Freebie Spotlight is a feature highlighting eBooks (either Amazon Kindle or B&N Nook) that are available to download (for free) right now.
PJV Quickie: Today’s Freebie Spotlight is The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen. I chose it because the synopsis sounded really interesting with creepy monsters and a strange attraction to the new guy at school. Between the similarities to a certain popular paranormal book and the often irritating main character, it was clear early on that I probably wasn’t going to be a huge fan of this novel.[frame align=”left”][/frame]
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Series: Fallen Star, #1
Type: Young Adult Paranormal
Published: April 11, 2011 by Jessica Sorensen
Source: Amazon Kindle freebie
For eighteen year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. Up until recently, she has been incapable of feeling emotion. And when she’s around Alex, the gorgeous new guy at school, she can feel electricity that makes her skin buzz. Not to mention the monsters that haunt her nightmares have crossed over into real-life. But with Alex seeming to hate her and secrets popping up everywhere, Gemma’s life is turning into a chaotic mess. Things that shouldn’t be real suddenly seem to exist. And as her world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past becomes a matter of life and death. (synopsis from GoodReads)
After reading the first couple pages, I thought I might actually enjoy this book. It seemed well written and interesting; unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same way past Chapter 2. When the main character, Gemma, first meets Alex, he glares at her and acts like she has the plague. Sound familiar? Ok, what about about if I told you the main character is klutzy and entirely incapable of showing emotion in the beginning. Ringing any bells? Alright, so maybe that last part relates more to the movies than the books, but there are obviously some similarities to Twilight in The Fallen Star. Also, I’m pretty sure Gemma has hearing problems. There are so many instances where she says, “Huh?” or “Wha?”, or even repeats what the person talking to her just said. This is the heroine of the novel? I think the people in this fictional world are doomed.
To be fair, Gemma isn’t the only character that repeats things. I noticed several of the secondary characters doing it as well. At first I seriously wondered if it was filler to make the book longer. I don’t think the author did it intentionally though; it just happened to be a recurring thing that drove me insane. It made some of the paragraphs feel like they were going in circles and the dialogue wasn’t going anywhere.
Some of the descriptions of the characters actions made me literally laugh out loud. Here’s one straight from the book:
“…watching him unwind the string like a cat.” (pg. 157 of eBook)
I don’t know about you, but when I read that all I could picture was Alex on the floor, batting around a spool of thread. I couldn’t stop laughing and after that it was hard to concentrate without that image popping back up. Maybe I’m being petty, but this was supposed to be sort of a serious conversation, with Alex finally answering some of her burning questions. It definitely took me out of the moment.
Speaking of Alex, sometimes I liked him and other times I didn’t. He was crappy to Gemma pretty often, which confused me because that was counterproductive to his mission. He also acted like a huge baby when Gemma gave attention to anyone else. For example, when Laylen is introduced (who just so happens to be a vampire, yeah, kinda random), Alex gets all moody and pissy every time Gemma talks to him. Dude, get a grip. I know you guys have some sort of special connection, but since you are ready to rip each others’ heads off every other page and you haven’t known her that long, I don’t understand what the big deal is. If I was Alex I would say, “She’s all yours. She’s a little slow to catch on, so you might have to speak slowly and snap your fingers in her face every once in a while to get her attention.”
Remember when I mentioned that Laylen is a vampire? Here’s my thoughts: the plot could have done without it. There are also witches, which seemed a little random as well. Do they have to be witches to have special powers? I remember thinking at the time, it’s like the SNL cowbell sketch, but in this case it’s more like, “It needs more paranormal characters.” The plot was strong enough without it, in my opinion. Sidenote: I just have to share this little bit of awful foreshadowing. It happens when Alex and Gemma are talking, before she even meets Laylen. She thinks to herself:
“All saving the world from evil and demons and vampires. Yeah, I know, he hadn’t actually mentioned vampires but…God what if there were actual vampires?” (pg. 161 of eBook)
Gee, I wonder if there will be vampires later on in this book? Cue Laylen!
Which brings me to the main plot. This I actually liked. I thought it was an interesting premise, and one I hadn’t read before so it got brownie points from me there. Unfortunately the twists were pretty predictable. The only one who didn’t know what the heck was going on was Gemma, even when the pieces were right in front of her and all she had to do was put two and two together. I suspect when she puts two and two together she gets five.
Because of the irritating main character and what I feel is unnecessary, excess dialogue, I declare that I was “duped” by The Fallen Star. This basically means if I had paid for this book, I would have been extremely disappointed. I could definitely see some people enjoying it though. It reminded me of some other books I didn’t care for at all, but other people loved, such as Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini and The Selection by Kiera Cass. Luckily for you all it’s free on Amazon right now, so if it sounds like something you might enjoy, you’ve got nothing to lose by checking it out!