Hallowed

Hallowed

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 worl...

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Title:Hallowed
Author:Cynthia Hand
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Edition Language:English

Hallowed Reviews

  • Wendy Darling

    **

    , where she addresses many of the questions that arise from this series is

    and

    . Enjoy!**

    There aren't words enough to express how gorgeous this book is. Fans of the

    who might have worried whether Cynthia Hand could deliver a second installment that would do justice to the story need worry no longer. This sequel lives up to and exceeds every expectation I had for it, and I only wish I could hand this book to every single would-be author who is even c

    **

    , where she addresses many of the questions that arise from this series is

    and

    . Enjoy!**

    There aren't words enough to express how gorgeous this book is. Fans of the

    who might have worried whether Cynthia Hand could deliver a second installment that would do justice to the story need worry no longer. This sequel lives up to and exceeds every expectation I had for it, and I only wish I could hand this book to every single would-be author who is even considering writing a YA paranormal romance. Because this is the template for what every teen romance/sophomore/angel book should aspire to be.

    As the story opens, Clara is still recovering from the fire in which she went against her "purpose" as a part-angel in order to follow her heart. Her brother Jeffrey is still acting strange, Angela is helping Clara to test her powers, and eventually, we are introduced to an important congregation of angels and learn more about their purpose on earth. Best of all, we get some fabulous time with Tucker as he and Clara further enjoy what has to be one of the sweetest and truest young adult romances ever put to page. I could not stop smiling as I was reading the story, because their relationship is just so warm and happy and perfect. I love that, in the middle of all of Clara's bigger-than-life abilities and problems, she and Tucker still have such an amazing time together doing such blessedly normal and human things.

    We all knew what was coming next, though, right? Christian was such an attractive enigma throughout so much of the first book that I was really hoping we'd get to know him better in this one. And while I dreaded the thought of this turning into a horrible love triangle situation that would devastate everyone while dishonoring them as well, I hoped against hope that the author would handle this tricky situation with as much honesty and grace as possible. And boy, did she ever come through. I am a huge fan of Tucker's, but Cynthia Hand somehow does the impossible and shows us how the flicker of friendship between Christian and Clara grows incrementally stronger everyday. By the end of the book, he has shown himself to be a rock-steady, understanding, and

    presence in Clara's life

    , and it's pretty near impossible not to fall in love with him in a pretty deep and meaningful way as well.

    This book made me so very happy in so many ways, and there are unbelievably beautiful angel moments in it, with descriptions of gorgeous feathered wings, flying, and luminous "glory" that are just marvelous. I've always appreciated the wry honesty and warmth with which the relationship between Clara and her mother was written, and here we discover so much more about her as a mother, as an angel, and as a

    in a way that is incredibly touching. Clara learns a great deal about her family and about herself in this novel, and her deepening strength and maturity combined with her funny, sensitive narrative only made me love her further. I also enjoyed the distinctly outdoorsy feel of the mountains in this book, the presence of many of the adults, and the nuanced portrayal of the bad guy, as well as the thoughtfully considered mentions of angel lore, religion, and references to

    . Oh--and big, big bonus points for a prom scene that didn't make me want to do violence!

    But this book also broke my heart in more ways than one. There is an exquisite tenderness to this story that I never could have imagined, and while I think some elements of it may upset some fans, I hope readers will go into it with an open mind and an open heart. I had many theories and opinions and hopes going into it, and I can honestly say that coming out of it, all of that has changed--and I am firmly convinced that it is for the better. I am tremendously moved and inspired by this story, and it's a testament to Cynthia Hand's pitch-perfect writing that we are so gently eased into new realizations and growth in a way that feels so right and so emotionally true.

    My heart was aching when I turned the last page. But it was also overflowing with love and deep appreciation for the splendid journey that I didn't even know I wanted to go on. After reading a second fantastic YA book from this author, I have absolute faith in Cynthia Hand, and I am so looking forward to seeing where she will take us next.

    P.S. I am dying to discuss the specifics of what happens in this book in the comments below, so please, tell me what you think of where this story went in spoiler tags! I can't keep this to myself any longer. Please be aware that the spoilers tagged in the comments are REAL, so please don't click if you haven't read the book yet! But the spoilers in the review are all in good fun, and safe to click. ;)

    Also, a spoiler for people who were worried about Midas the horse in the last book:

  • Steph Sinclair

    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:

    Yeah...cause that's exactly what happened to me. Many of you may remember that I expressed in my

    how I was

    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:

    Yeah...cause that's exactly what happened to me. Many of you may remember that I expressed in my

    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

    as Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction, it would be

    . 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:

    Excuse me while I hurl. Are you

    me? Stop it. Please. Do not lump this series in with those sorry books.

    , for starters, has a plot. The characters have real depth. The love interests aren't trying to

    Clara. What it should have said was:

    *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

    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

    :

    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

    , mostly thanks to Clara's mom, but rest assured, many are answered. And of course, with more answers we get even more questions.

    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

    so well in

    . 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? ;)

    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

    . 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.

    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.

    Yup, that's pure win right there.

    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

    needed a hug. Hand, you had me crying at 4am! I can't believe you

    there in this book!! I mean, seriously, I was having a fit over here:

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

    ...

    P.S. I recently found out

    .

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

    Like this review? Well, what are you waiting for?! Come visit my blog

    .

  • Aleeeeeza

    Okay, so y'all know how much I loved Tucker, courtesy of my initial review. (And trust me, that was like, a lot.) So it's a HUGE DEAL that somehow Ms. Hand's made me like Christian as well.

    I don't even know what to say about this, except DUDE, Ms. Hand's writing is remarkable. Seriously.

    I AM SERIOUSLY CRAVING SOME TUCKER. allright, that makes me sound sort of stupid, but really, how could anyone not

    him?! I mean, come on:

    *swoon*

  • Vinaya

    I hate love triangles. More than anything else in fiction, I really, really,

    hate love triangles. More than the stalking and the insta-love and fragile, insecure, yet perfect heroines. I mean, at least with most insta-love couples, once they're in love, they STAY in love.

    So anyway, it's not that much of a surprise that Hallowed sort of killed my happy Unearthly-buzz. This book was nothing like what I expected it to be, and I can only rue the change. Cynthia Hand did an amazing, wonderful

    I hate love triangles. More than anything else in fiction, I really, really,

    hate love triangles. More than the stalking and the insta-love and fragile, insecure, yet perfect heroines. I mean, at least with most insta-love couples, once they're in love, they STAY in love.

    So anyway, it's not that much of a surprise that Hallowed sort of killed my happy Unearthly-buzz. This book was nothing like what I expected it to be, and I can only rue the change. Cynthia Hand did an amazing, wonderful thing with Unearthly, and somehow, it feels like she

    all of that work with Hallowed. That said, though, if I DO have to read about love triangles, this was one of the better-handled ones.

    I reread Unearthly before I started on Hallowed, and I was struck anew by how much I enjoyed the book. The writing was simple but real, with occasional flashes of humor and the sort of likeability that only deepens with a second read. And more importantly, despite being a very relationship-focused story, it did have a plot and a certain amount of character growth and action. Hallowed feels less like a complete book in and of itself and more like a long-drawn out episode on daytime television.

    Clara says, and it turns out to be all too true.

    Here's the reason why Hallowed disappointed me so much, I want to cry. Most YA paranormals push the idea of a soulmate, that one person who's just so perfect for you, you feel like you want to die if you can't be with him. The connection is so strong, and perfect, but you know what, it's not

    . And it's this idea that Clara fights back against, in Unearthly, and she does it beautifully. She falls in love, for real, with someone who's hot, but not picture perfect, someone whom she actually knows- she makes the

    to fall in love with Tucker and I think that's the reason that little book resonated so strongly with so many of us. It wasn't some fated, pre-destined epic love, but something so warm and achingly sweet, we all wanted to be seventeen and in love again.

    Not so much Hallowed. Yes, sure, Clara still fights her "attraction" to Christian, feeling that she is more than a pawn in some supernatural game, but it feels more like she's fighting an inevitable current, like the choice she made was worth nothing, because she is being pushed back to the place she tried so hard to escape from, and if that's the case, what's the point in that, really?

    As for Christian, I'm still not seeing the attraction. I mean, sure, we find out more about him, his life, his circumstances, but at the end of the day, he's still that YA sap, the beautiful-looking, perfect one who's willing to sit for hours under some girl's roof waiting for her to give him time of the day. In Hand's world, he's an anomaly. He never seems quite as real a all the other people, the ones for whom the world is NOT well lost for love.

    And so much of this book was just angst of various sorts. Some it was understandable. For example, I really, felt Clara's pain

    But I felt like the spotlight focused so heavily on Clara, and her internalizing of every emotion she felt, her thoughts, her motivations, her struggle against all the changes in her life, that pretty much everything else in the book took a backseat. The connection I felt between Clara and Tucker in the first book never manifested itself in the second.

    And don't even get me started on Jeffrey and Angela and Wendy. Who are these people? I thought I knew them back in Unearthly, but they don't get so much as a cameo in Hallowed. Angela had this whole cool, creepy vibe going in the first book, but she's no more than an accessory in the second, and not a very interesting one at that. Jeffrey, of course, drops a bombshell on us at the very end, one that really had me sitting up and paying attention, but for most of the book he's just this sullen shadow that Clara pays a bare minimum of attention to. I think the thing that annoyed me most with Clara in this book is how very

    she turns out to be.

    And Wendy might as well have not been in the book for all the role she plays. Disappointing, disappointing, disappointing.

    I'm not saying this is a bad book, because it's really not. Cynthia Hand has a great hand (get it?!) with characterization, and as usual her closing chapter is beautiful and leaves you longing for more. The thing is, I had higher expectations for this book, I wanted it to be strong and fierce and unique, and it fell far, far short of that mark. I will be reading the third book, and any books that come after that, but if Hand fails to recapture the magic of Unearthly, I for one, am going to a very unhappy camper.

  • Emily May

    I am going to have to sadly admit that this series is not my cup of tea. I tried to like

    after reading all the rave reviews but found it only okay, it didn't blow my mind like I was so sure it would.

    was even less appealing to me, I read three chapters and even that was a struggle - but now I do think I'm starting to see why. I think if I happened to meet Clara in real life, let's just say she enrolled at my university, we would be friendly to one another, perhaps mumble a po

    I am going to have to sadly admit that this series is not my cup of tea. I tried to like

    after reading all the rave reviews but found it only okay, it didn't blow my mind like I was so sure it would.

    was even less appealing to me, I read three chapters and even that was a struggle - but now I do think I'm starting to see why. I think if I happened to meet Clara in real life, let's just say she enrolled at my university, we would be friendly to one another, perhaps mumble a polite greeting when we passed in the corridor but I don't think we would ever be close friends. We have so little in common. Clara is, in many ways, the girl I have never been... nor really wish to be either (though, I would like to be able to fly).

    Clara is the kind of girl who will have relationships filled with sweet romance, hand-holding and utter tameness. I appreciate that this is a young adult novel and I didn't exactly expect graphic sex scenes - or, in fact, any sex at all - but "Tucker still has this notion that since I have angel blood in my veins he should try to keep my

    in tact" is practically Victorian repression.

    Clara cannot even admit to herself that she has the hots for Christian as well as Tucker. She dreams, daydreams and thinks an awful lot about the guy but "no, no, Tucker is my future". Who is she kidding? It's not like every reader doesn't know already that there's a whole love triangle thing going on... so why is our heroine being stupid?

    I read three chapters. In these chapters, apart from a quick recap of what happened in the first book, we spend all the time in the middle of Clara's daydreams of marriage and babies. Or experiencing kissing Tucker through Clara's mind, which is naturally out of this world, sensational, practically orgasm-inducing... or seeing visions of Christian, which is just

    .

    And why oh why did this book get so biblical? Three chapters, I must remind you, and I don't know how many times I heard about god and the bible. Look, my religious beliefs aside, everyone is fully entitled to believe what the hell they want - but that doesn't mean I want to hear it about it in chapter two. And a lot.

    I could read the rest of the story but I can tell we are not destined to love one another. And that's okay, right now I have so many other things to read. To anyone who is put off by my lack of chemistry with this book, navigate towards

    or

    review to see how it worked out for people who "got" Clara more than I did.

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