Book Review: Unearthly #3: Boundless by Cynthia Hand

boundlessStarStarStarStar

Young Adult > Paranormal

(Unearthly #3)

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California – and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

Book 1: Unearthly review       Book 2: Hallowed review

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I control my destiny.

…What an incredible journey this series was. *awestruck* So… do you want to know who Clara ended up with? *wiggles eyebrows*

When reviews started popping up last month, I was getting crazy! My pre-order copy from The Book Depository will only be delivered 2-3 weeks here in Manila. And each glowing review that I scanned (okay, read and consumed) made me even crazier. And my GR-TFG friends were aware of it. I was on text blast mode every time I got agitated! Oh, the insanity of it. Perhaps this is the first time I was truly rooting for a love interest, to the point that it will ruin the whole series for me if he did not end up with Clara. Yes, that was my crazy moment. Haha!

Story-wise, the conclusion to this angel-themed series was really, really good. I have my apprehensions but still, I can say that Boundless solidified its stand for the Unearthly series as one of the most concrete angel books out there.

My dealbreaker for love triangles: the feelings of the heroine to her love interest must be absolute. It means that from start to finish, there is no doubt that her heart belongs to that one guy. No ifs. No buts. Just him. I do not want my heroine to come across as undecisive, conflicted, and easy-to-sway on her emotions. If that was the case, I’m outta there.

It came as no surprise that Christian will have more face time than Tucker in Boundless. Clara was going to Stanford with Angela to figure out her friend’s purpose there. So naturally, Christian will tag along. His visions were still connected to Clara’s in some ways. So really, Tucker (my sweet little human) has no place in Clara’s life in California. =(

I admit I was getting crankier with Clara-Christian scenes, and there were lots of it. Studying, training, fighting. I was already sold out to the idea that Clara will end up with him. And it broke my heart. Imagine me trudging through the pages just because I want to get it over it already. *sigh*

Then came the twist. and the climax. and the end.

I was left reeling, close to tears in fact. I was even ready to blast Cynthia Hand online for the pain she caused me! But it was pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that I’d be willing to be subjected to again. Because I was happy on how everything turned out for Clara. Happy, but not quite satisfied. Is that even possible?

Jeffrey. His character has a lot of potential, but Jeffrey was written obtusely and was underdeveloped, as if he was just an afterthought. It would’ve been nice if his purpose was defined and cleared to compensate with the hurt and loss he experienced all throughout this book.

Angela. She was not my favorite character, but what a stunner it was that she was at the center of it all. But in the end, she was left in tatters. What’s up with that?

Samjeeza. Certainly the most blindsiding character! My heart went out to him. A simple request that has so much hold on his eternity… just wow. This is my favorite angle of the story. So tearful and disquieting. 😦

Christian. What a remarkable supporting character, but… I didn’t liked how he was built to be this undeniable hero, being Clara’s source of her glory, and yet.. I thought it was unfair, even for him. And I’m not even Team Christian! I’d understand if he disillusioned himself as Clara’s Knight in Shining Armor. But to be the reason behind Clara’s source of glory? Mixed signals, I tell you.

Tucker. Like I said, he was barely there in 2/3 of Boundless. But his quick appearances were heartwarming, spine-tingling, and 100% emotional. What’s not to love with this guy? Team Tucker FTW!

Clara. She was kick-ass. Dry humor, unfailing loyalty, and fathomless goodness – that’s her. Only thing I was not in favor of: confusing feelings towards Christian and Tucker in the middle of the book. Have you gone bonkers or something, Clara? We all know who you love! So pick him!

Boundless almost rendered me to a book slump last night. It was, for a lack of better word, poignantly beautiful. What an awesome way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. =)

I love Tucker and that’s absolute.

#9 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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BOUNDLESS by Cynthia Hand

Hardbound, 438 pages

Published January 22nd 2013 by HaperTeen

4/5 stars

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Mini Book Reviews: Radiant, Life Before Legend

radiantStarStar

Young Adult > Paranormal

(Unearthly 2.5)

Clara is desperate to get away—from the memories that haunt her in Wyoming and the visions of a future she isn’t ready to face—and spending the summer in Italy with her best friend, Angela, should be the perfect escape. . . .

For as long as she can remember, Angela has been told that love is dangerous, that she must always guard her heart. But when she met a mysterious guy in Italy two years ago she was determined to be with him, no matter the costs. Now she must decide whether she can trust Clara with her secret, or if telling her the truth will risk everything she cares about.

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…Well I’m judging you, Angela. you insecure witch.

I was indifferent to Angela in Unearthly and Hallowed. But now? I am decided that I do not like her at all. Angela was jealous, insecure, and self-centered. Oh, and she could not keep her mouth shut. WTF is wrong with her?

Clara was surprisingly bold and assertive in this e-novella. It hurts to see her hurting about him. *sigh* The protective friend that I was expecting from Angela, I saw in Clara. I would’ve liked it more if Wendy was Clara’s best friend instead of that antsy excuse of a part-angel. Bah.

Perhaps Angela’s not-so-good attitude came from her angel father. But still, she can choose to be better than what was expected of her, right?

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RADIANT by Cynthia Hand

Kindle Edition, 94 pages

Published December 4th 2012  by HarperTeen

2/5 stars

…..

lifebeforelegendStarStarStar

Young Adult > Dystopia

(Legend #0.5)

As twelve-year-olds struggling to survive in two very different worlds within the Republic’s stronghold, June was starting her first day of school at Drake University as the youngest cadet ever admitted, and Day was fighting for food on the streets of the Lake sector. LIFE BEFORE LEGEND contains two original stories written by Marie Lu that give readers a sneak peek into the lives of their favorite characters in a thrilling new context.

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…gearing up for Prodigy! Can you believe that this 38-page story is worth $4.99 in Amazon? So I will reserve my judgment to myself, because I love Day that much. =)

Life Before Legend basically are side stories during a climactic event to the lives of Day and June. Day realized that he will make sure the Republic has never seen the last of him. June realized that there is always a prize for being special.

Day’s first kiss was unconventional, funny and awkward. June’s first day at the University was a taste of what was to come to those who will underestimate her.

This was alright. It made me excited to read Prodigy. 🙂

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LIFE BEFORE LEGEND by Marie Lu

Kindle Edition, 38 pages

Published January 15th 2013  by Putnam Juvenile

3/5 stars

COVERed: Requiem, Fragments, Boundless

Genre: Young Adult > Paranormal | Supernatural > Angels

Publisher: HarperTeen

Book Release: 01/22/2013

(Unearthly #3)

Sigh. I know Unearthly‘s third book is similar to all the covers in the series, but it is still captivating to me. Oh Clara (and Ms. Cynthia Hand), please don’t break my heart in this book. Pretty please? I have this feeling that behind the lovely cover is the disguise of the ultimate heartbreak for Team Tucker. 😦 Prove me wrong!!!

 

 

 

 

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Genre: Young Adult > Dystopia | Science Fiction

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Book Release: 02/26/2013

(Partials #2)

Now this one… looks like it was photo-shopped – an image of a boy cropped and put besides the first book layout. Ugh. I hope that is SAMM that i’m looking at (not entirely sure). Despite the “fake” look, I want this sequel so badly. SAMM! Ahem. *winks*

 

 

 

 

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Genre: Young Adult > Dystopia

Publisher: HarperTeen

Book Release: 03/05/2013

(Delirium #3)

I love the first edition cover of Delirium. And it saddens me that the rest of the books have this huge face of a girl that i can’t picture as Lena. Her features are so sharp, so intense –  unlike Lena’s character. I remember asking Lauren Oliver (during the book signing) that i hope she spares me the heartached in Requiem. Team Alex FTW! i told her. She laughs and gave me a nice smile. I looked up the synonyms of Requiem and it showed: Lament. Elegy. Funeral Hymn. Well… that is foreboding.

 

 

 

 

 

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Whew. Quite a few books to look forward to, right? 😉 It doesn’t help that these covers are pretty – it makes the waiting a tad bit unbearable.

Book Review: Unearthly #2: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

RATING: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Urban Fantasy | Supernatural

(Unearthly #2)

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.

Book 1: Unearthly review

*****

ABSOLUTE.

Hallowed left my heart in tatters. While reading, I experienced a lot of heartbreak and loss in more ways than one. Could it be that Unearthly‘s sucess be succinctly followed? I dare say YES. Despite my misgivings on minor inconsistencies in the story, this is a superb sequel. SO not a middle book, you guys. Apart from Angelfall, Unearthly is one of the best YA angel series there is for me. Hallowed cemented that belief.

I really, really like Clara. She’s funny, sarcastic, and honest to a fault. Her defining trait? Unwillingness to submit and depend her life on fate. Her conviction is unbelievable! Christian is so hard to hate, me being Team Tucker and all. He’s the perfect friend and ally. His character is flawed, but still Cynthia Hand wrote him with such delicate trust that readers like me will like him in spite of the love triangle. Tucker… man, I miss him. Not a lot of scenes here but if he’s present, i felt him vibrant and alive. i remembered Clara falling in love with him, fighting for him in the previous book. In the end, he was so mature that i applauded him. Now there’s a man who really knows how to love. *sigh*

Clara’s angelic heritage seems too good to be true. The similarities between her and Christian to fully capture their “we belong together” drama is a stretch for me. I found an inconsistency between the Intangere and Black Wings that made me raise an eyebrow…? Oh, well.

Hallowed is a heartwrenching read, romance-wise and family wise. Many times Cynthia Hand tempted me to spill my tears. Believe me, the tightness in my chest is there. That ending is too sad. Crap, i think i’ll sulk for a while. *walks out*

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

COVERed: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

 

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.

(Unearthly #2) 

To read Unearthly book review, click here.

Clara reminds me of Keira Knightly. It’s a nice cover but i’m not that thrilled. But reading about Tucker Avery again… now that’s why i’m on a high now! I think this is the toughest love triangle i’ve ever read, i’m not even sure if Tucker is really the ONE. 😦

But to hell with it. TEAM TUCKER FTW!

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar

Synopsis:

In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

*****

This book blew me away! I need to write this down right before my elation evaporates.

I had high expectations (I never should’ve read the good reviews before reading) and halfway through the book I can’t see what the fuss is all about. Boy, was i ever wrong to judge it before finishing the chapters! In the end, i was dumbfounded. In a very good way. Coming from the angel-themed YA fiction along with Hush, Hush and Fallen series, there is no doubt that it is the at the top of the bunch. No, let me rephrase it. It is the only book there that has substance.

Clara:

here is a heroine that i love! (But can her name be any more unsophisticated?) Responsible, does not back down from a fight, does her own thing, does not allow any guy to treat her like crap. She was realistic, although i hate it when she goes gaga over Christian. I get it that he’s her purpose as a part angel. But the constant ogling that bordered to obsession is annoying. But i forgive her at the end of the book. There it was revealed why Christian is so magnetic, even to someone like her. At the end of the book, she was faced with a dilemma: follow the rules or follow her heart? Her decision has dire consequences. Don’t worry honey, i would’ve done the same if it were me. 😉

Christian:

i take him at face value. The author glorifies him throughout the book. Dark brown hair (or is it black?). Green eyes. Sexy-brooding. He is “hotness personified” as the author explicitly puts it. But i didn’t see character in him. That’s why I couldn’t see how this guy can be the love interest of Clara.

Tucker:

you can now call me an official Tucker groupie :):):) i love this guy! Rude, conceited, jerk. Not to mention blond hair and blue eyes. And charming. I look forward to the scenes where is he is bantering and bickering with Clara. You would want to know who will win every time. 🙂

Ultimate high experience:

I have to admit that the turn of the story came when Tucker and Clara began spending time together. There are some funny moments, i couldn’t help laughing out loud! And there are romantic moments too, that just makes me grin like an idiot or scream like a banshee. It was electrifying!

Fave Scene:

i have two. The first one is the scene at Tucker’s barn (or was it at the stable?) after the bear repellent thing. He was so confident. I am so Team Tucker already! And the second one is the time when Clara summoned her glory because of her mom. What is the reason behind her glory? Her revelation was a shock to her. Yeah, that’s my girl!

The Ending:

I never saw it coming! Everything was turned upside down. I need to know what happens next! It was such a cliffhanger.

The Verdict:

READ IT READ IT READ IT! It is on a very different level compared to Hush, Hush and Fallen series. Unearthly buried them in the cold, sticky mud! I am so attached to Tucker that if Clara doesn’t end up with him in the end, there’s gonna be hell to pay. You hear that, Cynthia Hand? So please, please don’t let me down.

.:maria:.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”