Friday, November 30, 2012

Review: Unearthly


Title: Unearthly
Series: Unearthly #1
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 4, 2011


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.

My Thoughts:

So far in my reading and blogging career, I haven't had the best luck with angel books. Sometimes, they come off a bit too religious for my taste and sometimes the author takes the whole fallen angel thing too far (Hush Hush was a trainwreck for me because Patch was way too creepy and gross). However, Unearthly is the best angel book I've read yet! I really enjoyed the angel lore included in it and I also found the characters very real and relatable.

Clara wishes she was just an average girl, not an angel-blood put on earth to serve a single purpose and I'm right there with her! Clara struggles with the feeling that her life isn't entirely her own and I totally get that! She's super relatable and likeable. While she can be very stubborn, she also deals with the challenges with strength and grace.

I really enjoyed the concept of an angel-blood's purpose. Being put on earth to perform one task, but still living life around that purpose is such an interesting concept. I really sympathize with Clara as she is forced to make decisions based her purpose and sometimes go against her personal desires (such as moving to Wyoming). I think that Unearthly took an interesting view at the conflicting concepts of fate and free-will, which I really enjoyed.

Unearthly also have a fun cast of secondary characters. I immediately loved Wendy and was a bit bummed that she didn't appear more in the story (although I can foresee her being part of Hallowed for sure). I wasn't a huge fan of Angela. I'm not sure why, the girl gives me the creeps. Christian is such a typical YA-hero: popular, insanely-good looking, liked by all, that sort of thing. And then there was Tucker. I was team Tucker almost from the start (and definitely after the prom). Maybe it's because I'm a farm girl, but any real-life cowboy gets bonus points with me. Any guy who can ride a horse really, which we don't see enough of in YA.

And that leads me to my next point (not the cowboy stuff). Unearthly had two YA tropes that are so overdone it makes all of us crazy. 1. A we're-destined-to-be-together, sparks-when-we-touch, instant connection and 2. the dreaded love triangle. The first one comes thanks to Clara's purpose and is understandable, although I could have done without the whole sparks thing. And the love triangle was actually really well done! I'm not usually a fan of love triangles (Twilight gave me my fill years ago), but Cynthia Hand did a really good job developing Clara's feels for both boys and I found myself enjoying it. Her relationship with each boy is different and I appreciated that.

Overall, I really enjoyed Unearthly and am excited to read Hallowed (I'm waiting until the paperback comes out in December). Angel books are looking up for me!

On the Cover:

Oh my gosh, I love this cover. It's so pretty in person, with the shiny silver lines and feather. My boyfriend looked at it and said it looked like something I would like, so there you go!

Rating: 4 hearts

Source: Purchased.

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  1. Aww, your boyfriend knows you well! I'm a real-live farm girl too--any boy who can ride a horse gets some points from me. I've also heard that this book is totally amazing from other sources.

    Apparently, I'm going to have the biggest cowboy crush ever on this guy. Hrm. I don't think I'll mind. ;)

    Love triangles are so overdone--but I still like them. As long as it isn't the dreaded LOVE SQUARE. O_O (This has happened to me.)

    Great review, Megan!

    Megan@The Book Babe

  2. Yay! :D So glad you liked this one, Megan! :D My friend, Zoe, was the same as you with the whole issues over Angel books thing...and she loved Unearthly too! She's also totally Team Tucker...I will admit, I am Team Christian. :P

    I agree that Cynthia Hand did a fabulous job with the characters, and the love triangle in this one. Not many authors can pull it off so well, but she did it. :) The angel folklore is one of my favourite parts of this series, too! I hope that you get the chance to read Hallowed soon and that you like it, too! :D