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This Kind of Torment Is Definitely Worse Than Tickle Torture

In Lauren Kate's Torment, the Fallen series continues with a change of scenery at a boarding school for angelic descendants. 

This Kind of Torment Is Definitely Worse Than Tickle Torture

BOOK REPORT for Torment (Fallen Book 2) by Lauren Kate

Cover Story: Torment
BFF Charm: Not Yet
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Talky Talk: Straight Up
Bonus Factors: Nephilim Boarding School, Time Travel
Relationship Status: That Book That Works At the Coffee Shop... Yeah, We're Kind of Dating Now

Cover Story: Torment

I'm just... so ... distraught... I have to... grab... fistfulls... of hair...

At no point in this book does Luce wear a dress like that, either. This book takes place in the present, and the cover makes it look like a gothic corset drama.

The Deal:

If you haven't read the first book in the series, Fallen, be warned! Here there be spoilers!

Luce has just survived the big showdown between the angels and demons at Sword & Cross, and has been secreted away by Daniel. Her new location: Shoreline, a school that houses Nephilim (peeps with an angel somewhere in their lineage) along with its more traditional students. Daniel drops her off and high-tails it outta there, because he has an 18-day truce with Cam and the demons. And that's 18 days for them to fight the Outcasts, who are after Luce for their own nefarious purposes.

Of course, Daniel doesn't tell Luce anything, just like always, so she spends half her time mooning over the loss she feels when she's not with him, and the other half being angry with him for being so cryptic, and then another half again just trying to figure shizz out. All while being hunted and learning the ways of the Nephilim.

BFF Charm: Not Yet

Oh, Luce. I think you're pretty awesome, really I do. But being your BFF is a hazardous occupation, what with you being hunted down by crazy ex-heavenly creatures and all. So I want you to grow up some more before I hand over my shiny charm and the obligations that come with it. There's so many times that I just wan to sit you down and talk to you about thinking rationally, and acting rationally, and speaking rationally, because I do think you could get some more information out of people if you just knew how to communicate.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

So there's something irresistible about forbidden love, and what's more forbidden than meeting the love of your life over and over again, only to be consumed by fire (literally) once you find each other. Lauren Kate navigates Luce and Daniel's love-that-has-lasted-a-millenia deftly, somehow managing to keep it feeling fresh and swoony. But in this book, Luce begins to question just why they love each other so much. Is their love so wrapped up in the curse that it's lost its meaning? It's a good question.

Cam takes a real back seat in this second installment, but the introduction of Miles, as one of the Nephilim students, is a nice way to keep Luce asking the 'what ifs'.

Talky Talk: Straight Up

I really like Lauren Kate's writing style. Her books are filled to the brim with mystery and romance and adventure, as well as a large number of awesome, distinct characters who develop as her books expand. In fact, I like her writing so much that I'm going to get really nitpicky and air my complaints. Of which there are two:

1.  Sometimes, I think Luce is not the sharpest tool in the shed. While I appreciate the fact that she questions Daniel's bossing her around, we find in this story a common issue in the supernatural romance genre. While Daniel is concerned about keeping Luce alive, he can't or won't explain things in a way she can understand. Instead of 'do this' or 'don't do this', why not lay a little more reasoning on the line? Because while Luce wants her independence, she continues to make some pretty dumb choices that could cost her her life (or it could cost someone she cares about their life). So while I'm glad she doesn't just follow Daniel's orders, I want her to smarten up a bit.

2.  Wings are sexy? I'm sorry, but wings are weird. Have you ever seen the bone that is the framework for the feathers? Recently a bird laid a nest in our laundry room, and we got to watch the baby birds develop (from a safe distance with no touching, obvs). And those wings? Before the feathers come in? Creepy as shit. And feathers are weird. So the fact that Luce is always so in awe of the wings of her angel friends, and that she thinks Daniel's are sexy is the one swoony part of the story I couldn't get behind. If I ever date an angel, I will tell them to kindly keep those things under wraps. Unless we needed to fly somewhere. To escape. Then I'd just close my eyes.

Bonus Factor: Nephilim Boarding School

I'm 2 for 2 in reading books about boarding schools! This one is on the California coast! And they have special classes for the Nephilim kids! Like using Shadows (or Announcers -- some sort of mist-like being) to glimpse the past! And fencing! I've always kind of wanted to know how to fence, but the abundance of SCA kids always kept me away.

Bonus Factor: Time Travel

Why just glimpse the past, when you can manipulate a Shadow to step through TO the past? I mean, sure, it's super dangerous and you always run the risk of getting stuck in the past, or worse, changing it so that your future self is completely erased from existence and interrupting the space/time continuum, but still! Time travel!

Casting Call:

So when I reviewed the first book in the series, I cast Eva Green as Luce. But that was before I saw Kat Dennings! So, a little change:

Kat Dennings as Luce

I still stand by:

Freddie Stroma as Daniel

Relationship Status: That Book That Works At the Coffee Shop... Yeah, We're Kind of Dating Now

So I tried to keep things in the strictly-flirting-zone with this book, for a lot of reasons. I mean, the place where it works has my favorite coffee, so if we started dating and then inevitably broke up, things could get uncomforatble. I mean, if it suddenly started charging me for those lattes it's been giving me at coffee price? Awkward. But this book invited me to come see its band at the coffee shop's open mic night, and then we started hanging out, and before I knew it, we were in the 'this is a date' zone. So I just decided to go with it. I mean, the book's super cute and really sweet and we're having a good time. Whatever. You only live once, right?

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.
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