Sunday, July 24, 2011

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Book:  Falling Under
Author:  Gwen Hayes
Publisher:  Penguin Group
Year:  2011
Reason I read it:  I had to read 5-6 Greek mythology re-tellings for my booktalk.  This is a re-telling of the Persephone myth. (Yes, I have read 3 of those!)
My grade:  C

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul. 

My Review

A better title for this book would have been “Falling Under Twilight”.  There were so many scenes that felt pulled right out of “Twilight”. It was so bad in some parts that the author even referenced it in one of the scenes.  Haden is telling Theia that he is dangerous and has tried to stay away from her, isn’t good for her, etc and she responds with “Please tell me that you’re not about to say you’re a vampire and you sparkle….” Or something along those lines.


Now, it is no secret that I hold a devotion to Twilight that rivals the devotion I have for my own children.  But I like Twilight in Twilight, ya know?  I don’t want to read it in another published book.  If you’re going to copy Twilight in your writing, there’s a website for that.  It’s called

I almost put this book to the side after that.  Why didn’t I?  Well, I do like Twilight, so it’s not like I was opposed to that sort of story, but honestly, I just kept going because I’m under a tight deadline for finishing these books.

I’m glad that I kept going.  Why?  Because after a certain point, the book was nothing like Twilight.  In fact, as I kept reading, the book started to become a little creepy and scary.

In the end, I found that I had consumed a martini of a book, shaken, not stirred, that was a combination of Twilight and, oddly enough, Coraline with just a dash of Nancy Holder’s Wicked series thrown in. 

Now, do I think that the author meant for those other things to be in there?  Probably not.  Do I think that this author read Twilight?  Most definitely.

I am curious about the next book in the series now, though.  The book veered away from Twilight enough that I can read the next one in the series.  That is what saved the grade on this book.  Otherwise, I would have been forced to give an automatic F because that’s what you get when you copy other people’s ideas.  ,

In the end, I'm giving this one a C.  I liked the story, but the first half of the book felt almost plagiarized to me.  So I had to take points off for that.  If this were one of my students, that grade would also come with a stern warning about citing your sources!

Note to YA authors:  please steer clear of story lines that mimic Twilight so closely.  Too many people have read it and they will call you on it.

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