Hallowed is a much better book than Unearthly, in my opinion. It has a lot to say about love and loss, and it does it in a profound way. I found myself quite close to tears on many occasions, as Clara struggled to come to terms with the knock on effects of her choices at the end of Unearthly.
In Unearthly, Clara fell in love with Tucker, despite the attentions of Christian, and she chose Tucker over Christian. This time she is with Tucker, and he has to deal with the realities of loving an angel-blood like Clara. In addition there is Christian, who understands so much of what Clara is going through and knows how to be there for her almost innately; he really melted my heart this time. I didn't much like Christian at the end of Unearthly, but he really 'manned up' this time and won me over with his strong, silent type ways. (And cute attempts to cheer Clara up with snow-ball throwing and insane skiing!)
There was a lot to like about Hallowed. The scenes between characters felt really real, the emotions involved were strong and not at all 'cheesy', and the way that Clara coped with the approaching loss of a loved one was admirable and understandable. I really believe that the author shared some quite raw experiences with us, and I was surprised by the depth of this YA fiction book. It certainly has some lessons in how to cope with grief within, and I think it will resonate with the readers on a different, deeper, level than Unearthly.
In this book we also get to find out more about angel-bloods and Clara finally gets some proper answers to those questions she has been asking her mother for what seems like ages! Jeffrey's character also sees some significant developments, although for much of the book his activities are secretive and generate suspicion.
I think that the plot is fairly straightforward really, but it was wonderfully executed. There could have been more happening but actually, I didn't feel like the book lacked for pace. For me, it became a page turner because of the writing rather than a high-adrenaline story rampaging through the pages. There were still bits that made me laugh, notably the slight dig at a watching someone sleep being a bit stalkerish... as a Twilight fan, I chose to take that as a fond nudge rather than a true criticism.
I'll be waiting eagerly for the third installment!