The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

GoodbyeTitle: The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: No series
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: February 10, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5) Continue reading

Review: Boundless by Cynthia Hand

Title: Boundless
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly series
Pages: 438 pages hardcover, 448 paperback, 320 ebook
Rating: ★★★★

I’ve been looking forward to reading Boundless for a while. I was nervous and excited and anxious to start it as soon as I got my hands on it. I knew once I started reading, I wouldn’t be able to stop until I had read every last word.

Boundless starts off the fall of Clara’s first year at Stanford. She feels a little alone, even though Angela and Christian are there with her. Angela begins to drift away from her and Christian wants more than she can give. She misses her mom, her Jackson friends, and Tucker. On top of that, she’s trying to balance being a typical college freshman with being an angel. Every choice she makes can alter the lives of those around her.

While I’ve been a huge fan of Tucker for the last two books, I did warm up to Christian. I could see why Clara struggled so much between her feelings for the two. It was a black and white choice. An author has to be amazing in order to make me love both guys in a love triangle, but Hand easily does it. I knew either choice Clara made would be bittersweet.

As for the other important part of any novel, the plot, it was just amazing. It had me anxious, waiting for someone to pop out and say the figurative “Boo!” I was completely engrossed, barely paying attention to anything in the real world. It kept me engaged and interested.

Boundless is the satisfying end to a fantastic paranormal series, definitely one of the best I’ve read. It has strong messages about life and love, and even with the paranormal aspect, it speaks true to life. Finishing a book is always bittersweet, but Boundless ends with hope lighting the future. Amazing book, amazing series, amazing read.

If Boundless sounds like your kind of book, you can purchase it here:
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Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Usually, I find myself let down by the second book in trilogies. I feel like they’re just to be the set up for the final novel and not really provide much in the way of plot development. Hallowed managed to avoid this trap and was another fantastically written novel that made me fall in love all over.

The characters grew as people throughout the entire novel and we learned so much more about Clare, Jeffery, Clare’s mother and Christian. I wish there had been more Tucker Avery because I still swoon hard whenever I think about him in Unearthly. However, I understood that Unearthly was Clare and Tucker’s book and Hallowed was more about Clare and Christian. I can’t wait to see what the third book will be.

Now, about the love triangle. I’m not usually a fan of this plot device. Typically it’s thrown in there to provide a conflict for the main character. And in Hallowed, this is still true. But it goes so much deeper than that. It not only represents a choice between two people, it represents the choice between following the fate laid out before her and making her own destiny. She will have to decide between the angel and human sides of her and that’s what this love triangle is about. Not which hot guy she will pick, but what she chooses for her own person. And I love that Hand did this.

Aside from the characters and plot, the writing itself is gorgeous. You can connect with Clara and it brings a special touch to the novel that I’m starting to crave. That connection between me and the characters is something I absolutely love when I read. Feeling all those emotions makes reading more than just reading a book, but turns it into an adventure and an experience. Hand is amazing at putting words together that just pull me in and drag me along, but in the best way possible.

I can’t believe I will have to wait a year to find out how this amazing series will end. I’ll be anxiously waiting to see how Hand will conclude this wonderful series.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

I was very cautious going into this book. The reviews for it were great, but sometimes those don’t tell the whole truth about a novel. Especially when it comes to Young Adult novels.

I’m incredibly happy I was proven wrong. Unearthly is a fantastic book that takes the basic elements of a Young Adult book and instead of becoming a cheesy book that makes me roll my eyes every other paragraph; it becomes a wonderful, realistic story about knowing yourself and teen love.

Clara is a wonderfully written teen character. She’s mature, but still acts like a 16, 17 year old girl. She’s not whiny or weak, but instead she’s confused by everything happening in her life supernatural and normal. Her mother, unlike most YA parents, doesn’t disappear for most of the novel. There are parts where he mother isn’t there, but you never get the “disappearing parent syndrome” that seems to be so common these days.

The relationships are not the “just add water!” types so many books have these days. It’s not an instant love. There’s instant attraction, but that always happens in life. However, the relationships build over time and through talking and being around the other person. They are healthy and true and don’t feel forced, at all. It’s easy to understand why these people love each other.

The issue of God was handled flawlessly, in my opinion. When you write a story that centers on angels, you know God will come into play. Hand manages to handle this in a way that does not preach to those who don’t believe, but does not offend those who do. I applaud her for being able to write about something so important to so many people with as much grace as she did.

Tucker. I am in love with Tucker. He is such a wonderful boy and he is perfect in how much he cares for Clara. I swoon harder each time I think about him and can’t wait to read more about the relationship between him and Clara.

The one thing that bothered me a little bit about this book and what kept it from being 5 stars was how the purpose was played. I liked the idea of angels having one task to complete in their life, however I didn’t enjoy how it seemed most characters thought that in order to fulfill her purpose, Clara had to fall for Christian. I felt like that forced a relationship between the two when it could have grown instead.

I am incredibly pleased I decided to give this book a chance. It blew past my expectations and I can’t wait to read the next book.