Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bookanistas Book Review: Falling Under


I was lucky enough to get to read Gwen Hayes's marvelous YA Paranormal Romance Falling Under last year, and I loved it so much that I bought so I could read all over again now that it's out.

Here's what the back of the book says:

FALLING_UNDER_GwenHayes-2011-03-1-13-19.jpg
Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life, but when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in her small California town of Serendipity Falls, she feels every urge she’s ever denied burning through her at the slightest glance from Haden Black. Theia knows she’s seen Haden before—not around town, but in her dreams.




Theia doesn’t understand how, but every night has them joined in a haunting world of eerie fantasy. The only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards Hayden is stronger than her fear. And as she slowly discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul. 

Here's what I said:

“FALLING UNDER is absolutely irresistible. A lush, dark fairy tale full of magic, intrigue, and love. Genuinely scary and swooningly romantic in all the best ways, once I fell into this book, I couldn't stop reading. Theia and Haden's story utterly enthralled me, and I can't wait to read more about Serendipity Falls.” –Rosemary Clement-Moore, author of THE SPLENDOR FALLS

Said it and meant it. I read this on the treadmill, and if you knew how much I hate to exercise, you would know what a big deal it is that I actually looked forward to going to the gym so I could get back to the story.

Falling Under is unapologetically romantic and surprisingly sensual. The fantasy elements are well developed and unique. There's a definite macabre aesthetic to "Under"--that's the 'otherworld' in this otherworldly fantasy--and when Gwen said that Tim Burton was one of her influences, I can definitely see that.

The writing is so very very good, and the characterization is fantastic. Theia is a strong heroine with a strong voice. I love that she has friends--good friends, and a real, complicated relationship with her father. Haden is a brooding sort, who will draw inevitable comparisons to a certain sparkly vampire. But I think he goes back to the source--there's a lot of Heathcliff, with a healthy does of Lord Byron to give him enough dash and wit to keep him from getting oppressive.

Gosh, this was a really good read. It takes the "girl meets otherworldly boy" story and tells it really, exceptionally well, taking it in surprising directions. There's nothing cookie cutter about this, and I am very much looking forward to the sequel.

What else are the Bookanistas reading this week? Check it out:

Elana Johnson shines a light on Clarity
LiLa Roecker raves over The Rendering
Shannon Messenger loves 13 Reasons Why - with a signed book giveaway!
Shelli Johannes Wells joins The Liar Society
Scott Tracey is amazed by The Iron Thorn
Kirsten Hubbard raves over these March releases
Michelle Hodkin introduces some marvelous March books
Myra McEntire invites The Liar Society authors Lisa & Laura Roecker into the fort
Beth Revis is mad for Matched
Carolina Valdez Miller delights in Delirium
Jessica Kirby adores Across the Universe
Megan Miranda peers into Sean Griswold's Head
Bethany Wiggins marvels at Matched
Shana Silver is a super stop on The Liar Society blog tour
Gretchen McNeil celebrates The Liar Society
Carrie Harris buzzes about Blessed
Katie Anderson shows cover love for Possess       
Matt Blackstone is ecstatic over Edges
Stasia Ward Kehoe is wild for What Happened to Goodbye

9 comments:

  1. awesome review! the cover is mindblowingly pretty. i got this one, like, just three days ago. can't wait to read it!

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  2. Aleeza-- The cover IS one of the most beautiful I've seen on a YA book. So gorgeous. Suits the book really well.

    I hope you enjoy it. Tell me what you think. It's very romantic, so people who don't like the mushy stuff might not love this book, but I do.

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  3. This sounds fantastic!!! And the cover--sigh.

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  4. I think I have a new tagline:

    Gwen Hayes...unapologetically romantic.

    Thanks for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

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  5. Love love love. Thank you for your review. I'm not sure I would've picked this up otherwise as I haven't seen a lot on it. Looking forward to reading it. Sounds dark and romantic and beautiful. Definitely up my alley.

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  6. Bethany--I know, right?

    Gwen-- You know, I mean that in the best possible way. You commit fully to the romance, and as a result, it's deeply satisfying, and I fully believe what Theia is willing to do for love.

    Carolina-- It's definitely all those things. This book hit all the right buttons with me. Hope you like it, too.

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  7. I love it, Rosemary. I love romance and love and kissing books. lol.

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  8. Any fan of Tim Burton is a friend of mine :) Great cover. Thanks for the review!

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  9. Romantic with Tim Burton influences and possibly based on Greek Mythology (assuming Haden is Hades)? Wow, this is totally up my alley! I'm very intrigued.

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