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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 435
Genre: YA Paranormal

Buy it: Amazon | Book Depository

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?
I haven't read a book as utterly fantastic as Unearthly in a very long time. It had been sitting on my shelf for months, untouched and unread, and one day I decided to pick it up on a whim. I'm so glad I did, because I loved it. It had everything I could possibly want from a YA book.

One of the things that I enjoyed the most was the fact that this wasn't a "girl discovers what she really is" story. Clara already knew she was part angel, so it saves us from having to go through that period of denial and anger/sorrow that the characters always go through when they find out they're not human. Instead, Clara is facing very different frustrations, as her powers are now maturing and she has to learn how to control them.

The angel mythology is very interesting in Unearthly, because it takes the concept of guardian angels and gives it more depth. In this book, all angel bloods has a purpose that they must fulfill. When the novel starts out, Clara had been receiving visions as to what her purpose would be. Her mother then moves them--her, Clara, and Clara's brother--from California to Wyoming so that Clara can get closer to her purpose... which involves a very hot guy named Christian Prescott.There's so much more to the angel mythology, but I don't want to ruin it all. That was one of the best parts of reading, getting to find out more about Clara's angel world.

The characters in this novel were definitely a force to be reckoned with because each of them came to life in their own unique way. The only thing I didn't like was that Cynthia Hand would write characters out of the story for really long periods of time, such as over summer vacation, and it felt like she did this more for convenience than anything. But, I digress. Clara, I felt, was a great female lead because she had the strength and resolve to get her purpose done. I really connected with her as a teenage girl, and getting into her head was easy. And I know I've complained about love triangles before, but honestly, the one in Unearthly is really different in the way it's set up. I mean, I saw it coming from the moment Tucker was introduced. But Cynthia Hand crafted the novel perfectly, so that Clara has a distinct reason for feeling so strongly about both Christian and Tucker, that it's really hard to not like it. Even I'm a little torn, although I am leaning more towards Tucker. (I'm not sure how long that will last, because I hear the sequel, Hallowed, has more Christian in it, and since Unearthly was basically all about Tucker, I wonder how that will affect my opinion.)

My thoughts? If you're looking for a really wonderfully written and told angel story, with lots of toe-curling romance and awesome mythology, then Unearthly is your book. 5 out of 5 stars.

Memorable Quotes
“What do you see in a guy like Christian Prescott?" he asked me that night when he dropped me off from prom. And what he was really saying then, what would have come through loud and clear if I hadn't been so blind was, why don't you see me?
I feel like Cinderella sitting in the middle of the road with a pumpkin and a couple of mice, while Prince Charming charges off to rescue some other chick.
I think he seriously believes that deflowering and angel could mean an eternity in fiery hell.
And then I can feel what he feels. He’s waited such a long time for this moment. He loves how I feel in his arms. He loves the smell of my hair. He loves the way I looked at him just now, flushed and wanting more from him. He loves the color of my lips and now the taste of my mouth is making his knees feel weak and he doesn’t want to seem weak in front of me.


  1. Nice review :) I haven't read this yet, but I like hearing how different it is. And I'm glad this isn't a typical love triangle, because I really dislike those lol. I loved the quotes you chose too :)

  2. I loved this book!! Glad you liked it and thanks for the review.

  3. I absolutely love Unearthly too! It was such a beautifully written book and I'm amazed at how Angels seem very different in this book compared to the other angel books I've read before.

    Awesome review! ♥

    PS: I'm a new follower too! :) LOVE YOUR BLOG!

    Celine @ Forget-Me-Not


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