Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Published: January 4, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780061996160
Genre: YA paranormal/fantasy
Pages: 435
Source: Netgalley
Series: Unearthly #1
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 review may contain slight spoilers regarding Tucker Avery. You've been warned!**

I'll start with the first thing we all I notice about a book. That gorgeous cover. It's absolutely stunning, as are many YA paranormal releases this year, and last year. I'm developing an issue with that. The problem is, I need to stop judging a book by its cover, but that's a difficult thing to get over. This cover, along with many others, have given me the impression that the books would be dark, poetic even. While this was a great one (as were the others) it just isn't what I expect going in.

Anyway. I love that Unearthly opened with Clara knowing she was part angel. It isn't something we have to wait for her to discover, and then deal with her reaction before we can get to the gist of the story. She knows from the first page, and that's uncommon. Loved it.

The characters stood out to me above all. The story, her purpose, none of that stood out to me the way the characters did. From the first time we meet Tucker Avery, I was hooked on him. I kept asking myself, "how does she not see the hottie cowboy right in front of her?" (okay so maybe I don't normally find the cowboy thing attractive. Perhaps I make exceptions for fiction.) I loved her friends and brother and mother as well. Even Christian, whom I suspected would give me a reason to detest him at some point down the line. But he didn't. There's really no definitive love triangle in this book. There's a shadow of one, but not really. I liked that because I am so sick of love triangles. For Clara, it was never "I have feelings for them both but who do I love more?" It was more true love vs her angelic predetermination.

In the end, Clara is forced to make a decision. A very, very difficult one, but I do believe she made the right one. Regardless of what the outcome would have been, I think she made the right choice. I was a little annoyed by the ending. The whole cliffhanger thing is getting old. Unearthly is no doubt one of those, but it wasn't really one that leaves me dying for the next book. It was just...okay. (Tucker leaves me dying for the next book, for the record.) The ending aside, I loved Tucker Unearthly. I'll definitely be anticipating the next installment.

4/5 Stars


  1. I have read rave reviews on this! Sounds soooo good.

  2. Christian's a great guy, but he has a girlfriend, and a secret. I think we will get the answers to Clara's situation with Christian in the next book. Unearthly is a must, must read! Cynthia Hand has written an awesome book. I for one... no make that two (my daughter) can't wait for the second book!


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