Wendy Darling's Reviews > Hallowed

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
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**Our Cynthia Hand Interview, where she addresses many of the questions that arise from this series is here and here. Enjoy!**

There aren't words enough to express how gorgeous this book is. Fans of the Unearthly 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 fun presence in Clara's life (view spoiler), 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 person 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 Paradise Lost. 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.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

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: (view spoiler)
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Quotes Wendy Darling Liked

Cynthia Hand
“There's nothing more inspiring than the complexity and beauty of the human heart.”
Cynthia Hand, Hallowed

Cynthia Hand
“Tucker strokes my hair. There's something so tender about the gesture. It might as well have been him whispering I love you.”
Cynthia Hand, Hallowed

Cynthia Hand
“This is the part where I kiss you.”
Cynthia Hand, Hallowed

Cynthia Hand
“Our purpose on this earth is not one single event, an accomplishment we can check off a list. There is no test. No passing or failing. There's only us, each moment shaping who we are, into what we will become.”
Cynthia Hand, Hallowed


Reading Progress

11/02/2011 page 1
0.0% "Pleasebegoodpleasebegoodpleasebegood." 19 comments
11/02/2011 page 67
21.0% ""It's not like I can be with him all the time. I did get so wigged out that I sneaked out to his house a couple of times in the middle of the night to watch over him while he slept, just in case, I don't know, his comic book collection decided to spontaneously combust. This was dumb and admittedly creepy in an Edward Cullen kind of way." :D" 23 comments
11/02/2011 page 150
47.0% "I KNEW this would happen. And in spite of that, I'm making a 2012 favorites shelf for this already." 7 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 407) (407 new)


The Holy Terror (view spoiler)


Elizabeth Salom (elistar) LOL! So true. I <3 Tucker Avery. And I have a feeling Hallowed is going to be better than Unearthly!


Wendy Darling Aw, I know HT. But just think, that unfortunate sacrifice was necessary to save Tucker, WHO IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE.

Elizabeth wrote: "LOL! So true. I <3 Tucker Avery. And I have a feeling Hallowed is going to be better than Unearthly!"

I hope so, Elizabeth! Just thinking of all the potential nature dates makes me a little swoony.


message 4: by rameau (new)

rameau This could go either way. So very good on an upwards trend or so very bad. And I couldn't care less about the cover.


Wendy Darling Do you think so, rameau? I thought it was an exceptional debut, and so well-written and lovely that I trust that the author will have a story in mind that we'll be happy with. (view spoiler)


message 6: by Nic (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nic Love Tucker too!!! And I agree it was outstanding debut. Hopefully it gets even better :)


message 7: by Jessi (new) - added it

Jessi Ok so I was not sure if "rapey" was a word so when talking about somthing I would say I wish it were less rapeyas a question now I can just use the word without concerns about assholery(not sure about that word either)


Wendy Darling I say "rapey" and "assholery" can both be used. Especially to describe...well, you know. ;)

I actually am kind of hoping that we'll see more of Christian in Hallowed as well. He's still something of an enigma and it'll be interesting to see if he becomes a more dynamic character.


message 9: by Jillian -always aspiring- (last edited Jun 27, 2011 04:14PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jillian -always aspiring- Oh, you're gonna be THAT way, Wendy? Well, fine then. I'm not adding you to my book tour if I get an ARC. :P

(view spoiler)

(view spoiler)


Steph Sinclair I love all her characters. Personally, I'm eager to see what Jeffery has been up to.

And I will most definitely be buying it when it comes out. ARC or no ARC. :D


message 11: by Lamia (new) - added it

Lamia I love Unearthly! It's one of the happy surprises of 2011.
And um, yes, more Tucker please. Though I have to say, I'm a little worried about the "This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick [...]"
No. Please no. Just stop it.
I wish I lived in the US so I could get ARCs :(


Wendy Darling Uh-oh. *backpedals furiously* I would love to read this NOW so ARCs would of course be awesome! But HarperCollins, you should know we would all buy copies to support the author anyway. In fact, I'll drive over to Cynthia Hand's house right now with $20 and a pie if it would help my case.

Jillian, do you really think HC will do ARCs for this? I hate to say it, but (view spoiler)

And oh yes, Jeffrey! He's interesting too, I hope we see more of him. Why so mad, honey pie?


Steph Sinclair Lol! Drive to her house! Lol. Bring us the book Hand, we have cookies! Lol.


Sandy What I love most about galleys is that I can read the book early (I get so impatient waiting for all these sequels!) but I've purchased several hardbacks of galleys I loved because like many of you, I'm addicted to having a pretty bookshelf that makes my heart happy-sigh just by looking at it.

I read Unearthly as a galley and loved it so much I got a hardback.


message 15: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 27, 2011 04:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling I know that Cynthia Hand is around here somewhere! I wish I still had interns who went to USC so I had an "in." I could just find out when her classes are and show up, I guess. I could be her first official stalker.

Lamia, I want to rip that "for fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike" thing right off the blurb. I hope HC reconsiders this marketing ploy before publication since Unearthly blows all those away and should not be tainted by them. Ugh. (Although I haven't actually read AP yet.)

I'm with you, Sandy. I love reading things early too, but I always buy copies of the books I really love. (view spoiler)


Steph Sinclair Pike's series isn't bad. It's better than Fitzpatrick and Kate, tho. But it's still not in the sane league as Unearthly.


message 17: by Jillian -always aspiring- (last edited Jun 27, 2011 05:20PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jillian -always aspiring- @Wendy: Well, for really popular books (like Harry Potter, Twilight Saga, Mockingjay, even the fourth volume of Mortal Instruments), publishers usually DON'T have ARCs since the word of mouth and fan base allow for enough hype even without galleys. However, in Unearthly's case, I don't know if its fan base is large enough yet to warrant a complete lack of ARCs. Maybe for the third book it would be an option, but I don't think it would be for the second. Plus, HarperCollins is one of those publishers that always seems to go the ARC route with most of their YA catalogue.


Wendy Darling Oh, of course Unearthly is not in the same league sales-wise as those other series you mentioned, Jillian! But I'm curious how well the first book did. Hopefully even more people will be finding her books and reading them. Doesn't hurt to hope for ARCs of Hallowed, though. :)

Stephanie--that's good to know, thanks! I have the first book as a Kindle freebie, so I'll have to check out Wings sometime. A lot of people seem to really like the guy in it.


Jillian -always aspiring- My bets are that there will be ARCs. I'm 97% positive.


Wendy Darling I like your odds. I'm going with those. :)


message 21: by Brooke (new)

Brooke LOL I haven't even read book one, but I totally love this update. I think I need to get a copy of this one stat! I've seen it at the store so many times, but I'm just so "blegh" when it comes to angels etc. It's sad.


message 22: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa I'm the most impatient person ever so I would love to read the ARC (if one is in fact released) but I'm not big enough in the GoodReads/book blogging community to qualify for one. I really enjoyed Unearthly and have high hopes for the second one.

P.S. I think Cynthia Hand teaches at Pepperdine, not USC. :)


Wendy Darling Oh Brooke, Unearthly is so good! Find yourself a copy as soon as possible...you won't regret it.

And d'oh! You're right, it is Pepperdine Lisa! Even better, she's right by the beach. Still no connections there, though. :(


Sandy The only thing the Wings series has going for it is Tamani. Laurel has got to be one of the most selfish, whiny teen heroines of all time. The love triangle ends up dominating the plot such that by Book #3, it's just a bunch of two-boys-fighting-over-girl and oh-who-should-I-choose-I-want-you-both. But at least there's Tamani, and the book isn't blatantly offensive like Hush, Hush or Fallen.


Wendy Darling Tamani! Yes, that's the one. (My challenge question for friend requests is "who is your favorite fictional crush?" and he often comes up.) It's good to know all the stuff you mentioned going into the Wings series, Sandy, thank you. :)

Needless to say, Tucker comes up a lot for my challenge question, too. ;)


tonya. There were ARCs at ALA today. I asked my friend to snag one, hopefully she did and will either let me borrow or just reassure me that nothing happens with Tucker. Oh, my heart.


Wendy Darling Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! *runs screaming* Tonya!

This does bode well for eventual egalleys, though, I should think.


tonya. I KNOW. I'm all (prematurely) a-quiver. *eyes netgalley impatiently*


Wendy Darling I think Crowinator just got back from ALA, too. What are the chances we could persuade her to do an ARC blog tour if she snagged one? Hmmm.


Stephanie Yes what are the Odds of this ARC tour going down?? I'd love to participate and wouldn't mind sharing my ARC's too. In actual book form, I have an ACR of Variant , which debuts in Oct and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I'm all for sending them on a tour, but I feel like I'd like to be included in the book shares that go on with other ladies who seem to share ARCs amongst themselves too. I feel like I have no friends sometimes.... *sniff* But yeah, read Hallowed early? Yes please!


message 31: by rameau (new)

rameau Wendy Darling wrote: "Do you think so, rameau? I thought it was an exceptional debut, and so well-written and lovely that I trust that the author will have a story in mind that we'll be happy with. [spoilers removed]"

Definitely. It was a good book and especially good for a new author, but it just didn't click with me. Unearthly had one of the most well-written teenagers that actually sounded and acted like teenagers, which would be fine except I never felt like one myself so I can't connect.

As for trusting the author, I've been burned too many times to trust in even the most seasoned writers. They are different people and will always see thing in ways that seem queer to me, but very few can manage to make me forget my qualms completely. Let's hope Cynthia Hand will become one of those, but it might take another series for me to feel it.


message 32: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 28, 2011 01:17AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling Hmm, you're one of the very few people I've come across who feels this way. (I just read your review of Unearthly and it doesn't seem like you had very many positive feelings about it at all.) You'll just have to leave the fan-girling over this series to the rest of us, then!

Stephanie, it would be amazing if this ends up being an egalley so that people don't even have to deal with circulating an ARC. I'm actually a little surprised these are already out, as it's nearly 7 months before the book will be released.


Jillian -always aspiring- If ARCs were distributed at ALA, I'm surprised I haven't yet found any comments on Goodreads or Twitter gushing about having it. . . Too early, perhaps?


Wendy Darling I had the same thought, Jillian. Unless people who went didn't have it on their radar (!!) or I'm just not friends with anyone who snagged one. It does seem awfully early.


Steph Sinclair Or maybe they are too busy reading and re-reading? lol.


Crowinator Sorry to say guys, I did NOT get an ARC of this book and I am so sad I missed it. I must've gone by those booths a zillion times and I never saw them giving this one out. Did they give them out on Monday? That may explain it -- I left that day and was barely at the exhibits.

Oh well. No use crying over missed arcs. (c; But I think publishers in YA know how much promotion they get over these arcs, so they make a ton of them. But I had to stand in lines to get a couple of the big name ones.


Stephanie Thanks for the info guys. So I started a book review blog a week ago. I'm working on finishing my thorough reviews for the books I've just read that needs reviews to upload there, but I am interested in sharing the ARC's I have if any one is interested. I suppose, I have to start some where if I want it to grow. How does the ARC tours usually work? (I've never actually partaken in one). I'd probably start off sharing with you lovely ladies in this community, since I have a frame of reference of knowing you in some fashion, even if it's just our online association for now. I'm about to acquire two more ARCs in addition to the 2 I currently have.


Wendy Darling Sorry to be whispering about you behind your back, Crow. :) (It was too good to be true anyway!) Did you come back from ALA with anything you were really excited by?


Crowinator No big, Wendy! I only wish I had gotten one; I would totally share it. And I would feel important! (c;

I got a couple I'm really excited about, like Empire of Ruins by Arthur Slade and The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff and The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. And I got a lot of others that look good. And of course I stalked Lish McBride from place to place in a not so stealthy manner, so I got a picture and autograph. Sadly my picture of Laini Taylor did not turn out so well but she was fun to meet. All in all, a good time -- I'll probably write it up on my blog and post a link later.


Wendy Darling LISH MCBRIDE! Oh, that's awesome. I hope there were waffles.

Please do post the linky when your ALA blog post is done, I want to stew in a pit of my own jealousy live vicariously.


tonya. I guess my friend was mistaken and it was NOT at ALA. *dreams deflate*


message 42: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 28, 2011 12:59PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling We'll all just have to be a little more patient for this book, I guess! There's still that recurring daydream I have of showing up at her door with baked goods and puppy dog eyes. *sigh*


tonya. She does live somewhat near me, I believe...


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

OMG if there were ARC's at ALA and Brooke Goldetsky didn't get them...grrr


Annerooo the Poppy Fairy I like both Patch and Daniel but I totally agree with you on that. Tucker owns them, and he's not even a supernatural being!


Wendy Darling It just goes to show you that the right boy trumps even a fallen angel. :)


message 47: by zara (new) - rated it 4 stars

zara I never understoon what's so hot about patch


message 48: by Cait (new) - added it

Cait Amen to your review, and to Zara. Patch is a psychopathic stalker.


message 49: by Jessica (last edited Aug 23, 2011 06:12AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jessica What's ARC/galley? I'm confused there...
(view spoiler)
If you loved this book, you should also try Graceling by Kristin Cashore. :) I loved that one too. I can't say anything bad about Hush, Hush because I never read it. Although I did plan to, I don't know about it now... As for Twilight... well, I just don't like Edward. And Fallen was horrible, I gave it till about page 300 and found nothing about it interesting and hate Daniel.


message 50: by Cait (new) - added it

Cait Jessica wrote: "What's ARC/galley? I'm confused there... I LOVE Tucker! [I'm worried about what's going on with Jeffrey, and Christian is an interesting character, but I would much rather Clara be with Tucker :) C..."

An ARC/Galley is pretty much an Advanced Reading Copy which is where the author lets a couple early versions of her book out to reviewers and other to review/critique and stir up interest in their books before the actual release. And a lot of ARC's come from a website called Netgalley, so some people call them galleys.


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