Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mini-Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Cynthia Hand
Released: January 4th, 2011
Pages: 435 (hardcover)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
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?
Honestly, I hate most angel books because I usually end up being disappointed by the time I finish reading.  However, Unearthly was a welcome surprise. From the start, I enjoyed how family-orientated this story is, and the fact that Clara's mother was in-the-know regarding the angel aspects (usually more knowledgeable than our MC). As a narrator, Clara's voice was filled with plenty of fun, fresh humor that made her easy to relate with and root for. While this story didn't "WOW" me the way it did with many other readers, it was great enough to make me curious about the sequel, Hallowed.  
Highlights: Certain side characters were nicely written - like Tucker, with his quick jokes and chivalrous manners. Hand's writing has a flowing quality to it, where you promise yourself you'll read only one more chapter, and somehow end up incapable of setting the novel aside. Unearthly is exciting, surprising, and entirely enjoyable. 

Lowlights: I wish Clara's family had been in the story more. I was left with quite a lot of questions at the end. Clara's slightly stalkerish tendencies around Christian came across as somewhat creepy1. I realize she wanted to protect him, but come on - back off a little.


1 I was thrilled when she stopped obsessing over him. Christian did not interest me at all.2
2 Can you tell I'm a Tucker fan? :)


Image + Summary from Goodreads


  1. Glad you enjoyed this one Lea :) !! I really liked it when I read it next year .. I still have to buy the second book in the series though ..
    I agree, Tucker is an aweosme character and I'm definitely on his Team :) !! Great review ;)

  2. Absent families leave me questioning the authenticity of the novel, but I've heard some good things about this one. Great thoughts, Lea! I'm glad you liked it :)

  3. I adored this book so much! I liked that Clara's mom and brother were present for the most part, but you're right, there are definitely a lot of questions about them:) I promise you get a lot of them answered in book 2! So glad this one didn't disappoint Lea:)

  4. Tucker is obviously so much more interesting! I agree :-)

  5. I like Christian and Tucker both so am interested in finding out how everything will work out in the next book.

  6. I've read both hallowed and unearthly, but I liked hallowed more. I'm one of those readers that were WOWed by the story;) Great to hear your thoughts.

  7. I was surprised at how much I liked this story (I haven't read the second one yet but it's on my Kindle). I'm with you--Tucker all the way! Christian=meh.

  8. YES! I enjoyed the book overall, but like you, I didn't find Christian interesting in the slightest, and Clara's stalkerish tendencies towards him made me cringe at times. This book didn't wow me either, but it left me intrigued enough to pick up the sequel, which I started a few days ago. Honestly? I'm having a little trouble getting into it. I'm only at the 50 page point though, so hopefully that will change!

  9. It's so nice to hear from you and others that this one isn't as frustrating as most angel books. Very encouraging. I do plan on reading it sometime though I have a feeling that I will be like you and not be completely in love with it as much as others seem to be. Still, I look forward to it!

  10. I'm also not an angel book fan but I enjoyed this one due to the focus on family. I'm not really interested in Tucker but I also don't like Christian; for me the romance was very much a lesser plot.