Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 1/4/2011
Length: 435 pages
Format: Hardcover
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
Challenges: 2011 Support Your Local Library Challenge
Source: Library
Purchase: Hardcover | Kindle | NOOK | ePub

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 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 understand, 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?

It actually took me a little time to get into this one. Once Tucker showed up on the scene, I was hooked. I like that this book doesn’t work out like many YA books. Everything doesn’t fall into place. I assume this mostly because there are two more books, but I still loved that there wasn’t some cheesy, perfect, happy ending.

Clara is a very likable character. She never annoyed me, which I find amazing in a YA book. I get annoyed by teen female characters pretty easily. I found Clara refreshing. She doesn’t obsess too much, and when she does it’s with good reason. She has a backbone, a very unlikely thing in YA fiction. She’s also kind of funny. I liked her and that’s how I got myself through the beginning of the book. When Tucker shows up I want to melt. He is definitely one of my favorite love interests in teen fiction, period. He’s so genuine and clever. I expected this book to be all about Clara and Christian, so I was pleasantly surprised when it ended up having so much of Tucker in it. Also, unlike her attraction to Christian, it takes Clara some time to fall for Tucker. They spend a lot of time together and really get to know each other before anything romantic happens. That gets major cool points from me. That is so hard to find in teen fiction these days.

Like I said, I wasn’t totally convinced at first. I felt like I was treading a little through the beginning. There was a whole lot of information on angels, and not much real action pulling the story forward. However, when things do start to get interesting, it completely makes up for the slow start. The ending was great. It’s intriguing enough to make me want to read the next one, but it doesn’t leave me hanging by a thread. The writing is nice. It has a good flow and doesn’t make a big deal out of itself. I always like that in writing.

Unearthly is heart-warming and mystical. It will take you from the complete bliss of love to stomach-wrenching suspense in a single chapter. If you like YA fiction, it’s worth your time.

I really enjoyed it.

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1 Comment

  1. Glad you liked it. Your review made me much, much more curious. It's unfortunate about the slow start though (it annoys me when that happens because I'm oh so very tempted to put the book down).


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