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Torment by Lauren Kate (audio)
labandbooks
proseandkahn

Unabridged book on 8 compact discs (9 hours, 45 minutes). Read by Justine Eyre. Listening Library, 2010.

This sequel to Fallen picks up immediately with Luce en-route to the Shoreline School in California and Daniel and Cam agreeing to an 18-day truce. They agree to work together to keep Luce safe from the Outcasts. As usual, Luce remains in the dark about the dangers surrounding her. As usual, Luce obsesses about Daniel and whether or not she will fit in. As usual, she melts into Daniel's arms and swoons over his perfectly sculpted body parts, his smell, his eyes... Only this time, they bicker. Could Luce be growing a backbone? Beginning to think for herself a bit? She seems to chafe at Daniel's patriarchal, "I know what's best for you," attitude. You go, girl.

Shoreline School is the antithesis of Sword and Cross. Set on a hill overlooking the Pacific, it is gorgeous and airy, where every room seems to have plenty of wood trim and an ocean view. The students there are gorgeous as well and, it seems, a mix of human and nephilim. The nephilim kids have a separate academic track and are taught exclusively by Francesca and Stephen, an angel and a demon respectively.

Luce has a gruff, yoga-posing roommate named Shelby, who seems to have an issue with her. She meets Miles and warms quickly to his winning smile. (This, in direct contrast to the reaction she had to a guy on the plane.) Daniel, who tells Luce that he can't see her for 18 days in order to keep her safe, pops up almost daily and does stealthy things like flying her over the ocean and dancing in the air. Each of these meetings ends badly because Daniel issues edicts and Luce bristles.

The issue is that she keeps leaving campus! She's only trying to fill in the missing pieces of her many, many pasts. As she does so, she becomes understandably angry with Daniel when she realizes the impact of her many deaths on her families. She feels manipulated and wonders what would happen if she removed herself from the romance.

While Luce is beginning to show a little moxie, she still comes off whiney, swooney, gullible and disingenuous. Who me? I'm beautiful? Who me? You would die for me? But why? I'm not worthy. Oh, the drama! Of course, teen readers, especially the legions of paranormal romance are going to eat it up. Teens thrive on the drama. I'm old as dirt, but remember loving that stuff in high school. Heck, I'm even in for the next installment. There are some interesting secondary characters, the premise is still intriguing and the battle scene at the end, along with the twists and surprises has me along for the ride, albeit with plenty of snark. 

I looked for my review of Fallen and found that I did not record anything. Ack! Another missing review! (237 books for 2010, instead of 236!) I know I read it with my ears around the same time as Hush, Hush and felt similarly about the two. I enjoyed Justine Eyre's performance, her voice is understated and a bit musical.