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Review: Unearthly

UnearthlyTitle: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly, #1
Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal – Angels
Publication Information: HarperTeen, 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 (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.

(Summary from Goodreads)

I loved Unearthly way more than I thought I would. Angels are never a thing I’ve been super into, but I love the cover on this one, so I gave into my shallow side and read it.

Clara’s struggle to come to terms with the disparity between her desires and her destiny was believable. This struggle is drawn in stark contrast between Tucker and Christian, two boys Clara finds herself caught between. From the beginning, we know that Clara’s destiny is tied closely with Christian’s, although the reason for this is a mystery to everyone involved. She also finds herself attracted to Christian, who, to be honest, I found to be boring, and there were a couple times when he didn’t treat Clara very well – so I found their relationship to be frustrating. I loved Tucker, on the other hand, the other boy Clara is drawn to. He has a very sarcastic exterior, but is very sweet, which makes Clara’s conflict that much more difficult since Tucker isn’t supposed to figure into her destiny at all.

My main complaint was the book’s length because, as much as I loved it, it felt like there wasn’t enough going on at some points toward the middle. I think I might’ve felt differently if there had been more focus on the Black Wings, who are introduced as an enemy to angel-bloods like Clara but never really explored much. This was especially disappointing since there were hints dropped that there might be some bigger conflict between Black Wings and angel-bloods. Had this been developed more, the book could’ve taken on a more epic scope; instead, all of Clara’s mom’s hints fell a little flat for me.

Despite my criticisms, I loved Unearthly, and I can’t wait to see if the next books in the series build on certain things that were hinted at in this first book.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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