Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review: Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand
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.

Print Length: 464 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (April 19, 2011)

My Review:
This is the first time I've truly enjoyed a book in the angel genre.  I have read quite a few angel books, but most of the time I find them tacky and cliche.  Unearthly had it's fair share of cliche's, but I enjoyed the characters so much that I almost didn't even notice the things that would normally bother me.

I loved Cynthia Hand's writing.  Especially in the first few chapters, I thought her writing was beautiful.  As the story moves further along it loses a bit of the eloquence, but by that point I was so wrapped up in everything that I didn't care.

I found the concept of a Purpose very interesting, especially since Clara has such diluted angel blood.  She is only a quarter part angel.  The way her Purpose is communicated to her was fascinating, coming in a dreamlike vision while she is wide awake.  The love triangle was different than in most YA novels, and I liked the way Clara navigated her love life.  I felt like she fell in love with the right guy. ;)

Christian is a typical, overly gorgeous hero that most people seem to love and I never do.  Not that there is really anything to dislike, but I just like Tucker more.  Tucker is awesome.  He is 100% adorable.  His reaction to Clara was perfectly normal and I was happy to finally see that in a paranormal romance.

I was left with a lot of questions about the story, which was probably intentional so that I will read the next books in the series.  I couldn't help but wonder what Clara's brother was involved in, and why she didn't really seem too concerned about it.  I also wondered what was the deal with the dark angel and why did he pop up in the story?  Why was he even there?

There were a few things that irritated me about the book, but I really enjoyed reading it.  It was an intriguing book and I have to admit that I am hooked and will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

The Cover:  It's a nice representation of the actual story.  It is similar to other books in the genre while still having a unique aspect about it.  I LOVE the title design.  I want to find that font...

About the Author:
Cynthia Hand grew up in southeast Idaho (very near the Wyoming border). Currently she lives in southern California with her husband and two small children. She teaches courses in creative writing at Pepperdine University. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly series with HarperTeen: UNEARTHLY, published in 2011, HALLOWED published January 17, 2012, and BOUNDLESS, due out in January 2013.

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