Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
Published by: HarperCollins
Thanks to HarperCollins for the ARC
Reviewed by: AmyG (big sis)
Sister's Say: Heavenly, Heartbreaking and Healing

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. 

First off, I must say thank you to HarperCollins for sending me this ARC.  There was much joyous dancing and squeeing upon receiving it!

I have a love/hate relationship with second installments in a series.  Sometimes I dread a 2nd books and debate if I should just wait for the 3rd then read them together.  Second books are a double edged sword in which too much information can leave nothing exciting for the 3rd and not enough can send the readers packing.  It's a fine art to be able to walk that blade without getting cut.   And, to say the least, Cynthia Hand has sent that sword back from whenst it came!  Hallowed was stunningly beautiful and left me in joyous raptures!  One of my favorite 2nd installments of all time!

One of my favorite things about this book was getting to know Christian.  There's sort of a new trend I've been noticing in YA literature with love triangles that I really sort of love!  Instead of the having this huge tumultuous love triangle right off the bat, each guy has been given his own book.  I love it because it teaches us that 1st impressions can sometimes be hugely deceiving.  Frankly I didn't like Christian all that much in Unearthly and was Team Tucker all the way!  However, after reading Hallowed, I love them both and don't envy Clara her decision at all!  It would be heartbreaking to have to choose between Tucker and Christain now.  (If you are interested in more examples of this trend I'm referring to, Sophie Jordan's Firelight series is a great one.  The other books like this are all ARCs so I don't want to reveal to you quite yet which one those are, but maybe closer to their release dates!  But I'm telling you now, keep a look out for this trend, I hope you love it as much as I do!!!)

Honestly, there are so many amazing qualities of this book, that I'm not really sure where to start without running into next week.  In Unearthly, we catch these tiny glimpses of this world of angels that Cynthia Hand has created, but mostly just as it pertains to Clara.  However, in Hallowed, we get the whole shebang.  I fell in love with the entire idea of these angels, their community, their missions, their lives, and even the dark wings.  I felt at times that this was something that could really be possible.  I loved that she completely swept me away to the point of bluring the lines between fantasy and reality.  This is one of the few books since Harry Potter that I had to remind myself that this was not real!

There are so many emotions dealing with this book, actually this entire series so far.  One moment I would be laughing, the next crying, then terrified, and then a few pages later find myself melting!  Hallowed made me feel and feel deeply and strongly.  I am attached to all these characters now. I found myself cheering for them to succeed, crying with them through their pain, and their mission became my mission.  What a joy it was to read this!  Hallowed will be released on January 17, so if you haven't pre-ordered this yet, go do so now!  This is one of those rare series that will appeal to all ages from 14 to 85!

I want to leave you with a quote from Hallowed that demonstrates both the wittiness and beauty of Cynthia Hands writing.

"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 gus 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 Rake and his devil-may-care ways and his dark and only-a-little-abusive love?..." (p. 237, ARC)

Also, be sure to check out my Teaser Tuesday from Hallowed also!