Take three of this book! I know it's been reviewed twice already on our lovely site here, but I do need to put my two cents in as well.
In case you didn't catch it the last two times, but this story is about Luce (Lucinda) Price. Being the new girl isn't easy, even if you are going to Sword and Cross reform school. A piece of her past sent her to this school. Where cell phones are banned and so is keeping a pair of scissors. The teachers always seem to have missed their morning coffee and the cameras watch your every move.
But as soon as she sees Daniel Grigori, she has a gut feeling she knows him from somewhere, but he won't give her the time of day. There's something strange about him. Something strange that seems connected to the shadows she can see around her.
The only guy who seems to acknowledge her existence is Cam, the school's popular guy. She doesn't like Cam, but she likes him enough to keep her attention. Still, things are eerie around both Cam and Daniel.
The one thing I did not like at all about this book was how slow it moved. It was incredibly dragging itself and nothing was really happening. All I kept reading was how Luce liked Cam, then liked Daniel, then liked Cam, then liked Daniel. It picked up about half way through but still, that, for me is way too long to grab my attention and keep it there. We're reminded of the situation that got Luce to Sword and Cross...in my opinion, way too much. The descriptions seemed to be the same (as in the same wording, no more intense or less intense wording) when shadows would appear and scare Luce.
There really was no feeling of emotion put into this book. It was too bland for me. When the story finally took off, I enjoyed the plot. I enjoy the concept of fallen angels, but really, I think Lauren Kate could have bumped up something more mysterious about Cam or about Daniel earlier on instead of Luce pining after both of them and being all whiny about it.
Luce is not my favorite character at all. I hate whiny characters. I really wish that Luce wasn't a bland character. I did not "feel" her character like I do when I read Bella from Twilight or the characters from Shiver and Linger. There was no vibe there for me. Luce seems like she could be a really good character with some power in her own story, but I don't think the author gave her that chance to tell the story. That's one thing I keep reading (as an aspiring author) that you need to listen to your characters and then everything will come to light and your story will be more relatable to your readers. Nothing relatable happened to me with Luce. I didn't feel her pain, I didn't feel her love for Daniel as strongly as Bella's love for Edward or for Jacob is. I saw her pain, I saw her love. I wish I could've felt it. That I could've been in her shoes.
However, I pushed myself into finishing the book. I finally got to a point where something revealed itself, but it ended up being the ending of the book! Okay, so now we definitely have a defined villain and a defined hero/heroine. We now have a story! Why couldn't she have put in more closer to the beginning of the book? Luce has dreams about Daniel. Dreams that would tell her a lot about him, but if she is so connected to him, then why not show her past lives with him in a dream? Why not have her discover things about certain characters like Arriane or Gabbe? Not until the end do we see such things and begin the real story. I think the whole beginning was just background and description. But with the dodgy girls at school (Gabbe being one of them), but then becoming good friends with Luce, that didn't make sense at all. Bringing Penn into the picture seemed to be the only normal thing that happened in the story, but she seemed to be a character that was brought in at the last and wasn't meant to be in the story at all.
With pushing myself to the end, I made it through and I may possibly pick up the next one to hopefully see it not move so slowly. I hope that Luce is more developed as a character in the sequel and that Daniel isn't so elusive.
I will tell you my favorite character was Arriane. She had this tone about her that really actually made her the most developed character in the book. When I turned the page, I always died when I couldn't read a conversation between her and Luce. I really like Arriane as a character and hope that Lauren Kate continues with her in the next book.
There is my two cents and I tried to be as nice and as thorough as possible. So, I guess I can't say I didn't like this book, but I also can say that I didn't like it. I'm in the middle on this and we'll see if the sequel can change my mind on that in the future.