Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

I feel almost gratuitous giving this book 3.5 stars.

I’ll start with the things I liked about Hallowed. Hand writes well – better than most young-adult paranormal authors do – and skilfully avoids most of the typical YA story conventions that can be found in a myriad of other books. The plot is paced in a way that is entertaining but not overwhelming, and the characters are capable of keeping readers’ interests.

I’m not sure why everyone loves this book and lauds it so highly though. Nothing reached into my heart and grabbed me, nothing made me want to press those Kindle buttons until my fingers broke from strain, nothing really made me care about the book beyond my basic feelings of surprise and sympathy.

The one thing that detracted from my enjoyment of Hallowed the most was its love triangle. I remember watching So You Think You Can Dance a couple of years ago and hearing one of the judges describe the Quickstep as the “kiss of death” dance – if you pull it out of the hat, you’re most likely going to get cut. The love triangle is the kiss of death in the young-adult genre, and, yeah, Hallowed was definitely kissed.

The love triangle ruined the theme of destiny vs. free will for me. Throughout the book, Clara thinks things along the lines of “I’m going to choose my destiny!” or “I may have my purpose, but I’ll tough it out and totally strike out on my own!”… and yet, she never does. Sure, she tries, but her purpose was always too powerful and her future too inevitable that every effort she put forth was futile. This made the plot seem pointless and lessened the shock effect exorbitantly.

As for Christian, he’s one of those YA plot conventions I referred to earlier – she feels strong when she’s around him, and she feels so secure and safe because it’s her destiny and what not to be with him. The reader does not get a glimpse of what lies beyond his smirking smile or how he sometimes watches Clara from outside of her window (which sounds a tad familiar…)

Poor, Tucker, he deserved better.

But, while I may sound like I think this book is bad and love triangle fail exemplified, it wasn’t that horrible. Fans of Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly will love it, and people who have a penchant for fallen angels will too. Heck, I’m giving it 3.5 stars – and rounding it up to 4 on Goodreads – so, it wasn’t a complete waste of time. Either that, or I’m too nice.


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Filed under 3.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

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