Friday, January 20, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Goodreads: For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

From Merriam-Webster:  Hallowed. Adj. Definition: Holy, Consecrated, Sacred, Revered.

I personally think that Cynthia Hand’s writing and this series are to be revered.

“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.”

This is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I love this story and all the characters that live in it. Now, Clara did bug me a bit in this book - I adored her in Unearthly, but she just didn’t do what I needed her to in Hallowed. That may not be not entirely fair, but still...bugged.

Tucker and Christian. Sigh. I was sure that Hallowed would finally make it clear which “team” I would be on. Nope.  Not even a little.  I love both of these guys. There was definitely more of the love triangle in this book, but I loved the way Clara was hyper-aware of it and made fun of it, as well as making fun of herself. Some of the references to another very popular series and its played-out love triangle were not only hilarious, but also brilliant!

“‘This isn't going to become one of those creepy situations where you show up at all hours of the night to watch me sleep, is it?’ he asks playfully.”

“Before I moved here, I never got the whole love-triangle thing. You know, in movies or romance novels or whatnot, where there’s one chick that all the guys are drooling over, even though you can’t see anything particularly special about her. But oh, no, they both must have her. And she’s like, ‘oh dear, however will I choose? William is so sensitive, he understands me, he swept me off my feet, oh misery, blubber, blubber, but how can I go on living without Rafe and his devil-may-care ways and his dark and only-a-little-abusive love?’ Upchuck.”

I may be known for my preference of zombies and end of the world disaster novels.... but I am a sucker for romance. Hallowed most definitely does not disappoint in the romance department.

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

Then, there is this moment in the book and this line that had my heart beating erratically, my palms sweaty, and my toes curling to the sky:

“‘This is the part where I kiss you.’”

*Dies* I mean, honestly, if that part doesn’t make you swoon, your swooner is on the fritz.

“This moment was written in the stars, and it is everything he thought it would be.”

For the love of all that is holy - Sah-woooon.

A lot of the major things that happened in Hallowed were pretty obvious to me in a well-I-saw-that-one-coming-a-mile-away sort of obvious. However, when it is good.... it is good, whether it is predictable or not. There was one twist that I didn’t see coming, and I loved having that surprise sprung on me. It was a perfect addition to the book.

I think I would have enjoyed this sequel even more if the ending had not been spoiled for me on Goodreads. Note to self: Stay off Goodreads until you’ve finished your book. Note to people on Goodreads: STOP SPOILING MAH BOOKS!!!! Grrrrr.

This is a book I can recommend to every person I know, and it will be another one that I recommend to those poor, unsuspecting people who I don’t know, innocently browsing the YA section of B&N, leading to my eventual banishment from that store.

Hallowed is a gorgeous, heart-felt story, and I don’t know how I am going to bear the wait for book 3.