Wendy Darling's Reviews > Hallowed

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
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May 04, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: crush-worthy-boys, pn-angels, young-adult, 2012-favorites, favorite-ya, favorites-all-time, read-2011, made-my-heart-hurt, heroines-butt-kicking, snowy, 2012-publication, read-2012, 2012-5-star-books
Read 2 times. Last read November 2, 2011 to January 28, 2012.

**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
“This is the part where I kiss you.”
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
“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

Finished Reading
May 4, 2011 – Shelved
November 2, 2011 – Started Reading
November 2, 2011 –
page 1
0.25% "Pleasebegoodpleasebegoodpleasebegood."
November 2, 2011 –
page 67
16.63% ""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"
November 2, 2011 –
page 150
37.22% "I KNEW this would happen. And in spite of that, I'm making a 2012 favorites shelf for this already."
January 28, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 51-100 of 401) (401 new)

Kimberly the book is wonderful. but patch and daniel are just as wonderful as tucker. the only difference is hes mortal. which in my opinion ruins part the romance. she's part angel which means she'll be around long after he's died. she'll live with that pain forever. personally i think she should be with christian

Jessica Wendy Darling wrote: "I think we're all pretty excited about this one. ;)"

Definitely! :D

message 53: by Chibineko (new) - added it

Chibineko I can't wait to see this book. I hope that HC does ARCs through either vine or Netgalley. (And that they allow me to read it if they do the Netgalley thing.)

I wouldn't mind shelling out actual money for this book, though.

Wendy Darling I will give Cynthia Hand my cat if she'll let me have an ARC.

message 55: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa I'm willing to throw all my faith behind Cynthia Hand's second novel because I pretty much don't like any male love interest in YA novels from Dimitri and Adrian to Daniel to Edward. Tucker was the very first YA male character I've actually liked.

Wendy Darling Isn't he awesome? She did such a great job with slowly unveiling his character. I appreciated that the relationship developed later, too, and that it wasn't the be-all and end-all of Clara's life.

Jessica agreed!:)

message 58: by ranne (new) - added it

ranne Hahahaha I like Patch and Daniel, but I have to agree with you on that. :)

message 59: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Anna wrote: "Hahahaha I like Patch and Daniel, but I have to agree with you on that. :)"

Anna, out of curiosity, what could you possibly find likeable about Patch and Daniel?

Kimberly Lissa wrote: "Anna wrote: "Hahahaha I like Patch and Daniel, but I have to agree with you on that. :)"

Anna, out of curiosity, what could you possibly find likeable about Patch and Daniel?"

Well with Patch it's definitely the bad boy side of him. You never think he could be the one to sacrifice what he wants for love, but he does; more than once. The shock of it makes you love him even more because really it shows that with all the bad decicsions he's made and everything he believes in he's willing to give it all up to be with nora.

Now on to Daniel. He started off as a total jerk but the more the story developed you saw that he was actually really sweet and so in love with her he couldn't think straight. That's the kind of love every girl wants. But he hasn't ben completely honest with her. But it's just because he's scared he's gonna kill her again. He picked her over everything, even the love of God. She's his whole universe. What kind of girl wouldn't want to be loved like that?

message 61: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Kimberly wrote: "What kind of girl wouldn't want to be loved like that?"

I'd rather a man didn't sexually harass me and tell me he wants to murder me, or be such a jerk-face that he lies to me about anything and tries to control anything I want to do (ie the way I look, who my friends are etc).

If you want to argue that the boys end up changing, that quite frankly isn't good enough. The boys don't change. They're always controlling abusive jerks. They deserve their equally vapid and empty-headed heroines.

Tucker is a prime example of a character who at first is a jerk but then opens up and reveals his finer side. Patch and Daniel don't even come close to turning over a leaf, or even have any second side to their personalities. Nothing about those two is redeemable.

message 62: by ranne (new) - added it

ranne Kimberly wrote: "Lissa wrote: "Anna wrote: "Hahahaha I like Patch and Daniel, but I have to agree with you on that. :)"

Anna, out of curiosity, what could you possibly find likeable about Patch and Daniel?"

Well ..."


@Lissa: Don't you think it's unfair for Patch and Daniel to be compared to a non-supernatural being who's harmless and doesn't have dangerous enemies ready to kill the one he falls in love with?

message 63: by Lisa (last edited Oct 20, 2011 12:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa Anna wrote: "Kimberly wrote: "Lissa wrote: "Anna wrote: "Hahahaha I like Patch and Daniel, but I have to agree with you on that. :)"

Anna, out of curiosity, what could you possibly find likeable about Patch an..."

I can't speak for Lissa, but I personally can't think of any situation where sexual harassment and attempted murder is justified, especially in a love interest. It doesn't matter what species a guy is (angel, vampire, fairy, etc.) or what stressors he has in his life, he should still treat his significant other with respect and dignity. Neither Patch nor Daniel showed their significant others dignity or respect.

message 64: by Wendy Darling (last edited Oct 20, 2011 10:19AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling I'm not a fan of either Patch or Daniel, and I have to agree with Lissa and Lisa's assessments of them both. I like alpha males as much as the next girl, but I think both of those characters cross the line in terms of what's attractive to me personally.

I have a lot of friends who do enjoy those series, though, Annerooo and Kimberly, so you're not alone. It's interesting to hear your perspective, though, thanks for sharing what you like about them...and at least we can all agree that Tucker is a keeper!

message 65: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Annerooo wrote: "Kimberly wrote: "Lissa wrote: "Anna wrote: "Hahahaha I like Patch and Daniel, but I have to agree with you on that. :)"

Anna, out of curiosity, what could you possibly find likeable about Patch an..."

Well Clara is put in a lot more danger than Tucker is, and quite frankly I think a lot more danger than either Luce or Nora - that's probably due to Hand's ability to reveal the higher stakes. Because Clara's a great heroine, and she's the one that has to deal with her problems, not Tucker. And I think it's fair to compare YA boys no matter what their race because they're all fictional.

I do find it interesting that Kimberly said that basically their only redeeming features were their love for the respective heroines. I can take it to mean that if Patch and Daniel weren't the love interests, and didn't have that single redeeming feature, they would be unlikeable to everyone else.

Kimberly Annerooo wrote: "Kimberly wrote: "Lissa wrote: "Anna wrote: "Hahahaha I like Patch and Daniel, but I have to agree with you on that. :)"

Anna, out of curiosity, what could you possibly find likeable about Patch an..."

Exactly Annerooo (: I love them all lol

Kimberly Well not exactly. I'm a sucker for bad boys. Always have been. Patch is my kind of guy. He's not evil, just misunderstood. And A fallen angel, which he became because he fell in love. Hello? anyone other me find that be extremely unfair? Daniel was a fallen angel because he loved his girl more than anything else. Everyone always talks about how love is the most wonderful and powerful thing but in all of these novels you have everything working against it, even the good things. Maybe we shouldn't compare them because all in all they each served their purpose in their books and none of the others could have done it better in that storyline. Tucker was wonderful for Unearthly. But Patch was great for Hush, Hush and Daniel great for Fallen. They're all good characters just completely different.

message 68: by [deleted user] (new)

Cupcake, Hallowed is up on Netgalley right now =)

Wendy Darling Thanks so much, honey! I'm going into hiding now. :D

Glass You and Zemira are so lucky!

Wendy Darling I know, I am very, very grateful, Glass. Like the rest of the YA reading universe, I've been salivating over this one!

Crowinator So excited it lived up to the hype!

Wendy Darling Lived up to and exceeded, Crowinator! I had guessed some of what happens, but the story went beyond even what I imagined.

Larissa Omg. I need an ARC. NOW! Haha so excited for this book and your review (: Glad you loved it!

Bonnie Wow! Done so quick. :D Maybe if I finished Unearthly tonight I can start reading Hallowed tomorrow! :)

Wendy Darling I love it even more than I thought I would, Larissa! I can't wait for you to read it.

You're done with Unearthly pretty quickly yourself, Miss Bonnie. ;) I'm actually really curious how you'll react to it reading them back to back, though, as opposed to the rest of us who have had all these months to wait and agonize.

Bonnie hahaha Yes, this is the one benefit of waiting. :) I'll have to agonize with you all for the third one though.

Wendy Darling There is that! Damn, now I REALLY want to drive over to Cynthia Hand's house with a pie and puppy eyes. A whole year until the next one.

Taneika I am going on Netgalley now! I am incredibly desperate to read this!! Lucky duck!

message 80: by Cait (new) - added it

Cait My Netgalley request was denied. Sadface :(

Taneika Aww :( Maybe you could still get it! I got declined for The Katerina Trilogy: The Gathering Storm and then they must've changed their mind because a few days later they said I can download it!! I just requested it *fingers crossed*

Wendy Darling Good luck, you two! Hope it works out. This is totally worth buying, though. Even though I have the egalley, I am still going to be purchasing the hardback for my bookshelf.

Taneika I've already read Unearthly as an ebook, but I just had to get the hardcopy, so I bought it the other day along with Shatter Me (two weeks early, YAY!). I'm definitely going to buy Hallowed regardless!!

Wendy Darling Good. We have to give Cynthia Hand our dollars so she will keep writing. :D

message 85: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa I would pay in advance to have this book, that's how much I trust Hand.

Wendy Darling Let's all send her our checks for the next book directly. Because she leaped right over the sophomore slump and convinced me to feel things I'd never thought I'd feel in a million years.

Taneika Oh my god, I am still incredibly jealous you've already read this! Netgalley, come through!! Netgalley is possibly the best and the worst thing that I've discovered on the internet

Kassiah Wow, Wendy. I really want to talk to you about this. I am *still* sad after reading this, and it makes me happy that you liked it.

Wendy Darling I pretty much dropped everything else as soon as it came through, Taneika. I took some bathroom and Oreo and GoodReads breaks and that's it!

And ah-hah, I'm not going to read your review until I've written mine, Kassiah, but I'm dying to discuss this book as well. I loved this, but I know not everyone will have the same reaction. Look forward to comparing notes!

Wendy Darling P.S. I totally cried at the end. :(

message 91: by Cara (new)

Cara Now you have gotten me intrigued. I have to read the first one soon;)

Wendy Darling CARA. You haven't read Unearthly? Get off the computer and go read it!! I'm taking away all your other books until you do!

Taneika I would probably drop everything to read this if I got the chance too Wendy!

message 94: by Cara (new)

Cara Hahahahaha:D No I haven't!!! I'll just have to check it out and read it before the year is out. With a reaction like that you better bet I'm moving it up on my to read list.

Wendy Darling Good! I will stalk you until you do, Cara. :)

Elena Ahh, I'm so excited for this, after seeing that you give it five stars! I had some doubts about where she'd take it in the second, but now I can't wait! :)

Wendy Darling Well...you may not be entirely wrong about the direction, Elena. If you suspected what I suspected, she totally went there. But it worked for me in a big way, even though I didn't think it could! Plus a whole bunch of other complicated stuff that was incredibly well-written and emotional.

Not everyone is going to be happy, though. I think there will be some wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Steph Sinclair Ahhh! You're finished! I'll have to wait to read your review until after I finish reading and writing my own. :)

Wendy Darling I do the same thing, Stephanie. :) Can't wait to compare notes!

message 100: by Inoli (new)

Inoli Actually, that's all it takes. I just took another look at Unearthly and shifted it to high priority list. Such praise from such an interesting mix of people - especially for a book with an angel theme.

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