Grade: 3.7 stars out of 5
The night Theia Alderson dreams of a burning man falling from the sky her life changes. But was it really a dream? Theia begins to fall slowly and slowly. Seductive and dangerous, Falling Under will make readers want to stay down for the entire ride.Falling Under is tale of Romeo and Juliet type lovers. There is an undeniable sizzle between the two, but both understand that they should not be together. Yet Theia and hot bad boy Haden Black cannot stay away from each other. In an alternating perspective, readers will grapple if Theia and Haden are destined to be together or destined to be forever apart. The question of time blurs between their two worlds; between normalcy and Under, a realm where your essence slowly disappears.
Haden initially is that typical jerk-face who flirts with other girls while stringing Theia along, but only doing it for Theia’s “sake”. (Which will really turn some readers off.) But! because there is always a but, Haden’s attitude does have positive effects on Theia. Theia is that soft spoken, shy little girl, but later turns into a stand-in-your-face girl claiming her spot besides Haden. That made me smile because a strong heroine who can decide her own actions without being bullied or prodded like a cattle is always great for a novel. Her decisions while rash at times speak volumes for the intense relationship between her and Haden.
Their relationship is neither white nor black for they both bring negative and positive parts. Haden is secretive about everything and Theia is naïve (as her father wants to keep Theia away from boys). Their relationship slowly shifts as they reach a balance of power—one leans on the other for support.
Gwen Hayes does not leave secondary characters in the shadow even with the intense relationship between Theia and Haden, but flushes them out. I wouldn’t mind reading companion books about any of the characters because they were sooooo interesting. We have a cross-dressing psychic, a preppy “goth” Asian who has some serious powers, a sassy friend, and a really nice (really really nice) jock. The characters were the supporting beams of the novel that kept the story bright and fluffy. However, they are still secondary characters because they don’t battle for the spotlight. They only emphasize what Hayes can do.
The world of Under reminds me of a twisted Wonderland: Fantastical yet deadly. One must barter to live and it questions if the life of Under is really “living”. There is potential for Under and its inhabitants that I look forward to uncovering.
Which brings me to the next point: THE SEQUEL. When I first finished Falling Under I had many and many questions wanting to burst out of me. Originally I had thought Falling Under was a standalone novel and prepared myself for a rant. The sequel will be out in 2012, no confirmed date nor title, but I will be counting down. I need to continue the story of Haden and Theia and everybody else.
fits so well with the book and still looking great!
Source: unsolicited review copy from NAL
Published: 2011, March 1