CATCHALL I've loved Michelle's books for a long time, so when I first heard of this books I knew that I had to have it...more****FINAL RATING: 4.30 STARS****
CATCHALL I've loved Michelle's books for a long time, so when I first heard of this books I knew that I had to have it. This was an incredible angel book. Not only was it obvious well-researched, it also managed to be completely unlike anything I've ever read. The twist on angels was fantastic, and there was enough action to keep me from falling asleep. It definitely wasn't perfect, and yet I still genuinely enjoyed it. It as an incredible book, and it's faults didn't take away at all form how much I loved it.
THE HEROINE HELEN I had some difficulties with Helen, honestly. It was hard to relate to her because she really had a tendency to be a little on the whiny side. Of course I could understand it to some point, but still. It was really hard to relate to her sometimes, when she could be incredibly stubborn or just flat-out act like an idiot. She did some really dumb things that honestly I couldn't tolerate. In some way I understand why she did what she did, but that still doesn't excuse it. It doesn't take much brain power to think things through and be less impulsive, especially when that impulse is likely to get you killed. Still, there were times when I liked her.
THE LOVE INTERESTS GRIFFIN I love Griffin. He's so sweet, and a genuinely nice and caring guy. I just…love him. Honestly, how could I not? He's rational where Helen is impulsive, and he thinks of things she doesn't or won't. He's not without faults thought, and he isn't a perfect person, which I do like. He's also so loving and respectful. He's actually a little mellow for my taste, but I still adore him. I do wish he'd take a stand every once in a while, but oh well. He's a really well-written character. RAUM Um. Well. I didn't exactly like Raum very much. Helen felt she could understand his past and what led him to make the choices he did, but that really doesn't excuse them. Ordering a murder is the same thing as doing it yourself—either way, people are dead and the blood is on your hands. So I didn't really care about his sob story at all. And I'm glad for Helen that she could forgive him, but whatever. It doesn't mean I have to like him.
THE OTHERS DARIUS I loved Darius. He's strong and really takes the lead. He's also confident, and in a strange way protective of his brother. He also sees his own weaknesses, and acknowledges them. And sometimes he'll do things despite his better judgment if he thinks they must be done. He's also an extremely well-written character, and though he comes off as aloof, it's easy to see that he's not always as strong on the inside as he appears to be, and I like that. ANNA Anna's a sweet character, and although she's not in the story much, it's easy to get a good read on her. She's fiercely loyal to her friends, and she'll stop at nothing for them. She'll take risks if it means that they'll be safer, and she's soooo understanding. When things go wrong, she's okay with it being the way it is. GALIZUR I liked Galizur. He's obviously intensely intelligent, and he's so helpful to Helen, Griffin, and Darius. Like a father figure, really. He represents both what Helen has lost and what she has gained, and that's really unique. I loved it.
THE PLOT Michelle's angel were something I'd never have thought of before, and illustrated so beautifully. The Dictata, the rules, the magic, everything about it. And there wasn't much magic. Just a little mostly involving travel, which I liked because it was described in an almost scientific way. There were also some weapons that obviously had some magical influence, but the magic was definitely not overused. Instead of being too overdramatic or ridiculous, it was a part of the story but not too central.
While the action started right away, it did move kind of slowly through some parts. Erratic. Things would happen, and then they wouldn't. Overall there was enough action to keep me interested, but some things definitely happened a little too slowly for my taste, and I needed it to move faster. My interest was held for the most part, but it definitely wavered.
And I had no interest in the storyline with Raum whatsoever. It was boring, and I didn't care about it at all. The whole childhood-friend thing was boring, and honestly I just didn't feel it. The whole thing felt kind of fake to me. It also dragged out a it too long and rather too dramatically, if you ask me. I was hoping that it would get more entertaining, or something, but to me it never did. I just had no interest in Raum, or his past, and anything involving that was horridly boring.
However, for the most part, I did like this story. I was entertained, and I genuinely enjoyed the story, and I definitely had a hard time putting it down.
THE ROMANCE The romance between Griffin and Helen was sweet, although it waas a bit instalovey for my taste. There was definitely development, but still. Still, there was enough development that I didn't feel completely cheated in the romance department. There's definitely chemistry between them, but it's not ostentatious, more on the quieter side. And as for the Raum love triangle thing, please don't even make me go there. I won't. I can't.
THE WRITING I've always adored Michelle's writing, although honestly, I think I enjoyed her first person more. Generally I prefer third person, but in this instance that's apparently not the case. It was difficult for me to relate to Helen even without hearing her voice, and while hearing her voice might have made it harder it also had the potential to make it easier. We do get into her head a lot, but somehow it didn't make me feel connected to her at all. And honestly? The dialogue wasn't that great. However, I did like the description. Gorgeous imagery, lovely sensory detail, the works.
THE ENDING I thought the ending was wonderful. It was left a little open and not completely resolved, and yet it was resolved enough that I felt satisfied with the novel as a standalone. There's obviously more to be told, but Ii think in a way it's best that Helen's story ended here. It's not all gumdrops and roses, but it's still satisfying. I enjoyed the way that it closed on a sweet note, but there was also a little sadness. But overall, there was the overarching happiness and hope that made this a worthwhile ending for me.
WRAPUP I'm willing to follow Michelle pretty much wherever she takes me, so whatever books are in her future I'll be reading eagerly. I loved this book, and I'd definitely recommend it if you're into the Victorian era and/or have a thing for reading about angels. There are some simply incredible angel books out there, but A Temptation of Angels should not be overlooked. Against all odds, it's a paranormal romance that I truly enjoyed and will definitely be reading again.
This was the most achingly beautiful and exquisitely painful thing I have ever read. But it had the perfect ending.
Review to come if I can figure out what is up with my heart.
Oh how I love Jem… Tessa had better choose Jem!! Or I may not read another Cassandra Clare book again. (Okay, that is a lie. And I admit it. I will always read Ms. Clare's books, no matter what.) Has anyone noticed how Tessa and Will would be too similar to Clary and Jace? If Tessa's with Will, I might have to assume Clare can't write about different romances. (I won't. Because it is clear that she can write about versatile romances.)
CATCHALL Unearthly is probably one of the best, if not the best, angel books I've ever read. It was refreshingly ori...more*****FINAL RATING: 4.80 STARS*****
CATCHALL Unearthly is probably one of the best, if not the best, angel books I've ever read. It was refreshingly original and I really enjoyed reading it. The characters have a sense of realness and emotion behind them, and the plot isn't annoying slow, but still keeps you guessing. And do I even need to mention the gorgeous cover?
THE HEROINE I love Clara. I really do. She's probably one of my favorite YA heroines. She is a strong, confident girl who tries to do her best. She doesn't always succeed, but who does? She genuinely cares about other people. She isn't annoyingly perfect and seems very human, even though she is part angel. Clara is extremely relatable as a heroine and I adore her for it. I cannot wait to read more about her in future installments.
THE LOVE INTERESTS CHRISTIAN I am partial to the name Christian, so I am probably biased. But anyway, I found him extremely interesting. Yep, he kind of acts like a jerk a few times, and I don't like that at all. But he can also be very sweet. I found myself wanting to know more about him. I have a love-hate relationship with him at this moment, but I'm hoping that will change as time goes on. He's a bit clichéd at the moment, but we'll see. I still really, really enjoy reading about him. TUCKER Not gonna lie: Tucker is sexy. Very, very sexy. But kind of annoying at first. I'm not prejudiced or anything, but first impressions mean a lot to me and I hate the one he makes. But, I can forgive him for it. I have a friend who married this guy. The first time she met him, she told him she didn't like him and when he kept asking her out she thought he was weird. And now they're madly in love, so I can see how Clara and Tucker's relationship grows and changes. And I do love Tucker, I just wish he hadn't been quite such a jerk. But, ah, well, not everyone's perfect. And he grew on me fast. I love how he's not stereotypical and seems quite original.
THE OTHER SECONDARY CHARACTERS JEFFREY I found Jeff to be a very interesting character. Of course, it does not help that I am also partial to his name as well. But I believe if he had been named Roger (a name I cannot stand since being forced to read Lord of the Flies *shudder*) I would have loved him just as well. He's so intriguing, what with his wings turning dark and all. That definitely caught my interest, and I was disappointed that that wasn't explored more in this book. At least I will have the pleasure of looking forward to it and more of him. He made me laugh. ANGELA She has a big role as well, though I won't say what it is. But she's a beautifully written, well-thought-put character with an enjoyable personality but is obviously flawed. She seems very human. She's the type of girl you secretly want to be but would never admit it. WENDY She's a sweet, down-to-earth girl who cares about Clara immensely but is only human. She brings Tucker and Clara closer together, which moves the story along quite smoothly. She is not only functional but fun, and she made me giggle quite a few times. MAGGIE I did not like Clara's mother very much. I hate the "I'm keeping secrets from you for your own protection" thing. I'd much rather know the truth than live a lie, and no matter what the consequences, it is almost always safer to know. She rather irritated me, but she was obviously loving and trying her best, she I'm hoping she'll redeem herself. SAM Hmm… interesting. For a character with such a brief but important appearance, he has quite a lot of mystery and drama surrounding him. He seems haunted but also a slave to his nature, and it'll be interesting if we hopefully see more of that. KAY NO. Just, NO. She screams cliché.
THE PLOT I subtracted no stars for the plot from my rating. The plot was well-thought-out, original, and very attention-grabbing. I was never once left bored, and I read with such a fury that I burned through the pages very, very quickly. It does't move to slowly but it also does't go so fast that you're totally confused as to what's going on. The ideas and events happen in an order that makes sense. The story isn't monopolized with pointless chapters where nothing happens; everything is relevant. There's enough information left untold for a sequel but not so much that you get overly frustrated. The plot is unlike that of any other book and for that, I love it. I also read this book out loud to a little girl I was babysitting. Yes, I skipped the somewhat sexy parts. Anyway, she loved it too.
THE ROMANCE Clara and Tucker developed as a couple in a way that made sense, progressing through natural stages. Definitely no annoying insta-love. They have such a sweet romance once it begins but it doesn't monopolize everything and leaves the plot to continue. Of course, their romance alone is a huge plot point. I love the fact that it never feels thrown in my face. It's definitely there, but I don't have to hear about every single tender moment. Clara's relationship with Christian is interesting to follow as well. As first it seems like they will undoubtedly be together, but as the book progresses this is cast into doubt. Their romance, if you could call it that, fluctuates and changes throughout. Several interesting twists are thrown in as well. Their relationship is developed beautifully as well and is not annoying or overly clichéd.
THE WRITING This novel is written in Clara's voice, which is beautifully written by Hand. Her writing style is pretty but not overly poetic and is easy to understand. There's not too much detail, and no obvious evidence of her having to try too hard. Contemporary language flows across the page and matches the way young people speak today instead of being outdated. The writing is accurate and descriptive. Hand's writing is not immature and it does not sound inexperienced.
THE ENDING The ending will leave you wanting more. Desperately, because I know that's how I felt. It's beautiful, but leaves you hanging. I must admit I really did not see it coming but I wasn't too shocked when I read it. It made sense with the way the story had progressed and felt well-thought-out and not thrown in. I loved the element of surprise.
WRAPUP Of course I will be reading Hallowed! Unearthly left me absolutely dying for it. I will be reading it as soon as is possible with a vengeance.
I adored this book. It had an original concept, a fairly likable heroine, a hot, hot bad boy, and lovely, detailed writing.
This review contains minor spoilers.
THE HEROINE: Charlotte was not the worst heroine I've ever some across by far, but she was not my favorite, either. For one, she was somewhat stupid, making dumb choices about half of the time. I understood her desire to be remembered. We all want to be remembered. (A line from the inside dust jacket, I know.) But still. Can you ever really fight fate? I love that she tried, but sometimes enough is enough already. She could be strong at times, like when she tried to go against the Need, but she was also shockingly weak to me.
THE LOVE INTEREST: Mmm. Harlin is a hot, wonderful bad boy who immediately captured my attention. He's rugged but sweet, something you don't see a lot of in YA romances these days. He's definitely not good but he's not completely bad, either. However, he's kind of shallow. His character never really develops well, so there's not much to say about him.
THE MENTOR: Now here's someone who knew what he was doing. Monroe is brave and less one-dimensional than you might think. He can seem to be one-faced at times, but that's only because he's not sure how to act any other way. Yes, he documents Charlotte carefully, a bit experimentally, but it's his job. It's the way of showing future generations how everything will play out. He seems to have more depth than all of the other characters combined. He has a romance that ended in heartbreak and a life where he's tried desperately to help others as he can.
THE PLOT: For a shorter book, the plot dragged by awfully slowly. Nothing much seemed to happen at most points, and it was almost impossible to keep reading at some points. However, it was a very original, gripping concept, and involves much melodrama.
THE WRITING: Young's writing is a bit on the simple side but still quite lovely. Told in Charlotte's voice, the writing sometimes has a naïve tone to it, but is generally easy to follow. There's a bit too much description in my opinion in some places, and not enough in others, but for a debut novel it is quite impressive. Even though the writing is simple, it manages to get the point across well enough.
THE ROMANCE: Even though I liked both Charlotte and Harlin well enough, I did not enjoy this romance at all. I am a complete romantic so when I do not like a romance, it borders on pathetic. All they ever seem to do in this book is kiss and have sex. Moreover, Charlotte lies to Harlin for until the end of the book and yet he had no qualms about forgiving her. They never seem to have meaningful conversations. Even their first real meeting is lame, where they don't actually talk, except to say their names. All they do is-you guessed it-kiss. It is a completely shallow romance with no substance. I would've loved to see it develop more.
THE ENDING: This sold it for me and is probably the only reason I'll be buying the sequel. The cliffhanger here was intriguing and I'd like to know more about what happened.
Gorgeous. Review to come. Hopeful the next two books will be available in the US soon since they're already both our in other countries. I doubt it, b...moreGorgeous. Review to come. Hopeful the next two books will be available in the US soon since they're already both our in other countries. I doubt it, but fingers crossed because I really want to know what comes next. (less)
CATCHALL So, I actually bought this book when Borders was liquidating and therefore read it a long time ago. But becau...more****FINAL RATING: 4.30 STARS****
CATCHALL So, I actually bought this book when Borders was liquidating and therefore read it a long time ago. But because I believe in epic procrastination, I am only just now writing my review. I am awesome, I know. That's who y'all love me so much. Anyway, I absolutely loved this book. It was fun and the plot was unique and original.
THE HEROINE MERCY I really liked Mercy. She was a good, strong heroine. I didn't always agree with her decisions, but I could usually understand them. I think she honestly tried to do what she thought what right, and she certainly didn't always have easy choices. I think she worked well with what she was given and didn't really complain even when things got really difficult, which was admirable. I genuinely felt a connection to her.
THE LOVE INTERESTS RYAN Here we have a hot bad boy, which I have no problem with, because I love hot bad boys. But he's actually surprisingly not that shallow, which is incredibly nice to see. He clearly had a good heart, and I absolutely loved that. He also cared so much about his sister, which was impossible not to admire. I loved the way that he originally seems off-putting, but as you get to know him better it is easier to understand why. And I loved that. LUC There wasn't a whole lot about him, but it's clear that he becomes important so I feel I should mention him. There's not a lot to connect with, because we don't learn very much about him yet. Still, it would be nice to know how he and Mercy are so connected, but I'm sure we will.
THE PLOT The plot was a bit simplistic. However, it was also anything but predictable. I could never have seen the ending coming, or at least certain aspects of it.
It was easy to follow, too. I didn't feel lost, and while some things didn't make total sense, I have the sense that they are meant to remain mysteries until future books.
I really liked it. I was never bored, and I didn't ever want to put this book down when I was reading it, which is always a good thing.
Honestly, overall, it was an original concept and definitely a different take on angels. While I prefer the take on angels in Unearthly, this one is definitely a close second and I much prefer it to, say, Fallen, for example.
THE ROMANCE There wasn't actually a whole lot of romance in this book, which totally sucks for romantics-to-a-fault like me. However, I actually do appreciate that the author is saving most of the romance for later books. This keeps it from being too instalovey, and I'm actually happy with her decision even as it makes my heart pout. (God, that sounded so much better in my head.) There is more romance between Mercy and Luc, but we don't really know how and when that one began, so personally I didn't feel like there was a whole lot of substance in it.
THE WRITING In general, I liked Rebecca's writing. It's extremely pretty and flowy, for one thing. Hoever, somethings things are phrased, like, really weirdly and at times this was distracting. Some of the writing should have been more colloquial and less nineteenth-century-poet. It made it difficult to comprehend in some places, and I had to read over many parts more than once to fully understand. But overall, Rebecca has a beautiful hand and I cannot wait to hear more.
THE ENDING The ending was an awful cliffhanger and instantly left me practically desperate for the next book. I wanted to hear what happened next, and I liked how most of the story was wrapped up but some mystery remained to be resolved later.
WRAPUP I do want to read the next books, but I have problems with getting them because the author is Australia-based. I know there are sites like Fishpond and Amazon Australia but I haven't quite gotten around to it yet. Still, I will be reading the next books eventually, I guarantee you that.
CATCHALL I loved Unearthly. It was, easily, one of the best books I have ever read. But if I loved Unearthly, I LOVE...more*****FINAL RATING: 5.00 STARS*****
CATCHALL I loved Unearthly. It was, easily, one of the best books I have ever read. But if I loved Unearthly, I LOVED LOVED LOVED Hallowed. I actually finished it in one day, not at like three in the morning, because I literally DID NOT PUT IT DOWN. Ever. Until I finished it. And I enjoyed every single second I was reading it, whether I was laughing or crying or something in between.
(Also, my boyfriend read this book and he totally loved it, even though he would never admit it. But he definitely did.)
THE HEROINE CLARA GARDNER Clara remains one of my favorite heroines to date. I love her so much. She's strong and human and isn't afraid to make the hard decisions. I love the way she's always ready for anything, whether she herself knows it or not. She's a fantastic girl who actually does things. I grew to love Clara more in this book even more than I did in Unearthly, and I loved her quite an awful lot then.
THE LOVE INTERESTS CHRISTIAN PRESCOTT I'm sorry, darlings, and I love you all, but I have to say that I'm totally Team Christian here. I think in this book it's pretty much impossible not to fall in love with him--he's so sweet, and so perfect, and so always there. I love the way we get to know him so much better in this book. Christian fascinates and intrigues me, and he has a story to tell too. Most assuredly one of my favorite characters, and I'm really looking forward to him in book three. TUCKER AVERY Well, it isn't that I don't love Tucker, because I do. I completely love Tucker. I just love Christian more. Tucker is very sweet in this book, although I'll admit at times he got on my nerves and I kind of wished I could slap him. But those moments were rare and don't detract from my overall feelings for him. He's a solid character, but unfortunately I felt I didn't see as much as him as I might have wanted to.
THE (REALLY HOT) BROTHER JEFFREY GARDNER I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love Jeffrey. I think he's my favorite character in this series, much as I love Clara, Christian, and Tucker. He has a mystery surrounding him that's incredibly intriguing and I always find myself wanting to know more about him. Can we have a novella or something told from his point of view, please? I really want to know more about him, and the place he was standing at at the end of Hallowed left me breathless. I want to know more, and I want to know more now.
THE MOTHER MARGARET GARNER I liked Clara's and Jeffrey's mother infinitely better in this book, although I still felt that she tried to hold too much information back from them when they really should have known. But overall, I was impressed with the way she was portrayed in this book.
THE VILLAIN SAMJEEZA Samjeeza is back to play the bad-guy role in Hallowed, yet he never feels overused or outworn. He's a fantastic villain who goes far deeper than what he seems to be on the surface, not a boring and flat two-dimensional character. He also seems to have a story untold, a story I'd love to hear.
THE PLOT Oh, how I loved the plot of this book. It was fantastic and magnificent.
Romance. Danger. Testing.
Cliché-sounding, I know, but totally true in a non-cliché way.
Every moment something was happening. Something emotional, something intense, something magical and completely new. There was so much anticipation in the book I literally suffered breathing struggles in some places.
Some of the events shocked me, some pleased me, some made me squeal out loud and bounce up and down with extreme excitement.
We also discover some new things in this book about angels and Nephilim. A few of these revelations completely shocked me, but some of them I could sort of see coming a little. We learn something in particular that I suspected from the beginning, but then I was thrown into even more surprise but yet another similar but also different revelation. I can't stay one step ahead all of the time, and yes, I like it that way. I enjoy being surprised.
But every single moment had one thing in common: I loved them all. Even if there were a few moments I maybe didn't like as much, which is completely possible, I don't actually remember them, which goes to show that they were unimportant anyway.
The plot was excellent and kept me on an insane emotional roller coaster. I was literally a wreck by the end of this book, but in a good way. I loved all of the emotional moments, even the ones dealing with generally unpleasant topics. Everything about the plot was beautiful.
THE ROMANCE CLARA AND CHRISTIAN It is no secret that I love Clara and Christian together. I think that they are a beautiful couple. The way their romance is developed in this book is also so smooth and lovely--it fits together like the pieces of a puzzle and is just perfect. It doesn't feel forced or fake, but completely natural in every way. It develops slowly but sweetly, growing in potency as time went by. It was absolutely convincing, and I adored it completely. CLARA AND TUCKER I also love Clara and Tucker together, because I can. I simply don't love them together as much as I love Clara and Christian. Still, this was a beautiful romance also. They had disagreements but got over them, and they weren't so sickly perfect that it got old too fast. Their relationship really developed in this book as opposed to Unearthly, and it was very nice to see that. I love the way they are together and how much they genuinely care for and love each other.
THE WRITING Hand's writing continues to blow me away. Clara's voice was lovely in Unearthly, but it really matures and further improves in Hallowed. The description is beautiful and lush but still sounds conversational enough and not overly forced or stiff. I love the way Clara sounds like an ordinary teenage girl and not some sixty-year-old woman trapped in a young girl's body. The writing is flawless and I am left with no complaints, just a jaw dropped in admiration and amazement and shock.
THE ENDING Wow. That was a mean way to end the book, but only because now I have to wait for months before I get to find out what happens next! I felt breathless by the time Hallowed was finished. The ending was absolutely perfect, though, all mean cliffhangers aside. I wouldn't have changed a thing about it. It was the absolute best ending possible. I could only guess about half of it, but the parts I could guess I was supposed to, and the rest of it was the surprise I had been eagerly awaiting.
WRAPUP I'll be reading Untitled, of course! That's not even a question! Of course I'm reading it. I can't wait to see the title and the cover. I'm sure it will be as amazing as both Unearthly and Hallowed. Of this I have no doubt. I am insanely eager for the next book and am practically already counting the days. Oh, Unearthly book the third, please arrive sooner!
(On a side note, I think this may be the longest review I've ever written, which of necessity says a little something about the amazingness of this book.)