Clara Gardner is part angel – an angel-blood. She is smart – she can speak any language fluently. She is strong and fast – she has to hold back so that the humans don’t realize that she is different. Most importantly, Clara has a purpose. It is what she was put on earth to do. Unfortunately, she doesn’t quite know what it is. She has visions of a raging forest fire and a handsome boy who might need her help. But she is torn between what she is supposed to do and what her heart tells her is right. Clara must try to make the right choices – but how can she decide between two destinies?

Sissy: Well, this time I actually read these books first and told Bubby she must immediately read them. It’s hard to say anything without giving the story away. Let’s just say that I got so caught up in these books that I pre-ordered the final book  (Boundless, coming out January 22, 1013). I usually do anything I can to avoid paying full price for a book because I am a cheap skate and so that tells you something about how good these books are.

Bubby: Unearthly and Hallowed by Cynthia Hand are truly riveting. I really enjoyed them much more than I thought I would. There is another series out there about a race descended from angels (I like it, I own them all – The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare) and I thought this would just be more of the same. Wrong. So very, very wrong. This is a story about love and choices and consequences. What happens when we don’t want to follow the path that is laid out for us? Does it matter who we love? What if we make the wrong choice – even if we think it’s the right one at the time?

Sissy: Oh, dear–Bubby is waxing philosophical again.  What you have to do is just allow yourself to become engrossed in the story, thoroughly enjoy it, and suspend all deep thought until you’ve finished (that will be about January 23rd for me, when I’ve finished the third book.)  Bubby accosted me with her deep thoughts such as “how often have we not met OUR purposes in life, and we don’t even realize it or the consequences?”  and “you know, all that depth of feeling and romance occurs with high school juniors and seniors, like your son.”  I say stop it!  The romance in the book is beautiful and poignant and clean, but I definitely don’t want to think about my son being completely in love like that.  And I certainly don’t want to review, at present, all my own purposes lost.  This is Bubble Bath Books!  Read the books and escape!  Not read the books and have a university course.

Bubby: Sorry! I just finished Hallowed 10 minutes ago! It’s all still percolating through my brain. And who was it, may I ask, that I found wrapped up in a blanket on the couch a few days ago, tears running down her face? Oh yes. It was Sissy – having just finished Hallowed. Hypocritical much, sister?

Sissy: Yes, I felt the story. I was enraptured by its majesty. I was emotionally engaged. I was NOT, however, having a cerebral discussion with my college literature class. And my son is not allowed to be in love with anyone like that! He’s too little!

Bubby: Yes, while the romance was lovely and enthralling, I had to wonder what the heck their parents were thinking! Ah, but it’s just a story. I guess I might have gotten a little TOO caught up in it! The book is set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – a place I now feel the need to visit. But not until spring – I am not a big fan of cold and snow. Cynthia Hand’s descriptions are beautifully written – she makes me want to be knee-deep in a placid river, learning how to fly fish, just because it’s that lovely. And I don’t like to fish. Or even eat fish.

Sissy: O.K. Ditto on the fish. And wanting to go to Jackson Hole. This book is a thoroughly lovely read. I want to say more but there are too many ways to spoil so I just give both books 4 1/2 bubbles. I don’t know if I cried so much over the second book because our father recently died or if it’s just that emotional, so get out the tissues just in case.

Bubby: I didn’t cry at all but I think that was because Sissy warned me in advance. Just read them in the bathtub and then no one can tell if you’re crying or not. 4 bubbles for both books from me.

© Bubble Bath Books 2013