Friday, April 6, 2012

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Release Date –  January 4, 2011
Publisher Website –  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 435 pages
My Rating- 8/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
To follow ones heart, or do what is expected of you. A situation most teenagers (heck, even adults) find themselves in at some point or another. Unearthly revolves around a young angel making that exact choice. While this may sound typical of angel novels, Cynthia Hand puts her own twist and fantastic writing to use to create something totally engrossing.

I loved Cynthia’s take on angel mythology. There are varying degrees of angel  - full, half and quarter. Each angel has a purpose, something they are on earth to accomplish and it’s imperative that the angel completes their purpose. Her take on fallen angels, and the varying wing colour was also something I really enjoyed. I am looking forward to diving into this mythology even more in subsequent books. Her writing is well paced, and filled with vivid imagery. I could easily picture the mountains and landscapes of Wyoming.

Clara Gardner is part angel. She gets to deal with typical angel stuff like learning to fly, figuring out her purpose which comes to her in vision form, and navigate high school while doing it. I loved this about Clara. If you take away the angel part to this story it still would resonate with people. Every teenager deals with making friends, crushing on the cute boy and having pressure from parents and others around you. I found Clara to be determined, and quite capable. I was refreshing to see the female character be the supernatural element in the story. Often in this type of story the male character is the angel/vampire/werewolf/etc and the female character falls in love with him. This provided a different perspective that I fully enjoyed.

Clara and her family move when Clara’s visions lead her to Wyoming.  She set out to meet Christian, complete her purpose and hopefully make some friends. Clara’s plans come to a screeching halt when Christian turns out to have a girlfriend, who happens to be a “mean girl” of the worst variety. Her purpose faces further complications when she starts spending time with Tucker. Clara never expected to fall in love with him especially since she is drawn to Christian as well. All of this takes her focus off what is suppose to be the biggest thing in her angel life, which is completing her purpose. With pressure and expectations pushing on her, Clara has to make a hard decision: Can she both love Tucker and Christian? Can she make her mother proud and still be true to herself?

I really enjoyed the secondary characters as well. Clara’s brother Jeffrey is a typical teenage boy who resent having to move. Her new friend Wendy is such a great friend to Clara you can’t help but love her. Clara’s other friend Angela is keeping her own secrets. Each is developed slowly, and fully to make the world Cynthia’s created even more vivid.

The boys in this novel. Sigh, I know my opinion is most likely unpopular but I adore Christian. He is kind, friendly, and has a lot in common with Clara. I had heard about the amazing Tucker and was prepared to be swept off my feet. When Tucker first saunters into Clara’s life my initial reaction was “THIS GUY? This is who you are all swooning over? Seriously? The jerk?” but I quickly changed my mind. Tucker is sweet, caring, and a nice guy. He and Clara have an electric, intense connection that I will admit is sweet. I just think Christian is the better fit for her, and I can’t wait to get to know more about him - especially after that ending!

Cynthia Hand has mixed romance, angel mythology with some pretty typical situations people can relate to and create a highly enjoyable read that will you leave you want to grab it’s sequel Hallowed right away.


  1. I'm so glad to hear you liked this book so much! I bought a copy of it in Chapters the other day (it was, like, $5 or something), but didn't get a chance to read it yet - too many review books!
    But your review definitely gets me more excited for it, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us! I love books that have some sort of big dilemma duty vs love and such, we all need some good drama sometimes! :)

  2. I love this book as well and can't wait for the third book ,,, happy to hear you enjoy it, Great review :)

  3. Ah! I adore Christian as well! You'll love him even more when you read Hallowed. He's amazingly awesome. Love him!

  4. Hahaha your reaction to Tucker made me laugh. I was kind of similiar in the beginning, I couldn't really understand why everyone was so over the moon about him. But then he showed me why and sigh... I am definitely Team Tucker. I do like Christian though and if Tucker weren't around, I'd be cheering for him. And I've read that a lot of people like Christian even more in Hallowed? I'm all for that.... provided he doesn't steam my Tucker's girl haha :P

    Brilliant review, Kathy! I agree with so much of you said. I love that the girl is the one with a supernatural secret this time around and the book just felt... different. Refreshing. I love how relatable it felt. So excited to read Hallowed!


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