Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publish Date: January 4, 2011
Pages: 448

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 it 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?

I've recently found out that I can't avoid angel stories because they have this huge, overpowering appeal to me. This one, I absolutely loved. It was different than the others I've read, because the angel is the narrator. Most of the YA paranormal/fantasy books I've read have consisted of the human female and the paranormal male with whom she falls in love.

This story starts with Clara, who has just recently found out that she's a quarter angel. She's been having weird visions, which her mother tells her are clues to her purpose. These clues eventually lead her and her family to the beautiful Wyoming mountains. She becomes really wrapped up in Christian and it seems like any overactive high school crush. The story really gets good when summer comes along and Clara starts to worry about whether or not she's going to be ready to fulfill her purpose.

Insert Tucker. Oh, Tucker, how I love you so much. Talk about sexy cowboy! He starts off as a bit of an ass who seems to enjoy pushing Clara's buttons. By the time the summer comes around, you get to see his softer side, and my goodness is he sweet. I don't want to tell you too much about him, but I'm team Tucker all the way!

The last four to five chapters are absolutely amazing. By the time I got to this point, I didn't want to stop reading for anything. I even tried reading through my lecture, but I realized that was really stupid and put it away (very, VERY reluctantly). Cynthia Hand inserts at least three pretty big twists near the end, and they are so great. I can't give anything away, obviously, but good luck putting it down near the end.

I definitely recommend this one to anyone who has recently fallen in love with angel stories. Unearthly is different in the sense that the narrator isn't the typical damsel in distress, which is a great change. Overall, this is now on my favourite reads list. I can't wait until it comes out so that I can hold it in my hands and read it all over again.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for the digital ARC!

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