Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

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(Unearthly, #2)  
Cynthia Hand
Release date: January 17th, 2012
by HarperCollins Publishers

Goodreads / Purchase

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her 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.

*A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review purposes*
After greatly enjoying Unearthly, I was really excited to be able to get an early copy of this sequel. I was not disappointed with it. It was very much a “middle” book, but one of the best I’ve ever read.

Hallowed gets us reacquainted with Clara, Tucker, Christian and, with a more important part in this sequel, Carla’s brother Jeffrey as well as her mother, Maggie. As in Unearthly, each and every one of the characters have substance, including natural dialogue and palpable emotions. And emotions, Hallowed is full of! Clara and her family are going through a really tough situation and it tugs on the heartstrings. It’s hard to explain without spoilers, but there are a lot of occurrences that will likely make everyone feel sorrowful for Clara. With all these emotions, though, there is still sweet romance and fun moments throughout the book to balance it all out.

As I mentioned, for a middle book, Hallowed is very well done. I was always caught up in the story despite the lack of any definite plot development. We do, however, get a lot of answers in regards to Clara’s lineage. In addition, her mother’s well kept secrets are -for the most part- all revealed. Like Unearthly, Hallowed is not a fast, high action book. The slow but steady pace makes it a highly character driven novel with realistic relationships and an intriguing progression that you have time to savor.

It’s been said that Cynthia Hand has written one of the greatest love triangles in the YA genre. I highly agree with this statement. Hallowed has, yet again, left me feeling dazed. We’ve got butterflies and sparks, but also uncertainty and pain. The romance itself is not overwhelming; It’s full of authenticity without taking the attention away from the plot. I’m still unsure of how I feel about the new developments in this sequel. I’m definitely curious to see how it’s going to pan out in book 3. Tucker and Christian are both important in Clara’s life. They each have very separate but essential roles that keep her grounded. I think she should marry both – seriously! It could work, no? (Team Tucktian?)

Hallowed is another great example of a wonderfully written paranormal romance. Cynthia Hand does not disappoint with this second novel in the Unearthly series *claps*. If you haven’t picked it up yet, it’s a definite must buy!

4 Hot Espressos
Want to know my thoughts on Unearthly?

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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28 Responses to “Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand”

  1. Giselle

    @Natalia Belikov: OMG Natalia you have NOT read this series yet? *faints* Read it like… NOW NOW!!! 😀

    @Taneika: Yes! Team Tucktian FTW!! 😀

    @Mary: Thanks Mary I’ve been seeing mixed reviews but I don’t see why I found it was a great middle novel! I hope you like it!

  2. Amy

    I am like a little kid on Christmas eve almost dying in anticipation right now lol!! I pre-ordered it immediately after finishing Unearthly. My nook is going to be my best friend tomorrow. (ok, my nook is usually my best friend haha)Great review Giselle!

  3. Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews)

    I loved Unearthly and really enjoyed this one too. It’s definitely one of the very best second in a series books I’ve read, the love triangle is up there amongst the best, for sure! I’m Team Christian, though. I fell for him on day one!

    Great review! 🙂

  4. Jac

    I’m so excited for Hallowed!! I need to hurry and finish my current books so I can spend all day tomorrow reading this!

    I’m so glad to hear that we learn Maggie’s secrets. That was the one drawback to me about Unearthly – so much she kept secret.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  5. Steph

    I’m so glad you liked it. I can’t wait to dig in to Hallowed, I really liked Unearthly but sometimes the second book in a series feels like a filler.

  6. Giselle

    Thanks guys!

    @Damaris: *gasp* you can’t SKIP a book!! haha. I have seen mixed reviews though but I thought it was great for a middle book!

  7. Sam

    I enjoyed this one quite a bit, too. Anything with Tucker in it scores high in my books! 😛 I thought Hallowed was much more enjoyable than Unearthly and now I can’t wait to read more! 🙂 Great review, Giselle.

    Sam @ Realm of Ficton

  8. Mimi Valentine

    “It’s been said that Cynthia Hand has written one of the greatest love triangles in the YA genre.” <– I agree with your agreement a million times over!! The way Cynthia Hand dealt with her love triangle was one of the most brilliant things EVER! And oh my gosh, Giselle, Team Tucktian?? That's the best thing I've heard all year — I proudly support both boys! x)

    You are awesome. You write awesome reviews. That is all!! <3 🙂

  9. Candace

    Team Tucktian! LOL! Yep, she definitely needs both 😉 I am surprised at how okay I am with how things are going but I agree that it all works! Loved this one!

  10. Giselle

    @Mimi: Team Tucktian is the only choice Mimi! haha

    @Melissa: Yes we do get a LOT of answers in this one. I hope you get it soon! 😀

    Thanks guys!

  11. Heather

    Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to read these yet, though I’ve been wanting to! Now I want to even more. Thanks for helping build my to-read list. 🙂

  12. Celine

    Awesome review, Giselle! I am so worried about my heart (will I side in Tucker or Christian?). LOL. I think she should marry both, seriously! Hahaha. So glad you enjoyed it, Giselle! 🙂

  13. Truly Bookish

    Soooo happy this book does not fall victim to the second book syndrome like so many other sequels. I’m hoping to get to this soon. Great review!
    Truly Bookish

  14. JJ iReads

    Great review! This book was a definite winner for me. I cried, I laughed, I was going through all these complex emotions the deeper I got into the book. I can’t wait for the 3rd book in the series.

    P.S. Team Tucktian sounds good to me! LOL

  15. Danmark

    This book was an improvment to unearthly. Loved every moment of it. I loved how relatable Clara is, even though yeah she obviously has way more complicated problems than other, but it just comes done to making the decision between doing what you want v.s. what your meant to do. It was a really great read and if you read unearthly and your on fence on wheather you should continue there series you definatly should you regreat it.

  16. Lithia

    I won Unearthly from Inkpop back when it first came out and I wasn’t really excited to read it. By THEN (don’t even ask about now) I was tired of the YA paranormal with love triangle concept, and I’ve never been a big fan of angels.

    However, I have to give Cynthia major credit for getting me to LIKE Clara and Tucker’s relationship. As you say here, it felt REAL to me in a way that the others in the same genre most certainly did not. It didn’t feel like an epic romance trying to be squeezed into little high schooler bodies, it felt like a realistic romance you actually would find at your typical high school.

    Anyways, my point is, Clara and Tucker’s relationship was basically the one thing I liked about that book, and I was worried to read the sequel for fear that this would not be continued in a way that kept me interested. Your review, however, has me convinced that I should definitely give Hallowed a shot. So thanks! 🙂