trippy scenes in NEVERMORE and some of the Under scenes in FALLING UNDER were very similar in nature, though I think FU was more subdued in a way. The secondary characters are fun once the story picks up, and the writing is accessible, both bonuses, but Theia left me disappointed. I believe many will enjoy this book overall, and I recommend that everyone checks this book out--especially if you enjoyed HUSH, HUSH or NEVERMORE.


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