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REVIEW: 3,5 stars to Torment/Kwelling (Lauren Kate)

7740152As I usually do when I’m in a bit of a reading slump, I picked up a book from a series that I don’t particularly enjoy (call me a glutton for reading slump punishment) to get me out of it. Don’t ask me why that makes sense to me – it just does.

The chosen one this time around was Torment, the second book in the much hyped Fallen-series by Lauren Kate. I ha-ha-hated the first book. I hated the setting of Sword & Cross, I hated the characters and most of the storyline. So I was pretty sure the title of the second part of Luce and Daniël’s story would be a self-fulfilling prophecy kind of thing.

Then I started reading and well, colour me surprised! I actually really enjoyed Torment (there’s a sentence that could be interpreted way way wrong).
We are catapulted into a new environment that’s a lot more hospitable and glamorous. Bye bye bleak grayness of Sword and Cross, hellooooo Californian sunshine!

Even though I thought it was kind of lazy of Lauren Kate to use the ‘new girl at a new school’-routine twice in one series, I was very happy with the change of scenery. There were some great new secondary characters introduced to us, my favorite of which were Francesca and Steven, who I imagine as Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and sorta like Robert Carlyle (Rumpelstilskin from Once Upon a Time). I really liked Miles and would have probably found Shelby more entertaining had I read her quips in English instead of the translated Dutch. Regardless: a real improvement, setting-wise.

stevenfracesca

The character development in Luce was kind of amazing too. I remember being really annoyed with her in Fallen, but in Torment, she was rather relatable. Okay, she still did some pretty stupid shit here and there (DID WE NOT TELL YOU TO NOT LEAVE SCHOOL GROUNDS, LUCE???) but I liked how she questioned the whole “true love” affair.
Another thing I liked was how she didn’t forget about Penn. A lot of times in YA’s like this, the MC has so much going on that there’s no time or room for grieving – or even just a passing thought about their lost friend, most of the time. Luce is obviously stills scarred from her friend’s death and her rol in it, making her a more real and in-depth character.

The Outcasts (literal translation of the Dutch translation back into English, so I hope that’s how they’re called in the original book) were very interesting to me and I’m curious about their role in the greater whole of things. We get some new and much needed insight into Luce’s past lives, which I enjoyed, and learn more about the Shadows (no idea what they’re called in English – sorry, you know what I mean though). The idea of how Luce interacted with the Shadows was kind of strange to me and suggests that Lauren Kate played with Play-Doh a lot when she was a kid or something, but I got used to it I guess.

I also liked how the chapters counted down and of course, the cover is once again gorgeous.

Towards the end, when the old Sword and Cross-characters start to pop up again, I was kind of bummed. Did Arriane, Roland, Gaby and Molly rrrrreally have to come back? I liked the new crew a lot better.

But all in all, I enjoyed reading this second part of the Fallen-series and I’m giving Torment 3,5 stars – not 5 because I will never really love these characters and not 4 yet because I think there’s still room for improvement and plenty of books still to read in the series for this improvement to happen in. Overall, a very pleasant surprise that helped me out of my reading slump – yay!

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