Falling Under – Gwen Hayes


“Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life, but when a devastatingly handsome boy appears at her school, she feels every urge she’s ever denied burning through her at his slightest glance.

Theia does not understand why she dreamed of Haden Black before they met, but as the Haden of both the day and the night beckons her forward, Theia knows she cannot resist him – even when she discovers what he truly is; and even if the cost of that knowledge is her soul.”

It’s not every day you see a burning man fall out of the sky.

When Theia Alderson witnesses that exact sight she almost convinces herself it was all a dream….or more like a nightmare, because there’s a huge scorch mark on her lawn the next morning from where he landed.

From that moment there’s a shift in the air, announcing something strange and wrong is starting to take place at Serendipity Falls. When Theia dreams that night of a beautiful boy at a party accompanied by skeletons, serenaded by faceless musicians, she couldn’t have been more shocked to find that same boy, Haden, at her school the next day.

But what does he want with Theia? What is it about him that makes Theia want to be with him so badly. She knows it’s dangerous, but she can’t help herself…

Falling Under is a novel that in the end I had a love/hate relationship with.

There was a lot in it that I found very interesting. The world of Under – where Theia would meet Haden in her dreams, was completely fascinating in a dark twisted kind of way and excellently creepy. It made me think of Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton style but even darker.

I also really loved the concept of the demons and the travelling between worlds (which was done so well), and was very relieved that there wasn’t a love triangle in sight (phew).

The writing was easy to read and drew me in to the story, meaning that even when I put it down I was still thinking about it, itching to get back, wanting to know what would happen next.

What disappointed me were the two main characters.

I just wasn’t sold on their “love” for each other – their attraction was based on…I don’t know? Haden was spying/stalking Theia for a while before travelling to her world to find her, and Theia likes Haden based on the rush of emotions she feels when she sees him. This is despite his hot/cold emotions or that he’s kind of ass to her for a lot of the book in an attempt to push her away.

It also felt a bit too Twilight for me. From Haden calling Theia ‘lamb’, to the need to hold back on affection, the (I’m paraphrasing here) ‘you should stay away from me if you were smart’ and ‘I’m a bad guy but I can’t stay away from you’, among other things. Heck, at one point even Theia acknowledges the conversation is heading in a Twilight direction, with even a bit of New Moon seen later on in the book.

Although, let me tell you their kissing scenes were excellent. You’ll probably need to stop and fan yourself for a minute because their sexual tension practically sizzles on the page.

Theia, we’re often told, is level headed and rational thanks to her strict upbringing from her cold father, but all we see is Theia making totally irrational choices when it comes to Haden. Other than dating a guy who came to this world to do her harm (which she doesn’t seem to factor in), she basically knows nothing about him since he’s perpetually being cryptic and mysterious, at least when he’s not busy being jealous or an ass. Yet in a short space of time she’s in love and willing to lay down her soul for him. Why?? Other than give you attention and a fuzzy feeling in your gut, what’s this guy actually done for you lately Theia? She should’ve shown Haden the door and gone for someone like Gabe.

Anyway, enough with the negativity, as the storyline throws in an interesting twist at the end it really gets things going and we’re left with quite a cliffhanger. Even though Mara is the bad guy in the story, she’s a total badass and I was quite interested by how her mind worked and what her next move will be.

Falling Under is a dark and twisted love story and if you’re a hopeless romantic, you’ll probably love it. If you’re a bit pickier with your love affairs, this might not be to your liking. Only one way to find out…

Pages: 324
Publication Date: March 2011
Publisher: Penguin
Challenge: Debut Author
Rating: [rating:3]

Teaser Quote: “And then, slowly, like a feather caught on a light breeze, he willowed past my window, turning his grotesque head towards me, his mouth open in a silent scream. He was more than on fire. He was fire.”

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