Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Release date: January 17, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 403
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Ebook available from: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
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.

So, um... I'm going to have to warn you guys. I have crazy emotions about this book, so... Should I have a spaz during this review, just disregard me. Hallowed made me swoon, cry, and blindingly happy all within a single page at times. I was scared that the second book couldn't live up to Unearthly, but as soon as reviews started to come in, all I could do was WAIT. IMPATIENTLY. Very impatiently.

I love that there is so much more going on here than just the actual plot. Deeper ideas are explored, and I love love love to think about a book. This is part of why the journey in reading it is so special and so emotional. Clara deals with so much more in Hallowed than in Unearthly. She is learning about herself and exploring whether or not the way she lives her life is her choice or if everything is laid out for her. She deals with loss and with heartbreak and everything in between with such poise and realness, which only makes me love her as a character more.

I know we've all been dreading the idea of a love triangle in this book. I was definitely a big part of that dread. I also felt like it was inevitable, though not in a gag-worthy way. I love Clara and Tucker, but the way her relationship with Christian is handled makes you realize what a good influence in her life he is. I could defend either choice, and that's not normally the case with me, even though it'd break my heart for her to turn down either one. Ho hum.

I also loved seeing more of the characters introduced in Unearthly. Jeffrey is still a bit of a mystery throughout the book, yet we still learn more about him as he deals with the events of the book. He puts on a brave face, but we definitely see him break. I also loved seeing Angela and her insecurities, making her a much more real character to me. She may be super sleuth, but she has real doubts and fears, and that always makes me feel for a character more. I think almost every character was brought close to their breaking point in Hallowed, and that's such an interesting position to explore in a character. You really see the depths of them.

Honestly, I can't say too much more about Hallowed. Most of what I say won't bring justice to what I felt while I read it. It's a beautiful story expertly crafted and expertly executed.

Risk a paper cut? Hoo boy, DO IT. I don't think I know a single person who disliked it, and I can honestly say you won't regret it.

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