Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Unearthly

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: January 4th 2011

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, 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. 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.

Unearthly completely blew me away. I never expected it to be this good. Fantastic plot, characters, tone, writing style…check? YES! So in a nut shell, Unearthly is about part-angel Clara who moves from California to Wyoming in order to fulfil her purpose - something all angels are given. She finds herself having visions about her purpose which involve a boy named Christian and a fire.
Christian is an all around perfect boy - the boy every girl wants but can't have, except Clara. As the two become interested in each other, Clara struggles with separating love and lust with her duty.
Then there's Tucker who first appears to hate Clara and comes off as being a jerk, but the two are brought together by random circumstance, time and time again, and eventually find something in the other that they never expected. In Clara's words, "He’s good to people, respectful. He doesn’t cuss. He’s kind. Thoughtful. He likes to pick me wildflowers, which I weave into garlands for my hair so I can smell them all day long. He doesn’t make a big deal about me being different."
Mark my words, people, this is probably the first time that I am 100% on the fence with who I want Clara to end up with. The two love interests are both great guys who get their fair share of page time. So how are we meant to decide?

The mystery of Clara's purpose is written exceptionally well. I don't see how anyone can guess what her purpose is until towards the very end, right along with Clara. We're given little snippets of visions from time to time, catching us off guard as we never expect them. The plot is intriguing and mystical, and is guaranteed to have you hooked.

Now Clara isn't your typical angel. Apart from her wings and superior abilities, she's just like any other teenage girl with teenage feelings and thoughts, and Cynthia Hand's writing style captures this perfectly. Instead of hating the way it was written, I found myself laughing and saying "That's so true!" Clara has an endless amount of witty and hilarious lines…so let's share a couple, shall we?

"With my luck, I’ll never make it in time to save the boy in the forest because my hair will have snagged on a tree branch a mile back."

"I stare at her in dismay. Mom has tried to teach me to fly exactly two times, and both were complete disasters. In fact, I’ve essentially given up on the idea of flight altogether and accepted that I’m going to be an angel-blood who stays earthbound, a flightless bird, like an ostrich maybe, or, in this weather, a penguin."

"I think the birds in the area are dying laughing watching me try not to crash."
"This morning Angela thought it’d be an awesome experiment to try to burn my finger with a match, to see if I’m flammable. Turns out, I am."
All of the characters in Unearthly are unique and interesting. From Wendy (best friend and Tucker's sister) to Angela (other best friend) to Jeffrey (Clara's brother) and everyone else in between, I liked them all and felt as if they all brought something useful to the table. They had a purpose and made the novel interesting in their own little way.

But enough of my babbling. Great novel. The end. Rush to the bookstore to pick up your copy now. Maybe scratch out something in your daily planner and mark it as "Unearthly Time". The sequel Hallowed is expected to be published next year. Can't wait!

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