Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

5 November, 2011 Reviews 8 comments

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia HandHallowed by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #2
Published by HarperTeen on January 17th 2012
Pages: 403
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: NetGalley
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

Oh, Cynthia Hand, how could you do this to me? I feel like this book should come with at least a warning. Something along the lines of:

WARNING: This book may cause readers massive amounts of fangirling/fanboying. Do not be alarmed if you encounter symptoms of swooning, emotional instability, and immediate depression after reading.

Yeah…cause that’s exactly what happened to me. Many of you may remember that I expressed in my Unearthly review how I was initially reluctant to read this series. Angel PRN books seem to be the worst of the worst in YA literature. So you can imagine my happiness when I come across this gem of a series. If there were ever a reason needed as to why I voted for Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly as Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction, it would be Hallowed. If you were thinking that Hand couldn’t do it again, you were wrong!

First off let get this off my chest because it’s seriously bothering me:

“This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike.”

Excuse me while I hurl. Are you kidding me? Stop it. Please. Do not lump this series in with those sorry books. Hallowed, for starters has a plot. The characters have real depth. The love interests aren’t trying to kill Clara. What it should have said was: “For fans of real YA PNR literature.” *Breathes* Okay. /end mini rant.

I think it goes without say that I loved this book. I stayed up past 4am to finish this it. Once again, I could not have predicted the outcome! There are so many plot twists and mysteries revealed and it’s not what you would expect at all. And I have a sinking feeling that Hallowed is sure to upset quite a few fans…

If you think I’m going to sit here and feed you spoilers, sorry kids, not gonna happen. However, I can tell you some of the things I LOVED about Hallowed:

The character development
Fans will be happy to know that we do indeed find out more about Christian, Clara’s mom, Angela, Jeffery’s purpose and last, but certainly not least, Tucker Avery. *Cues the swooning*

Clara’s mother definitely sees more development. And at first I found myself really irritated with her for keeping secrets, but by the end of the book, I couldn’t bring myself to be angry at her any longer. We were left with so many unanswered questions at the end of Unearthly, mostly thanks to Clara’s mom, but rest assured, many are answered. And of course, with more answers we get even more questions.

The love triangle
I’m sure you saw that coming, as did I, but here’s the thing: I liked it. I usually hate love triangles because I find them a bit played out and predictable. But it worked so well in Hallowed. This probably has something to do with the fact that Hand wrote these characters so well. Their relationships are very believable and heartbreakingly realistic. We see a whole other side to Christian and Tucker. It’s rather easy to love them both because they both care deeply for Clara and respect her. There are no semi-abusive love interests here. How about that? 😉

The prose, the pacing, and the plot
I never thought I could come to love the use of present tense prose, but I felt it was so perfect. We are really able to connect with Clara on another level because of that, especially everything that she goes through in this book. And she goes through a lot. The simple sentences and Clara’s ramblings really helped me feel everything Clara felt. The pacing was a bit slower in this book than the last, but again, it works so perfectly. Hand gives us the opportunity to let it really sink in. The pacing just goes hand in hand with the plot, which too is very subtle. At first you become eager to get to the end, but you will come to dread it. So beautifully written.

The dialog
Cynthia Hand, you are so slick and I love you for it. Those Twilight burns you put in there? Oh, yeah, I think you know how brilliantly awesome that was.

Before I moved here, I never got the whole love-triangle thing. You know, in movies or romance novels or whatnot, where there’s one chick that all the guys are drooling over, even though you can’t see anything particularly special about her. But oh, no, they both must have her. And she’s like, oh dear, however will I choose? William is so sensitive, he understands me, he swept me off my feet, oh misery, blubber, blubber, but how can I go on living without Rafe and his devil-may-care ways and his dark and only-a-little-abusive love? Upchuck.

Yup, that’s pure win right there.

The ending
It was so heartbreaking. Clara just didn’t get a break in this book and I felt for her so much. I just wanted to hug her. And at the end I felt like I needed a hug. Hand, you had me crying at 4am! I can’t believe you went there in this book!! I mean, seriously, I was having a fit over here:



shock: “I.CAN’T.EVEN.”



Disbelief: “NOOOOO!! She did not just do that! NOOOO!”



Depression: “How will I survive until 2013? I’m doomed. Doomed, I tell ya.”

 

Cynthia Hand tore my heart out and made me eat it…

and I liked it…

P.S. I recently found out there might be a TV show based on Unearthly.

Ummm, Hollywood? Let’s get this one right, m’kay?

An ARC was provided by the publisher. But this in no way swayed my views on this book.

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker and fangirl, YA Books Central editor and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.
Steph Sinclair
Cuddlebuggery Reading Time: Everneath by Brodi Ashton https://t.co/EsboNzC0Hm #CuddlebuggeryArchive - 8 hours ago

8 Responses to “Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand”

  1. Lissa

    Oh, you got an ARC? I am SO JEALOUS.
    Also, I have deliberately not bought books because of other authors blurbing. I hate Lauren Kate and Becca Fitzpatrick's books and I won't read Aprilynne Pike because she prefers the abusive fairy ex-boyfriend in Kiersten White's Paranormalcy (as said in the blurb). But I absolutely LOVED Unearthly. I trust Cynthia Hand so much I would pay her in advance. I'm so pleased she didn't succumb to the abusive boyfriend and shitty love triangle tropes so common in YA PNR. I'm actually kinda angry people would think this is on par with typical YA PNR books. It's so much better.

    • cuddlebuggery

      Aleeza alerted me that it was up on NetGalley. I was so happy to get approved and I'll definitely be purchasing a hard copy in January. I'm hoping she will tour near me so I can get them signed.

      But, yes, you will be pleasantly surprised with how much you like this love triangle. Even lower rated reviews mention how well that was written. I think you will really love this one, Lissa!

  2. Sarah

    Yeah I got that subtle Twilight references, it had me snorting. I just love this series. Hand is a fantabulous author! And amazing review like always, Stephanie. I read your reviews on Goodreads and I just love them. I'm so happy to found out you have a blog now. Keep reviewing and blogging! I'm a new follower. 🙂

    • cuddlebuggery

      I love Cynthia Hand! She's one of my favorite authors.

      And thank you for the lovely compliment! It always amazes me that occasionally someone will sit and read through my ramblings. 🙂

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