Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Boundless

BOUNDLESS
Unearthly #3
Cynthia Hand
Paranormal Young Adult
438 pages
Available Now
Received from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.


MY THOUGHTS
Boundless is a book we open with equal parts eager anticipation and nervous trepidation, our desire to know how things end for Clara, Tucker and Christian combining with our fear at the fact that these pages are the last we’ll get to spend with them to guarantee we’re on edge chapter to chapter. Not only are our nerves alight, crackling and jumping with every page as we wonder when the foreshadowed darkness of the prologue will catch up to us in real time, but our emotions are raw, the pain of Tucker’s noticeable absence something compounded by every lonely beat of our ravaged hearts. Luckily for us though, we have a protagonist in Clara who stands strong even as our own knees threaten to buckle, and she remains a pillar of strength until the very end.

Clara is the type of heroine those of us who read a great deal of young adult literature crave; someone who doesn’t cave under enormous emotional and physical pressure or seek to play games with the young men in her life. Though things are definitively over with Tucker from page one of this final installment, Clara never attempts to numb her obvious pain by accepting the love and affection Christian repeatedly offers, instead she gives herself time to come to terms with the dissolution of one relationship before immediately throwing herself into the complexities of another. While she sorts through the hurt and confusion she also never once leads Christian on or makes promises to him she’s not sure she can keep, she simply reminds him again and again how much his friendship means and what an important figure he is in her life even if he's not in the role he might wish.

Christian, for his part, handles the emotional fragility between he and Clara with equal grace, never pushing her to make a decision or admit feelings for him she’s not capable of voicing just yet, and our hearts hurt for him all the more for the respect he shows her. It would be far easier for us to exult in our love for Tucker and our desire for Clara to choose him were Christian to rage and fight and be cruel, but his quiet acceptance even as his hope that things will eventually change nearly undo us. Tucker’s role in this last book is brief but memorable, his clear hurt when Clara returns home from Stanford adding precariously perched weights to our already unstable emotional pile–threatening to topple everything and leave us reeling–but still our love for him never wavers, and we can’t help but wish for an ending that sees happiness spread far and wide for all three of them.

One complaint with this book is with regard to a bevy of unanswered questions we’re left with by the time we close the back cover, something we don’t worry about in the moments after finishing when our euphoria (or disappointment, depending on which way one is romantically leaning) over the resolution of things between Clara, Tucker, and Christian has us in its grip, but once we’ve had ample time to think, we realize not much besides their relationship was actually resolved. Questions still abound as to what the villain was actually trying to accomplish, and how exactly the triplares were going to assist in that endeavor, and the final battle with him lasted but moments. Granted, this story has always been more focused on Clara and the other angel-bloods individual purposes rather than the larger heaven vs. hell fight, but it remains unclear at the end just what the villain was fighting for, specifically. Despite those questions, Boundless is still a thrilling and emotionally intense read, and I’m greatly looking forward to what Ms. Hand will move onto next.

Rating: 4/5

46 comments:

  1. I gave up on this series after book 1; I couldn't connect with any of the characters and the first few pages of book2 bored me to death :/ But I'm really glad you loved this so much! I'm looking forward to Ms Hand's next project as well :) I do think she's a talented writer!<3

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    1. Awww sorry this wasn't the series for you Shirley! I can't wait to see what Cynthia comes up with in her next book:):)

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  2. As you already know, I'm terrified to read this! I keep thinking that maybe I'll fit it in, but then I pick something else up. I do have those review books I'm really wanting to get through as well... but part of me desperately wants to know and another part of me doesn't want the series to be over.
    I'm glad you enjoyed this one but it's bad that not all our questions are answered. That worries me a tad bit.

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    1. I was terrified too Candace! I put it off for a long time, but while it was painful at times, it wasn't as awful as I'd built it up to be in my head. I think you'll be pleased:) With the questions at the end - it might just be me. I like answers to everything, and I just didn't fully grasp what the end goal was for the villain that Clara and company were fighting to prevent.

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  3. Oh I'll be reading this one for the weekend :) I can't wait to start and see what happens at the end. Even though I'm sorry that this story has to end cause it's my fave book about angels. I'm glad you're able to enjoy it :) Great review Jenny :)

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    1. It's my favorite angel series as well. Love it:)

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  4. I do not like unanswered questions, I a just so very very bad at waiting

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    1. I think some of it may have been me, I probably have more questions in my head about any given book than could possibly be answered without the book being 800 pages:)

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  5. I do love the covers. Sometimes I am just a fan of the muted colors/designs. It kind of makes it stick out in the world of blasting color.

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    1. I love the covers as well, especially the type:)

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  6. I've always admired Clara -- she really is a YA heroine I can get behind because she has a purpose and a backbone and isn't afraid to stick her neck out for those she loves. This has been a great series...though I'm not thrilled with the many questions left hanging!

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    1. Clara is awesome in this one. I like that she doesn't play games. That's my big pet peeve with YA heroines is the game playing - the "I'm so sad things are over with boy #1, so I'm going to go make out with boy #2 and make everything worse." Clara's hurting throughout, and as much as I hurt with her, I liked that she took a while to let that hurt sink in.

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  7. That cover is so pretty!! I have the first book of this series sitting on my shelf!! You have seemed to love all of them so thats a good sign :D

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    1. YOU NEED TO READ THESE TINA! I adore them:)

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  8. I have had this since release day, but have been sitting on since I know the trilogy will come to an end. I skimmed your review but am delighted to see your rating..i cannot wait to read it, then we can share thoughts!

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    1. Yes, read and then we can chat!!! Maybe you'll be able to answer some of my questions:)

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  9. You're right, Jenny nothing more than the relationship was answered. And the way that was done didn't really leave me a happy camper. I love who Clara ended up with but I felt sorry for who was left and I didn't like the way it came about. Basically the whole novel was focused on someone else & he was all but cast aside & forgotten in the end. Mixed feelings here. Wonderful review. :)

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    1. Yes, I felt sorry for who was left too. I almost wanted him to be awful about it so I wouldn't hurt as much for him, but I was happy with who she picked. I agree though, so much focus was on the one throughout, and then....nothing. I would love a little post-Boundless novella to follow up on some things!

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  10. Oooh. One thing I always dislike to see in reviews is the dreaded "unanswered questions," especially if it's the last book in the series. Glad you enjoyed this book (and series) despite those unanswered questions--that's always a mark of a good book. :)

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    1. I know. You and I are answer whores. We need them to live, and I needed more from this book!

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  11. I'm a big Team Tucker fan ... Do we lose? Oh, God, I cannot take it if my guy loses again. It happened to me in the Nightshade series (REN! *sobs*) and my heart cannot take it again!

    Great review as always, Jenny. Despite my terror at now opening this book, I know I have to. I've come too far and invested too much love in these characters not to see it through. Clara (and Cynthia) deserve that much.

    Also, can we just assume if the guy's name is Tucker/Tuck then I am just all for him? Cynthia Hand and Ingrid Paulson have made me adore this name and the boys that are attached to it. YUMMY!

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    1. I wrote you an email. I will tell you if you really want me to:)

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  12. I couldn't remember if I'd started this series or not. I did remember loving the covers. After a quick check on GoodReads, I have the fist on my Kindle. There seems to be a few novellas in this series. I don't normally read them, do you think I should if I pick these back up?

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    1. I read the Impulse novella - Radiant - before I read Boundless and did find it helpful because it gives some insight into Angela and the things that happen with her in this last book.

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  13. Sorry, Jenny, but I'm not going to read your review. Not even one bit, although I'm SO attempted to. I want to know your thoughts on it, but I just can't. I'm reading Unearthly right now and I'm about 50% through. I like it, I'm not in love with it, but I'm sure I will continue with this series. I liked the sound of Christian at first, and I don't know what his problem is, but he seems way too superficial for me right now. I mean.. Clara - yeah, she's a little obsessed for obvious reasons, but why in the world would he give a damn about his reputation. It seems like he doesn't mind being with her in private, but when they're out in public, he's all nerves and awkward. Tucker is at least passionate, although right now he's a douche. It seems though that he is very loved by fans, though. I think I may even like him a little better due to all that snark and sarcasm. We'll see. I'm looking forward to chatting to you when I'm finally done with this series:) Happy you liked it!

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  14. I absolutely loved this series and enjoyed this one immensely. While you are right about not knowing what the evil guy was up to, I thought the focus was more on Clara finding her purpose and mission. I also love the idea that her mission was beyond picking a guy and it meant something, you know?

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  15. Jenny I was so sad that this series has finally come to an end, I always knew that it would be tough on Christian or Tucker, I wish they both could have their happy endings. I'm glad I gave this series a try as I was so in a paranormal funk. I can't wait too see what Cynthia comes up with next, I know it will be an immediate buy! Lovely review Jenny! :)

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  16. The unanswered questions has been something that has always bothered me with this series. I feel like I'm always left with more questions when I finish a book than when I started.

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  17. Hach, I loved this series sooo freaking much!!!! It's my favorite Angel book. So... I am just a little sad about the ending. AndI'm not just saying this because of who she picked, but rather what happend with the other boy. .. Nothing! He was just written off and there is no conclusion about him at all.. That made me sad and felt like Gale all over again..
    May only hope is a spin off only with him???? Pretty please!?!??!

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  18. oh what a beautiful review, Jenny. I know exactly how you felt because I felt the same way going into this one. I was firmly in team Tucker's camp in the beginning but I really really came to care for Christian and I was sad that I didn't get to find out what happened to him in the Epilogue, I want good things for him. I really am hoping for a spin off series down the road. I am happy this one turned out well. I really loved how Clara kept ending up in Tucker's barn!

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  19. I've read the first book, but still need to read the second one before this one. The one thing I didn't like was the triangle and I am happy it is finally resolved in this book. Still, don't like that there are lingering questions. I like it fully resolved in the end of a series. Don't think it would disuade me from reading these books.

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  20. Wonderful review. I seen nothing but positive reviews for this. I am going to have to start this series soon.

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  21. I'm so glad you enjoyed this conclusion, Jenny. I've never been a fan of this series, but I know how disappointing it can be when an ending doesn't live up to all you hope from it. Amazing review, dear!(:

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  22. What a wonderful review, this series looks really fantastic. I am slowly catching up on a bunch of reads, but I hope to get a book one to this soon ;)

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  23. Hm, as someone who despises all love triangles (with no more than one or two exceptions), I must admit that this one sounds bearable, if nothing else. Love situations can be painful even without being angsty. The difference is huge, and it seems that Hand achieved this perfectly.
    I never made it past book 1, which is weird because I really liked it. I probably will at some point, though.
    Another gorgeously written review, Jenny!

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  24. This expresses my feelings on this book better than I did! :-)

    I completely agree with you about the unanswered questions at the end of the book. I really hope we get at least a novella about the one character who was conspicuously absent at the end.

    And Christian's supportive and loving attitude toward Clara made it so hard for me to remain firmly Team Tucker. I wished he could have devolved into a jealous jerk, or vice versa, so rooting would have been easier.

    I also loved that Clara never lead anyone on, and tried to sort her feelings out responsibly. Wonderful review!

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  25. So, I am reading Boundless next, so I'm glad to see you gave it 4 out of 5 stars. The ending of a trilogy is always tough and I hope Hand pulls it off. I am a little nervous by how you say there are still unanswered questions at the end of the book. I was hoping she would tie everything together nicely. Also, I am worried about the love triangle....very curious to see where that is going to go! Great review, Jenny!

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  27. I skimmed through you review and Jenny, you are brave to read it. I', soo scared. I don't want it to end!!!

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  28. Uh why have I not started this series yet?! Clara sounds like a YA heroine I'd love, the love triangle seems well-written and it features angels, my favourite paranormal creatures. Not to mention all the raving reviews ...

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  29. I can't believe I'm so behind on this series (only read book 1 so far). But since book 3 is out, I'll have to catch up on the series. I'm just a little worried about the unanswered questions that you mentioned and how I will feel about it.

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  30. Omigosh yes!! This is such a tough love triangle because both boys are perfect in their own ways for Clara. I can't believe that there are still questions at the end though! SO frustrating! I am most definitely still picking this one up, though, since you loved it for the most part and I really love the first two books. :) I'm scared, though. I hate ending my favorite series!

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  31. I didn't read this series, I just couldn't get into the first book so I didn't read it. I think I'm glad because from what I'm reading it seems like Tucker gets the short straw and that's not the way everyone was leaning for the romance. And if there was no point even to the story? Maybe that's why I had a hard time getting into it. But I'm glad you're satisfied with the ending mostly. It stinks when a widely loved series ending isn't at least solid.

    Heather

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  32. Oh no, I'm really disappointed to hear that questions surrounding the plot were left unanswered at the close of this series. I haven't actually read this series yet of course, but I plan to and I know that will drive me nutso. I like to have most of everything wrapped up; some open ends are fine though. Overall though, I think I can see myself liking this series - particularly the characters. And I need to see what the fuss over this love triangle is about...

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  33. Hmmmm good point re: unanswered questions. I guess in the reading of the book it didn't bug me at all, and I saw it as something for the future... maybe more books set in that universe?? I could see that.

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