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Review: Unforgiven by Lauren Kate

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lauren Kate

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Hardback: 400 Pages
Publication: November 10, 2015
by Delacorte Press

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.



When I went back to reread my reviews of the previous books in the Fallen series, a line from my review of Fallen in Love jumped out at me:

"My only regret is that Cam wasn't in the mood for celebrating Valentine's Day along with everyone else, as I would have loved to read his story—and find out more about his type of girl."

Unforgiven has answered this question for me.

It makes me happy that Cam gets his story told because he really deserves it. After all he's gone through, he deserves to find his own love and his own happiness.

Lauren Kate writes beautifully and descriptively. Her words breathe life to Crossroads, the characters, and the characters' personalties. The story is told from both Lilith and Cam's perspective with pieces of the past weaved into their present story. As the story is told in third person, it wasn't much of a struggle switching from POV to POV; it was helpful that the chapter headings included the name of the person telling that chapter. I also like how the chapter headings include the time left that Cam has to win Lilith's love. It gives a sense of urgency while keeping us updated on where we are in the timeline.

While I don't normally like seeing students skip classes (I believe in the power of an education), I believe that many teens will be able to relate to Lilith and Cam. Plus, we see get to see the good along with the bad. Lilith's growth over the course of the novel shows us that our attitudes can change, and once we put in effort to reconcile with our "enemies," we can see a new side to them and even make friends with the people we once resented. As for her changing attitude towards Cam, a lot of things still don't quite make sense, such as how she is quick to blame him for things without solid evidence, but I'm willing to accept that her long history with Cam gives her a bias against him.

Plotwise, this story is all about the romance. Lilith is in this hell because of her love for Cam, and Cam is here because he still loves Lilith and wants to set her free. I wholeheartedly admit that, in general, I hate stories that are all about the romance, and I don't know why I've enjoyed the Fallen series so much. I believe love is an answer, but I don't believe in giving up everything for a romantic love. I did like Luce and Daniel, though I'm not as much a fun of quick-to-burn, fiery love stories like Cam and Lilith's. Maybes it's the writing. Maybe it's the characters. I especially like Lilith's brother in this hell (as longtime readers of this blog know, I'm always a fun of good family relationships in stories), and the side characters are funny. Though they don't play a super huge role in this story, I like how Lilith's changing relationship with the side characters shows her character growth. And I was delighted to see Arianne and Roland make an appearance.

My biggest takeaway from Unforgiven, besides getting to read Cam's story, is that we must fight to make our wishes come true. We can't just lolly around waiting for fate to hand our desires to us, and we can't give up in the face of great adversities for fear of losing what we do have. Like Cam, we must not be afraid to challenge the Lucs in our lives in order to protect those we love and to create our own happiness.

That said, if you're looking for depth of plot, characters, and world building, I wouldn't recommend this novel or any of the Fallen books. If you're looking ot for an easy read to entertain though, you just might be at the right place.

This novel does wrap up a bit quickly for my liking, and it leaves too many questions . . . which leads me to suspect that Cam and Lilith's story can't end here. I believe that there has to be more to come. Nevertheless, whatever Lauren Kate decides to do in the future, while Teardrop wasn't for me (see my review here), I anticipate more from her.

P.S. Cam and Lilith are both musicians. Tracks have been made of the songs that Lilith sings in this book (with one of the songs cowritten by Cam). Find out more at Lauren Kate's site here!

A copy was provided by Random House for review

Rating: 4 stars

     1.   Fallen
     2.   Torment
     3.   Passion
     3.5 Fallen in Love
     4.   Rapture
     5.   Unforgiven
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3 comments on "Review: Unforgiven by Lauren Kate"
  1. I thought the first book was just okay. I had purchased the first 3, but after I let them sit for so long, I gave them away. Maybe I'll try again one day.

    1. I wouldn't recommend this series if you're looking for depth in plot, character, or world building. If you're looking to be entertained though, you might enjoy returning to this world.

  2. A powerful story of true redemption. Love is stronger than anything, when it's real and meant to be. I so love Cam and it was great to read more of his past story and what came after Daniel & Luce broke their curse from the last book. Lauren Kate is a wonderful writer and had me captivate with the entire "Fallen" series. I have now bought several paperback copies for friends that love the series as well :)

    Hail Claims


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