Torment by Lauren Kate

Torment (Fallen)Hell on earth.

That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.
It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.
What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?
The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

For starters, I'd like to comment on the cover. Like Fallen, I think it's just gorgeous, and I really want to know the name of the artist (anyone know?). It takes skill and talent to create such wondrous images, and they manage to capture the theme and mood of the books perfectly.

I quite liked Fallen, which was Torment's predecessor. So it was with high anticipation and, yes, slight dread that I approached this book. Why dread? Well, too many times I have loved a first book in a series, then been let down by subsequent books. It's that feeling you get when you worry that something will just never be as good as the first time. Reading sequels is always a bit of a gamble.

This time, however, a bet on Torment would have won the jackpot. Lauren Kate delves even deeper into Luce's past lives, which I find fascinating, and we get to see bits and pieces of her throughout her history with Daniel. Each time she sees or experiences a new "memory" via the Announcers, it's like she is collecting them to purposefully put herself - her true self - together. 

The book was aptly named; Luce truly is tormented by her feelings for Daniel, and I appreciate that Lauren Kate was brave enough to delve deep into Luce's mind, and let us experience every conflicting emotion with her. At first, she is devastated that she has to be away from Daniel for awhile, but as she makes new friends and explores her past, she begins to wonder what their love in actually based on. She questions her love for Daniel, and even explores slightly her feelings for another boy. It is very refreshing to see a young female protagonist that is in love but not brainless because of it. 

Without getting too spoilery, I though the ending was very appropriate, and very powerful. There is an epilogue that I felt was unnecessary; it was nice that the author tied up loose ends, I suppose, but I would have been left with a greater sense of impact if the book had finished without it.

All in all, a great read, highly recommended, and I can't believe we have to wait until Summer 2011 for the next book, Passion! (but I bet the cover will be amazing!)

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