Review Done By: Aneeqah's Not So Real Life
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Genres: Angels, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
My Review: First off, I would like to thank the publishers of this book, HarperCollins, for giving me a free e-arc of this book. I appreciate it so much!
So, in this sequel to Hallowed, Clara is trying to piece together the fire, what was supposed to happen. She can't seem to figure out what she was supposed to do that faithful night. And all the while, things are changing. Clara is forced to learn things, whether she likes it or not. And not all of things are good.
Before anything, let's take a moment to admire the absolutely gorgeous cover! It's stunning! I'm going to seriously have to buy the book, if only for the cover! [If you couldn't guess, I love beautiful covers.] I totally judge books by their covers, and this book lived up to its cover!
I think it should be known that I stayed up until 3 AM reading this book. Yes, 3 AM. I'm not even exaggerating a bit. I finished the book at 2:56 AM, and then thought about it for another good 10 minutes, then finally fell asleep. I don't think the right word is addicting, but compelling. This book just made me want to read and read, to figure what was next, what was going to happen. There was a lot of suspense, lots of it, which is what really made the book compelling.
Another thing that made this book so amazing, so compelling, are the plot twists. There were just things that I half-suspected, things that I probably should have seen coming, and things that just plain surprised me, things I could have never expected happening, but they did. I don't think Ms. Hand over-did the twists, I think they were carefully placed to make you want to gobble up the book, which is in fact, exactly what I did.
But the main thing I must have loved about this book is that it grabbed your heart, made you want to cry. Characters in this book are facing lots of grief, and that grief is conveyed so so well, that at time, I felt like my heart was wrenched along with the character's, and I had tears in my eyes at multiple points and it was the middle of the night. So that's a pretty amazing thing, considering I never cry, especially when I'm reading in to the night. But I literally had tears in my eyes. The writing was just so phenomenal, I felt like I was with the characters, like I was a part of their life. It's a hard thing to do, but Ms. Cynthia Hand did an amazing job at it. I don't think I could have felt more connected to the story than I did.
I could honestly go on and on about the things that I loved about this book. But one important thing is that we did get to see more Christian in this book, and that's something I definitely liked. He was there in the last book, but I feel like he's a little more involved in the book this time around. We learn some pretty interesting stuff about him as well, and even though it wasn't utterly surprising, I think it was good information to know.
Also, we got answers in this book. It was about time. I hate it when authors stretch things out so long, where we get no answers for multiple books, but we got some pretty good answers in this book, about a multitude of things, things that I thought were minor at first, but really weren't. I really don't want to spoil it for anybody, so I'll just leave it that.
Why didn't I give this book a full 5 stars? Well, the main reason is our dear Clara herself. For basically the whole part of the book, except the end, she makes bad and plain stupid decisions, as well as a few other characters in the book. But it was mainly Clara. It just made me mad at her, even though I know I really shouldn't blame her. But, honestly, they were just so selfish and stupid and ignorant at times, I wanted to punch her. But she did really mature at the end, which is something I definitely liked, and that really made the book for me. Honestly though, having Clara be a pain throughout the whole book was just plain frustrating to me. She shouldn't have acted like she did.
Other than that, and a few minor problems that I had with the book, it was amazing. I was so afraid that this second book wouldn't live up to the first, especially with all the buzz and hype that the first book got, but I think this will please readers of the series, like me. =)
The book, thank goodness, didn't end with a total cliffhanger. I would say it ended similarly to Unearthly, in a place where you kind of wanted to know more, but you were okay with the book ending, unlike certain books I know *shoots scary look at particular books*. It's hard to explain, but I think the book ended well. But I still am dying to get my hands on the next one!
Overall, this book lives up to my expectations, and I think it may or may not live up to other people's expectations. Some may think it's alright, others might think it's amazing. I loved it in a different way than I loved Unearthly, and it was definitely different from the first book. This book deals with very real and true things, but Ms. Hand adds some things to it to make it, you know, fantasy. It's different from Unearthly, but in a totally good way. It's absolutely and utterly worth reading, and it's one of my favorites of the year!