My last (no really, I swear!) concern with the Fallen series by Lauren Kate has to do with the development of the love between Daniel and Luce. Despite their long history together and their mutual heavenly origins, their relationship never seems to be based on anything more than a nebulous “feeling.” Even after they become something of a couple at the end of book 1, the second book is just one long struggle to communicate. Luce claims she’s devoted to Daniel, yet she doesn’t listen to what he tells her to do. They argue constantly and she allows herself to kiss someone else. There’s a lot of emotion between them, but no real trust. And I have issues with relationships that go in circles. Rather than ask the questions that are on her mind, Luce mostly just whines and complains about being in the dark (though, this may be more of an issue with her personality). Then it takes Luce time-traveling for all of book 3 before she realizes she really does love Daniel, and he loves her. And while I thoroughly enjoyed the time-traveling part, I resented the implication that the key to fixing their relationship lay in the past, instead of building and fixing the relationship they had in the present ><. Even when all of their past lives are revealed, we never really get a good explanation for why Daniel and Luce love each other so much; all we ever see is that he happened to be a shoulder to cry on when Lucifer was breaking her heart. There’s a line in book 2 that pretty much sums up their love story: “What he had with Luce was unshakable. There was never any need even to work on trust. Their love just was.”
And that, right there, is what I hate about many of the modern romance novels on the market today. True love is not like that. It is not merely a “feeling,” it is choice that you must make over and over again, every day, and work to make it real. This concept that love can just appear out of nowhere is destructive. If you’re young and inexperienced in love, it gives you false hope for something that doesn’t exist. If you’re older and wiser, it pisses you off: either because you’re single and it makes you feel worthless because you can’t find “the one,” or because you’re married and these stories describe as effortless what you’ve had to work hard to maintain. No matter how you slice it, it’s not fair.
Not only was their love described as automatic, but “Theirs was a love that made it inconceivable to choose Lucifer or the Throne” (book 4). That sounds lovely, but what it really does is idolize romantic love, and as a Christian, I struggle with that. Maybe some people can enjoy a vicarious, magical romance. Me, with my overactive imagination, I’m experiencing the story alongside the characters as I go, and having to step back into reality from something so perfectly fictitious once the book ends is highly disappointing. As much as I like the magical escape of a fictional world, I guess I need just enough truth and reality mixed in for me to really enjoy it! And that’s what I’ll be putting in my own books ;-).
So, I guess you could say I learned just as much about my personal preferences as I did about the books themselves XD. Hopefully this series of posts hasn’t utterly poisoned against these books if you’re inclined to read them; as I mentioned in the first post, they are very well-written and engaging… but as I’ve discovered over the other three posts, they aren’t really for me ><.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.