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I enjoyed this more than I expected to. I’d read Fallen and two of its sequels, finding them entertaining enough if nothing ground-shattering or remarkable. However, perhaps I was just in the right mood for it, or perhaps the premise of Unforgiven was more, well, forgiving to the cliched High School existence.
Lilith is in Hell, only she doesn’t know it yet. All she knows is that her life is miserable – her mother works long hours and treats her with disdain, her brother is chronically ill, she is mocked and berated by her classmates, failing half of her subjects and her teachers don’t seem to like her much. Until the day Cam walks into her life. She hates him from first sight, although she doesn’t really know why – sure he’s charming and a little bit smarmy, but he does seem to genuinely wish to befriend her. What she doesn’t realise is that Cam loves her. Or used to. For Cam is everyone’s favourite Fallen angel, and once the two were lovers.
Until he ultimately betrayed and abandoned her. Ever since then, she’s been trapped in a series of wretched existences. But that could all change, because Cam has made a deal with the devil (literally) and he’s been given a month to win her heart. One month, and she could be his.
Or, he could be Lucifer’s.
Lilith’s High School is almost painfully cliched, which is understandable since it is actually a Hell of her own making. Her main rival is the beautiful, charismatic, loved head cheerleader and Most Popular Girl in School. Her only escape is into her music – the one part of her life she has retained through her centuries of entrapment. Watching Cam encourage her to belief in herself, to strive to fulfil aims she had thought useless and pointless, was an inspiration.
Watching Lucifer foil Cam’s attempts was frustrating and anger-inducing.
Knowing that others controlled her world and could manipulate it to their whim, well, that made for a suprisingly compelling story. I wanted to know what happened, needed to know how Lilith was going to break from her prison and finally spread her wings and fly. Metaphorically.
Overall, an entertaining read, not requiring too much knowledge/memory of the earlier installments.
Reviewed by Angela Oliver
by Lauren Kate
Published by Corgi Children’s