Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 6, 2012 | 5 Comments

Review: Falling Under by Gwen HayesFalling Under by Gwen Hayes
Series: Falling Under #1
Published by New American Library (3.1.2011)
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Paperback, 324 pages
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

1 Stars

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 thoughts

Good. Lord. You have no idea how glad I am to finally be done with  this book. So many times I thought about giving up and parting ways, but by some sick and twisted compulsion I had to finish it. I have so many complaints about this book that I kinda don’t even want to do this review.
I hated Theia. With the fire of a thousand suns. I’m talking hate like, if-I-ever-met-you-I’d-stab-you-in-the-eye-with-a-rusty-fork hate. She was a boring person with no personality whatsoever to speak of. A shy and insecure wallflower, a pathetic and spineless martyr. Not to mention she was dense – seriously, who doesn’t know what a succubus is? I guess I should give her a break, she was that way because of her father. He was really strict, not wanting her to live for herself – no dating, no having fun, and he has her clothes picked out for her and regulates the music she listens to. Most kids would have rebelled, but nope, not Theia. She’s happy being the little doormat that she is. And if a hot guy said to me, “It involves muddy logging roads, four-wheel drive, and holding on to the ‘oh, shit’ handle above your door” – I’d be like, HELL YEAH I’M IN!!! Not shaking in my sorry little shoes like a coward. Another thing that really irritated me: she dances with Gabe (who Donny obviously likes even though she vehemently denies it), making poor Donny jealous, then starts thinking of Haden and Donny together and gets jealous. What! *points frantically* Hypocrite!!! We have a hypocrite here!!!!
I did like Theia’s friends. Donny seemed like a bit of a trashy slut at first, but her snarky attitude won me over. Amelia was kind of spineless like Theia, but she grew on me as well when she started gaining a bit more confidence. Varnie was pretty cool, he was an interesting and eccentric character. Even Gabe was okay. But that was about it.
Haden Black. Gotta love the name, but that’s about as far as it goes. His bipolar tendencies pissed me off to no end and I really don’t know what Theia saw in him. Oh yeah, he was hot. Nevermind that he was a complete and totally asshat, he was oh so sexy and of course, that’s all that matters. Sigh. I really didn’t understand Haden at all. He was nice to her, asking her to meet him in the library, then in the same paragraph leaves with sneetch bimbos (sneetch=think they’re better than everybody else…loved that term) and blows her off. Then, he pretty much tells her she’s the most beautiful girl, like, EVER (like OMG), and then turns around and leaves with another bimbo. Again. Uh, anyone else getting a bit of whiplash here? And Theia just lets him do it, pining for him even though he treats her like trash. Guess she’s never heard the expression “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me…”
The “romance” (coughcough*instaluv*coughcough) between Haden and Theia was awful. It was unrealistic and fake and cheesy – good GOD, the cheese. For example:

He’d trapped  me in his sinful gaze designed to weaken my will, to raise the stakes in the battle for my heart. Maybe my soul. He wanted me to know what I was missing even as he made it clear I couldn’t have it. And I was depraved enough to let him.

WTF man, she had just met him!! Slow down there, killer.

Another example, and probably the worst one, he smiles at her – a real, genuine smile – and this is her reaction:

My own heart was my weakest muscle, never exercised, never even flexed. Suddenly, I understood that it still miraculously worked. And it was full. So full it felt like rays of sunshine were bursting through my chest, poking out of me in radiant splendor. Haden spellbound me and life changed to Technicolor. In his smile, I felt the bindings that tethered my spirit rip away.
Is it possible to drown in cheese? Because I think I’m at risk.
So then, when he turns around and walks away from her, emitting a sulfur smell (sulfur? Did he fart?? Never did understand that), she says it feels like her heart has “shriveled into a tiny, dry raisin.” Really. REALLY? Sigh
But wait, there’s more!
He wished he could show her the memory of the very first time he’d laid eyes upon her. A random moment, his window to her world, and yet it had pierced his excuse for a soul as if it were destiny. As if she were his destiny. A thousand times he’d looked through the realms, but one glimpse had forever changed their paths. And now, she reclined on the grass before him, pure and heavenly. Like a treat, a present to open, an offering, while his blood hummed with unspeakable urges. 
I think I just died a little inside.


Well put, Jim.

But WAIT!! There’s MORE!!! (it’s like an infomercial, isn’t it?)
“I know you must have dreamt what that kiss would be like – to kiss a girl who saw you as whole, not just what you showed.”
He shook his head. “No. I never dreamt of kissing a girl – I only ever dreamt of kissing you.”
OH MY GO-*gurglegurglegurglegurglegurglegurgle*  <—Me, drowning in cheese. Whadaya know, guess it is possible.

The whole part of Haden touching other girls to touch Theia creeped me out. He kissed some chick’s  neck and Theia felt it….uhh?? Creeeeeeepyyyyyyy. Then, he’s glaring at her like he wants to burn a hole through her head, and instead of blowing him off or even getting angry back, Theia gets….horny?

My body responded to his anger in a tangle of desire, making me aware of the erogenous zones Donny often spoke of even when I begged her to shut up.


Alright, so here comes what was probably the worst part for me. Boy acts aloof and bipolar (read: like an asshole) to get the girl to stay away from him – for her own safety. He speaks like he’s from another time, he’s 17 but he’s been 17 for a while. He leaves her and she goes all emo and catatonic – no homework, no music, no longer engaged with her friends anymore. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so too. Despite this book poking fun at Twilight, there were a whole lot of similarities.

The whole we-can’t-be-together-because-if-we-do-there-will-be-DOOM!!! thing is getting really, really old. Oh, and the sob story of the boy being so evil and terrible. That is repeated over and over and OVER again in this story. Okay, we get it already. And of course, despite that, Theia still wants him. And gets upset because he tries to push her away (for her own safety!!). Uh, hello, you’re upset because he doesn’t want you to die? SIGH.

There were a lot of times when she would think random stuff about him in random moments, and it was just  so ridiculously misplaced I couldn’t help but laugh. Like, they’re in the middle of a conversation:

Haden held my hand to his lips, and the rhythm of our hearts slowed until the measure could be matched. In that aching moment of clarity, awareness crept across my soul like a shadow. I was in love with a demon, and it would end badly.

I suppose I have to give credit where credit is due, when read the first chapter I was intrigued. It got off to a great start – with the burning man falling through the sky, it was mystifying. Until Haden came along – then it all went downhill. For about 90% of this book there were lots of heavy sighs and eye rolling on my part. That, and I had to stop what seemed like every 3 pages to write down something else that irritated me. 

Plot: 1/5
Wasn’t much of one to speak of.
Writing style: 1/5
Seemed forced. And she used the word ‘peril’ not once, but twice. Facepalm.
Characters: 2/5
Both those stars are for Donny, Amelia, Gabe, and Varnie. Theia and Haden get a big fat ZERO.
World-building: 1/5
A better description of Under would have been nice.
Pace: 2/5
Cover: 4/5
Her face kind of bothers me, but the cover is beautiful.
Overall rating: 1 starfish
Not for me.
Jessi (Geo)

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5 responses to “Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

  1. This made me laugh so much :P Honestly, this whole entire book sounds so melodramatic. Aaaand oh yes, yup, I’m tired of the whole instaluv thing too.
    I loved this review.

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