Falling Under is the first book in a new Young Adult Paranormal series by Gwen Hayes. I have to admit – the gorgeous covered sucked me in and made me want to read this. But for the first half of the book I kept feeling myself making comparisons with a certain other paranormal series with an awkward teenage girl and the boy she shouldn’t fall in love with because he could hurt her. I knew this wasn’t fair and I tried really hard not to do this but certain things – like his constant pet name of lamb – just kept reminding me.
Theia is a 17 year old girl stuck in an extremely sheltered world due to her father’s tight constraint on everything around her. Theia’s mother died during childbirth and it seems her father either hates Theia for her mother’s death or loves her so much that he must protect her from everything that could possibly hurt her. One night Theia sees a burning man fall from the sky. Then a new boy shows up at school, the dark and mysterious Haden Black and Theia can’t deny the connection to him when their eyes meet. Is this same man that fell from the sky? At night in her dreams, Theia is pulled into his Underworld. It turns out super hot 17 year old Haden Black is actually half demon/half human and indeed is the burning man. And he’s here in the human realm to find his bride in which he will take to the Underworld and pro-create more demon children for his evil Underworld.
The first 50% of this book moved very slowly for me. There were several times I wanted to stop reading it. I didn’t know how much more I could read regarding Theia’s controlling father and the way she never did anything to stand up to him. Also the constant push and pull of emotions/desires between Theia and Haden were causing things to drag a bit. I can’t touch you. I’m bad for you. I can’t stay away from you. I won’t leave you alone. Why are you doing this to? etc …etc..
But I have to say, Theia’s best friends Donny (female) and Amelia kept me going. There was fantastic dialogue between all three characters and some of the best lines in the book came from Donny. They were so funny and offered a good dose of humor just when it was needed and they kept me prodding along.
Then about 50% through things started to pick up and around the 75% mark things started to get real interesting. I really don’t want to give away any spoilers but when Haden’s mother enters the picture and we start to learn a little more about the Underwold the pace of the book and excitement of the story definitely picked up. About this time Theia starts coming into her own and starts to stand up for herself. In addition, the secondary characters really start to blossom and I believe we start to see future relationships building that I find very interesting!
And then the ending! OMG the ending. It definitely redeemed the first half of the book.
Did I love this book? No. Did I hate it? No. Will I read book 2? Absolutely. If you like YA paranormal, you’ll probably really like this. I would just recommend you try to set all comparisons aside and maybe you’ll enjoy the first half of the book more than I did.
He grinned and his eyes lit with mischief. He was dressed in his Regency-era finery again, though I noticed that today his fingernails were painted black.
My very own goth Mr. Darcy. Jane Austen would be so proud.
Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
March 1st 2011 by New American Library
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
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