Sunday, 3 January 2016

Review: Unforgiven by Lauren Kate

Unforgiven by Lauren Kate (review copy) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.

High school can be hell.

Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes.

Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails . . . there’s a special place in Hell just for him.

From Goodreads.

I was really disappointed by how Daniel and Luce's story ended in Rapture by Lauren Kate, so when I first heard about Unforgiven, Cam's own story, I wasn't convinced it was a book I should be picking up. But after reading a sample chapter on USA Today, I was persuaded otherwise. However, now I've finished, I know I should have stuck with my gut reaction.

Inspired by Daniel and Luce's love, Cam thinks back over the love he lost, Lilith. He wonders what happened to her, and when he discovers she belongs to Lucifer, and is doomed to live life after life in various personal Hells created especially for her, Cam is determined to save her. Lilith lives in a small town where the forest around them is prone to forest fires - they never stop. She lives in poverty with her overworked mother and a brother who's severe asthma, not helped by the constant fall of ash from the forest fires, has him out of school more often than not. Lilith is bullied at school and has no friends. Her only solace is music; she has an incredible voice, and major talent in song-writing and playing the guitar, but she is overwhelmed with self-doubt. Cam strikes up a deal with Lucifer; he must get Lilith to fall in love with him in fifteen days - by the battle of the bands themed prom - despite her loathing for him, that to her seems to come from nowhere. If she falls in love with him, Lucifer will free her. If she doesn't, Cam must remain at Lucifer's side and do his bidding. Cam only has fifteen days, and Lucifer will do all he can to throw obstacles in Cam's path. Will Lilith see past her anger to fall again for the boy she once loved? Or will Cam's hopes crumble into ash?

Imagine the movie She's All That with angels, demons and the devil thrown in, along with a battle of the bands competition, and you've got Unforgiven. A bet to win the girl by prom; this story has been done, possibly to death, and is so very predictable, I very quickly lost interest in how this story would go, because I already knew. The only thing that really kept me reading was Lilith herself. She was a really interesting character, one who was trying to make it through a hard life the best she could. She was really quite strong and impressive, but when it came to Cam she lost her head a bit, because of her anger. She was quite unreasonable a lot of the time when it came to him, but considering her past, that she knows nothing about, it's understandable.

She was also a little flighty, which got on my nerves a bit; she was absolutely dead set against starting up a band with some talented guys Cam tries to form one with, even if Cam wasn't involved, but within minutes she changes her mind and suddenly she is so pumped about it it's the only thing she can think about - as she says thirty-minutes after deciding to form the band. There were a lot of eye-roll moment for me in this book. And Cam was almost unrecognisable in Unforgiven. That confident, cocky, flirty guy with the dangerous edge is no-where to be seen in Unforgiven. Instead, we have a desperate, love sick guy who is always hurting, but always trying. This isn't the Cam I was expecting. I can deal with Cam being in love; I can deal with him hurting; I can deal with him risking all to save the girl he loves. I cannot deal with a Cam who doesn't resemble the Cam I've come to know at all. It made me so mad! Cam was one of the most exciting characters of the previous books, and the main draw for Unforgiven, but that is not who we see here.

The ending felt very over dramatic to me, and happened much too quickly. It went from being a prom, to huge epicness within the blink of an eye. Ok, it's a version of Hell being controlled by Lucifer, but it just didn't feel right. And then the book just ends, without being properly wrapped up. I have a feeling there will be more books. I think the other angels will get there own stories, and from some hints left, not necessarily their own love stories. But I don't think we'll be seeing more from Cam and Lilith as main characters, it feels like a stand alone novel, so to not have their story wrapped up properly just felt really unfinished.

Unforgiven was a huge disappointment from start to finish. I can only see myself reading a future book in this series if hints left about Roland seem to come to light. Otherwise, I'm done.

Thank you to Corgi Children's Books for the review copy.

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Published: 12th November 2015
Publisher: Corgi Children's Books
Lauren Kate's website

My other reviews from the series:
Fallen (Fallen Book 1)
Torment (Fallen Book 2)
Passion (Fallen Book 3)
Fallen in Love (Fallen Companion Novel - Book 3.5)
Rapture (Fallen Book 4)

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