Falling Under - Gwen Hayes
Theia Alderson has had a sheltered life, being raised by a single father. However, things change when Theia begins to have nightly visits from a mysterious, handsome boy-in her dreams! Things become even stranger when the boy, Haden Black, shows up in Theia’s waking life at school. Who is Haden really, and what does he want with Theia?

Falling Under admittedly has an interesting premise for a supernatural romance, and Haden’s true nature is somewhat unique. Unfortunately, the book is too much of a chore to read to recommend. The dream scenes, in which Theia attends ghoulish dances in a hedge maze, are certainly creepy, but are too brief to make any real impact on the reader.

The dream sequences are also too few compared to the long, vapid conversations at school that make up most of Theia’s waking life. Theia and her friends talk entirely of boys and sex to the point of obsessiveness, and don’t come off remotely like real teenagers. The protagonist herself becomes preoccupied with Haden, and seems to spend almost all her waking hours thinking of nothing else.

Of course, Theia is “mysteriously drawn” to Haden, yet it is hard for the reader to see his appeal. If anything, Haden comes off simply creepy and aloof, especially during the dreams where he refers to Theia as a “little lamb.” Yet Theia remains in love with him even after learning his true purposes, to the point where she even braves an underworld for him!

Later parts of the novel do pick up, but at that point it’s hard to care about either the characters or the story. The author also inserts some sections from Haden’s point of view, a unique perspective rarely seen in these types of novels; however these are often abruptly and awkwardly placed in the story. While Falling Under have a good overall conceit, the execution simply fails.

A review copy was provided through the goodreads.com First Reads program.