The story is rather straightforward in that it centers on a girl who lives under the close scrutiny of her overprotective father. In the years since moving to America from London Theia has had to live vicariously through her two best friends. Theia’s father has denied her what all teenage girls dream of experiencing as they get older, such as going to parties and dating boys. When she meets bad boy Haden, up becomes down and down becomes up and it takes all of Theia’s strength just to keep her footing while straddling the two worlds. For once there is no one else competing for the protagonist’s affections. Rather it is just a constant battle of wills between Theia and the strange boy that has suddenly become the center of her universe.
The portion of the story that I did not enjoy had to do with the melodrama between the two main characters. Haden makes every effort to seduce Theia, but refuses to allow them to touch, claiming that horrible things will happen should they ever have physical contact. Theia in return makes it her mission to touch him at every opportunity, as well as discover his true motives for being in her world instead of the dream world where he so obviously belongs. Imagine my disappointment when they to do finally touch and their heads don’t explode and the world doesn’t collapse in upon itself! Honestly, the whole scene was rather anticlimactic.
Falling Under is at its strongest when Theia is in Under. The creatures that live in this strange world are both disturbing and fascinating. The world itself is described in delicious detail allowing the imagination to run wild with the possibilities. Also, most of the suspense and intrigue came about when Theia was in Under, making these portions of the book far more interesting than when she is wallowing at home or at school. Another high point was seeing how the relationship between Theia and her father changed as the two steadily began to be more honest with one another. In the beginning Theia’s father is very one dimensional seeing as how we are lead to believe that he is an evil tyrant. However, as Theia and her father slowly open up to one another, the readers learn the circumstances behind Theia’s mother’s death and why it is so difficult for Theia’s father to talk about his late wife or show his only daughter affection. As a debut novel Falling Under succeeded in that it had an interesting premise and imaginative world building, but the rest of the story fell short of my expectations and left me feeling disappointed.
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
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