Saturday, January 22, 2011

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand: Review
Posted by Tiffany at 2:56 PM

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand (site)
Published: Jan 4th, 2011 by HarperTeen
Pages: 435
Price:  $10.49 Book Depository $10.52 Amazon
Series: Unearthly #1
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5
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. (Goodreads)

Initial Thoughts: I thought that this book would be a fluffy, light read about a girl with two crushes and an angelic, (overly) sweet personality. I'm very glad to say that I was wrong.

Review: This book was so different from what I expected. The main character wasn't a Perfect Little Angel, she was just a normal girl who was afraid that she wouldn't live up to her mother's expectations, nervous about fitting in after a million moves, and trying desperately not to fall in love with the wrong guy. I loved it! After reading about one chapter, I thought I had this one figured out: fall for boy, fulfill mission, become hero, live Happily Ever After. Instead, I was surprised again and again by plot twists. Cynthia Hand didn't just take a cute idea and follow the normal YA formula, although that would have made for a good novel. She decided to make Clara's life more like that of a normal girl: nothing goes as you expect it to. Despite her lineage, she still acts (mostly) like a normal girl, which makes her easier to relate to than some of the overly sweet characters in other angel books. My only complaint was that the action was over too fast, and that she didn't play a huge part in it. I suppose that this makes sense, given her level of skill and almost complete ignorance about the actual situation (vague enough for ya?), but I would've enjoyed a big battle.

Christian vs Tucker? No contest! Tucker rocks. I would like to get to know Christian better, especially after what happened in the last few chapters. I can't wait for the next book! Her world has been blown wide open and the results can't possibly be anything but exciting! I would recommend this to anyone who like YA. It's perfectly suitable for younger teens, so feel free to pass it on to your kid sister.

Quick Review: Unearthly was an engaging account of one girl's struggle with the idea that her whole reason for existing is to complete a mission, the details of which she hasn't been told. When her destiny leads her one way and her heart leads her another, she has to decide between being Angelic and being happy.