Catie's Reviews > Hallowed

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
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bookshelves: fantasy, paranormal, read-in-2011, romance, series, ya, for-review

I had a whole bunch of worried speculations going into this book: a whole bunch of thoughts like, “if this happens…then I’m out.” And they basically all came true. But she made me like it.

How did she do that?

I’m still not quite sure. Even now, I can think of several problems that I have with this book, and yet; my major feeling upon reaching the last page was, “that was pretty good.”

And I find myself right back here, in the place where I am filled with worried speculation…this time for book three. I’m chiefly worried because, even after two complete books, I have no idea what she’s trying to say. There’s something here about faith and free will vs. destiny, but I’ll be damned if I know what it is. (view spoiler) Even after two books, I’m still almost completely in the dark about the mythology, the rules, the world I’m inhabiting. I don’t know which way is up or which side is evil or what the hell a purpose is truly all about.

The main character is not helpful in this regard, either. She’s for the most part placid, unquestioning, and even seems in denial. When she finally starts to uncover the right questions, she seems to forget them before they’ve even been asked. It’s frustrating. And I think that I would be okay with her placidity if I felt that it was a true representation of her character, but unfortunately, it feels more like a device to stall the progression of the story. I hate feeling manipulated like that.

Jeffrey’s whole story line just doesn’t make any sense to me at all. For all that Clara’s mom seems to be present, attentive, and strict with Clara, she seems to be completely oblivious when it comes to Jeffrey. (view spoiler)

The romance surprised me. I didn’t roll my eyes or cringe. So many of my YA romance pet peeves are here, but she writes it in such an honest way; it’s hard not to feel for everyone involved. I’ve never been one of those people who get really invested in team A or team B though. In fact, and this will be shocking to the literary nerd-girls out there (ie, all of you), I really was not that upset when Jo rejected Laurie and then married middle-aged Professor Bhaer. I know. Settle down, ladies. If it feels right, I can go with it.

However, I am so caught up in the free will vs. destiny aspect of the romance. This next part will be a completely random tangent so feel free to skip it.

Once, one of my more blunt friends asked me, “Do you love your kids more than your husband?”

And I didn’t even have to think about that for a second before saying, “Yes.” The love that I have for my children is so completely ingrained and uncontrollable and primal. I know without a doubt that I would commit violence or sacrifice myself just to keep them safe. I have no choice in this, and I don’t want one.

But the love that I have for my husband is something that I choose. It’s something that I have to keep choosing every single day. I have to work to keep it burning, to keep it new. And I think that’s what makes it so powerful and so wonderful. I could let it fade and stagnate, could let it grow stale, but I don’t. Because it’s something that I choose. It’s something that I want.

So when these destined, soul mate romances come up in fiction, I always have a hard time. I will always root for the love that’s chosen, because I think that part of what makes romantic love real is the fighting for it.

I will probably read book three, because I still want to know how everything is explained. Here are my crazy predictions for book three:

(view spoiler)

Perfect Musical Pairing

Michelle Branch – Goodbye to You

Because the romance in this book is so angsty and teenagery but somehow I still liked it. This one is for Clara :(
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Reading Progress

November 4, 2011 – Started Reading
November 5, 2011 – Shelved as: fantasy
November 5, 2011 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
November 5, 2011 – Shelved as: paranormal
November 5, 2011 – Shelved as: ya
November 5, 2011 – Shelved
November 5, 2011 – Shelved as: romance
November 5, 2011 – Shelved as: series
November 5, 2011 – Finished Reading
December 4, 2011 – Shelved as: for-review

Comments Showing 1-50 of 66 (66 new)


Limonessa So I'm not the only one.


Catie Nope! Have you written a review yet? I'm working on it right now. I look forward to reading your thoughts.


Limonessa I'm working on it too, most probably I'll finish tonight or tomorrow. I so laughed when I read your review of Unearthly.
And I'm still discussing over on Wendy's review about the free will/predestination issue which is driving me CRAZY.


Catie Oh, you are?

Because that's exactly what I am having the biggest issue with...well, that and the complete lack of world-building.

I might head over!


Limonessa When you say world building do you mean the whole religious context?


Catie Yes - the angels, the dark wings, the purposes, the "war" - I have no idea what's going on. I feel like I should know more than this after two books.


Steph Sinclair That is true Catie. I guess she wants to save all that for the last book, but that did bother me a bit.


Catie I really hope that it all gets explained! I guess, after two books, it starts to make me worry that even the author doesn't know what's going on.


Limonessa Very true Catie, and that's the reason of all the discussion. So many things are unclear, "murky" as Wendy said, and I can't base my judgement on the "hope" of what's to come.


Limonessa Catie wrote: "I really hope that it all gets explained! I guess, after two books, it starts to make me worry that even the author doesn't know what's going on."

I got the same feeling. I hope she planned out her whole religious world carefully cause she's walking on broken glass. What God is this?


message 11: by Maja (The Nocturnal Library) (last edited Nov 05, 2011 10:21AM) (new)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Awesome review, Catie. I have this, but all the hype is making me NOT want to read it, even though I liked the first one. I probably will sooner or later, I'll just wait for things to calm down a little bit. :)


Catie Haha, yeah, I can see that. I got kind of swept up in the whirlwind of it all. I liked it though! If you liked the first one, I don't see why you wouldn't like this one too.


Giselle I've just started it :D


Steph Sinclair I love the review!

About Jeffrey: (view spoiler)

P.S. While reading the book the song "Young Love" by Gavin Degraw was running through my mind.


Catie Thanks Stephanie!

Yes, I think that you're right about Jeffrey. (view spoiler)


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Ok, so I totally 100% agree with everything you said in your review!!!


Catie Haha, thanks Michelle. Ditto to you!


Steph Sinclair I have the same questions. Hopefully they will be explained in the next book. CH said Jeffrey's purpose comes to the forefront. (view spoiler)


message 19: by rameau (new)

rameau Good review. I was a bit hesitant about continuing with this series before, and nothing on here (or in the glowing five star reviews) makes me want to read this book. I couldn't get into her world then and right now the only positive thing I remember from book one is Tucker. Sounds like a miss to me.


message 20: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo I'm itching to click on those spoilers....

But I won't.

:)


Catie (view spoiler)

I don't know! I think that I'm just confused. I hope everything gets explained in book three!

rameau - if you didn't like book one, this is more of the same, so you're probably right to skip it.


Steph Sinclair Catie, I have no idea! Lol. I would hate for that to be the explanation. I'm hoping Hand has an answer up her sleeves that we didn't even think of. Sandy said in Wendy's thread that book 3 will have (view spoiler). So now I'm even more curious on how everything is going to work out!


Catie I wonder if she's going to show the (view spoiler)

Thanks for trying to answer my questions anyway, Stephanie. I guess we'll just have to wait!


Sandy (view spoiler)


Sandy In fact, and this will be shocking to the literary nerd-girls out there (ie, all of you), I really was not that upset when Jo rejected Laurie and then married middle-aged Professor Bhaer. I know. Settle down, ladies. If it feels right, I can go with it.

I still remember being 11 and throwing my mom's 50-year-old copy of Little Women at the wall and refusing to pick it up for two weeks when Jo rejected Laurie.


Catie Thanks for the update Sandy! (view spoiler)


Catie HAhahahahaha! I don't think you're alone there.


Steph Sinclair Ahhh! (view spoiler)


Nomes oh, i love your thoughts in this review.

maybe the free will/predestination issue is murky b/c humans have free will, angels don't. and these people are a mix-up. and the author herself seems a little bit mixed-up ;) i wasn't too clear on it either. and it drove me crazy how secretive clara's mum was, or how convos they were going to have about things were always delayed.

i love your thoughts on loving your children verse loving your husband (view spoiler)
i


Limonessa Great review Catie. It reflects pretty well my feelings about the book, too. And I loved your predictions for the next one, they're not crazy at all.


Catie Yes, Nomes! That made me so frustrated too. (view spoiler)

Thanks Lisa! I just have to put that word in there to protect my ego if they don't come true. It's like...Oh, what, these? There just...crazy.... *nervous laugh* I wasn't...serious. :-\


Tatiana Just one thing about free will vs. destiny. (view spoiler)


Steph Sinclair Tatiana, (view spoiler)


Tatiana Stephanie wrote: "Tatiana, [spoilers removed]"

Honestly, IDK. I just reread those parts and (view spoiler)


Steph Sinclair Tatiana wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Tatiana, [spoilers removed]"

Honestly, IDK. I just reread those parts and [spoilers removed]"


That's an interesting theory. I can't wait to see Hand further explain it. (view spoiler)


Tatiana You may be right too. I might have misread/misunderstood when (view spoiler).


Steph Sinclair Tatiana wrote: "You may be right too. I might have misread/misunderstood when [spoilers removed]."

It wasn't very well explained. That's just my guess. It would make sense for it to be explained more in the next book. (view spoiler) I don't know. I'm just musing.


Tatiana I have a feeling (view spoiler)


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Tatiana wrote: "I have a feeling [spoilers removed]"

Tatiana.... now I have Star Wars and in my head with your dark side comment!


Steph Sinclair Tatiana wrote: "I have a feeling [spoilers removed]"

I agree.


Catie Something that I found incredibly interesting, and want to hear more about was (view spoiler)


message 42: by Limonessa (last edited Nov 07, 2011 03:37AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Limonessa Catie,
(view spoiler)


Steph Sinclair ^Yeah, what Lisa said. This series has been pretty mysterious. We should find out everything we've been dying to know since book 1. Which means book 3 has to be the best yet, right?

(view spoiler)


Tatiana The more I think about the whole concept of angels and purposes the more confusing it seems. (view spoiler)


message 45: by Limonessa (last edited Nov 07, 2011 04:58AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Limonessa Tatiana wrote: "The more I think about the whole concept of angels and purposes the more confusing it seems. After getting to know Clara's father it is even harder to separate good from bad ones.

As for purpose. ..."


(view spoiler)


Tatiana (view spoiler)


Steph Sinclair That's a good question, Tatiana.


Catie Okay, I just found that part that I was talking about. Clara's mom says, (view spoiler)


message 49: by Steph (last edited Nov 07, 2011 05:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Steph Sinclair (view spoiler)


Limonessa I have seriously no idea.


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