Author: Cynthia Hand
Release Date: January 2012
Published By: HarperTeen
Goodreads Rating: 4.32 stars
Review: In this sequel to UNEARTHLY, Clara is forced to face her complicated emotions about Tucker and Christian, and the role she must play with both. Even worse, she finds herself confronted with the terrifying revelation that someone she loves dearly will die in the next few months. Trapped in bitter turmoil with anguish lurking with every step, all she knows is that the fire was just the beginning.
The plot summary in HALLOWED wasn't kidding when it described this book as emotional. This entire book was one wild rollercoaster of the heart with quite a few unforeseen plot twists that had me flipping pages fast enough to make paper cuts, and though nothing was so intense as to move me to tears, I still sympathized greatly for Clara. The huge stress she was under in this book matured her a lot, and I appreciated being able to see the enormous growth she went through.
There were a few aspects about this novel that bothered me, though. For one, I found myself unable to relate to either of the love interests, Tucker and Christian. Both of them were interesting characters, I suppose, but they never really felt real and three-dimensional enough for me to want to root Clara on. Sometimes Tucker could border on whiny, and Christian was just generally unappealing in places.
In addition, there were several plot points that I just found completely unrealistic. Of course, I won't say them here because of my no-spoiler policy in reviews, but I feel that this was somewhat detrimental to the reading experience. I kept being snapped out of the book at some events that were just too difficult for me to believe, and the worst part was that Clara just seemed so helpless and incapable in response to these parts.
All in all, I enjoyed reading HALLOWED and felt it was even better than UNEARTHLY. The book was plain shot through with emotions and angst - in a good way! - and I loved every delicious second of those parts. What did bother me was the occasionally tiresome love triangle and doubtful plot points, but it wasn't so bad as to completely detract from my enjoyment of the book. I look forward to the next one!