Monday, 12 September 2011

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand
Publisher: Egmont UK
Released: May 2nd 2011
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

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.
(from Goodreads)

Unearthly. Wow. So, let me just start by saying I haven’t had much luck with angel books so far; I’ve read Hush, Hush, Halo and Fallen and to tell you the truth, none of them did it for me. So I was a bit wary about reading Unearthly, but I can honestly say after finishing it that I absolutely loved it. The story was so refreshing and the characters were all amazing! I loved Clara as our protagonist – she was an angel-blood (quarter angel, three-quarters human), and had these awesome abilities (like being able to FLY), but she was also a very likeable, very believable teen, and I really enjoyed reading about her! Even though she was under this huge pressure to fulfil her “purpose” (a sort of quest each angel-blood is given as they mature), and had to uproot from her home in California to move to Wyoming, she didn’t whine or moan and she didn’t sulk or blame anyone for what was happening, she just took it all in her stride and got on with it, which I really liked about her. Plus, she just seemed like a really kind person, the type I’d want to be friends with in real life. She was also pretty funny, and I loved the fact that she got along with her family – the family dynamic at the beginning of the book was so great; Clara, her brother Jeffrey and their mum were all hilarious together, and it was great to see Clara interact with her family, as that’s not something you see a lot in YA today.

Another thing I liked about Unearthly was the development of Clara and Tucker’s relationship. While I did like Christian (more on him later), I’m totally Team Tuck. The weird thing is, when we were first introduced to him, I thought he was just...meh. I’d read so many reviews raving about him, but at this point, I couldn’t figure out why everyone loved him so much. But as the book went He just became awesome. I first liked the fact that he and Clara didn’t get along immediately, because it meant they got to tease each other and really build up a relationship instead of just the immediate attraction/insta-love thing that we keep getting these days. I also liked his humour, and his individuality, and the way he spent time with Clara, teaching her awesome things, and all his little quirks that made him so cute and ahh. I just loved him. Trust me, you will know what I’m talking about when you read this (and you should definitely read this).

Christian, the boy Clara’s “purpose” centred around, was hard to figure out. While I did like him, I didn’t know quite what to make of him at times, though I do think he was pretty funny and could be really lovely when he wanted to be. He was part of the popular crowd, but didn’t wasn’t as mean or as obnoxious as some of them could be, and the conversations between Christian and Clara were enjoyable to read about. I also really liked Wendy (Tucker’s sister)and Angela, Clara’s two best friends; Angela especially because her back-story was just so fascinating, and she seemed to be the only one that understood Clara. Wendy was also interesting because she was so different to Tucker and it was funny to see what she thought of her brother and Clara.

The ending of Unearthly was completely unexpected – at least, it was for me. Totally did not see that coming, but it was utterly awesome, and it you like fast-paced, urgent, thrilling final pages, then you will love the ending of Unearthly. Plus, the best part is that it doesn’t end on some huge cliffhanger! Sure, there are a lot of answered questions and stuff, but at least you won’t feel like throwing the book across the room because it cut off randomly during an action scene. The pace of the book in general was pretty good – the beginning, perhaps, was a little slow to start, but apart from that, it was really great and the book was just the right length, too. Now I’m waiting for Hallowed, book two in the series, and I seriously cannot wait to see what happens next (and I can’t wait for more Tucker <3).

Overall, Unearthly was awesome, and is probably my favourite angel book so far. If you’ve had bad luck with angel books too, I definitely recommend Unearthly, it will restore your faith, trust me. So go read this book.


  1. I loved this book! It was one of the best YA books from last year.

  2. I'm so glad that you've given this a great review, I've had it sat on my TBR pile for a while now. I must get to it!

  3. I loved Unearthly - definitely one of the best Angel books around. I can't wait to find out what happens next!

  4. That is EXACTLY how I felt about Tucker! At first I was thinking "Uh.. what's the big deal about him" Then I FOUND OUT. Christian who?? Okay, he's alright. But he's no Tucker ;)

    Awesome review, Liz. So glad your loved it! And I LOVE The UK cover, it's so gorgeous.

  5. I LOVED this book! I'm forever Team Tucker. I never thought much of Christian . . . but Tucker is such a super nice and caring guy. *sighs*

    Anyway great review! So glad you loved it!

  6. Gah! I can't wait to read this book! I put it on hold at the library, so hopefully I will get a copy soon. :) It sounds awesome!

    Oh and I love the cover you posted as well. :)

  7. Great review! I absolutely loved this book, I'm glad to see that you enjoyed it as well. I'm Team Tucker too by the way :)

  8. Loved Tucker! :D

    The ending really surprised me too, I wasn't expecting it turn out that way. I'm very curious about what will happen in the sequel!

    Wonderful review, Liz!

  9. Ok, this does sound beautiful, and I am officially really, REALLY tempted to read it! Great review :)

  10. My favourite paranormal creatures are angels and yet I still haven't read this one. I'm so glad that there's no major cliffhanger in this one and that the romance takes time to develop. Tucker sounds awesome!

  11. I'm the same: I've had lots of bad luck with angel books, finding more fault with them than entertainment. So it's encouraging to read what you have to say about Unearthly. Clara sounds like an amazing protag! I look forward to reading this (hopefully soon) and changing my feelings on angels!


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