Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

UnearthlyFrom 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.
I'd have to say that, at first I wasn't thrilled with Unearthly. It seemed to start out typically as a girl being fascinated by a boy (for a good reason, but still familiar) and swooning whenever he is around. However, when Clara and Angela become good friends my interest picked up. And although it starts out as the typical YA book, but slowly morphs into an interesting paranormal tale once Angela hits the scene. I am very interested in what happens in the next book. It's not end in a cliffhanger, but just enough is not revealed that it is more than curiosity that makes me want to know the answers to the questions you are left mulling.

Despite what I said above, the romance in this book actually ends up being much more believable than typically presented in a YA book, and it leads to the question of Clara's destiny. As with destiny and visions alike, this is not clear, and with most things in reality, it is never fully answered. However, it didn't seem to frustrate me like I would have guessed. The questions left felt right and if they were answered this early it wouldn't have fit with the whole story.

I do have a huge criticism with Clara's mother. She answers none of her children's questions about being a quarter-angel and what that means. She only asks them to blindly trust. Not even the reasons for the silence are revealed. Characters like this really annoy me. People and especially children learning cannot exist in a vacuum. It leads to destructive behavior since the only other option left to them are those that are willing to answer those questions or experiencing it themselves. This might be the worst scenario since the one answering may not have their best intentions or they may stumble onto the exact problem that the silence was trying to prevent. Now as much problem as I had with this I give total props to Ms. Hand for not forgetting this. We see what problems this can cause and I suspect we will see more in the coming book(s).

I give this book 4 stars. Although I was not thrilled with the beginning, I enjoyed the ending. My favorite quote:
I think he seriously believes that deflowering an angel could mean an eternity in fiery hell.
That one made me snort quite loudly. ;D No I'm not telling who what or where that quote comes from. *evil laugh* (you were waiting for that, weren't you?)

I was given this ebook by netgalley.com and HarperTeen. No compensation was given for my review. The book is scheduled to be published today!


  1. Great review! I loved this book. I think I like the uniqueness of it the best.

  2. As soon as they sort the problem I have with bookdep. out, I will order this very soon! I love that you say that it's a bit different from all the other typica YA books.

    ps: They charged me twice. So unfair!! :)

  3. Fantastic review Melissa, you are truly evil for teasing people with that quote, but I love that about you:) I really enjoyed this one as well, it could have been your typical YA paranormal, but it pushed it's way out of those cliches and became something more interesting. Can't wait for book 2!

  4. It does sound slightly diferent to many of the other 'angel' books that are around but I think I'll give this one a miss. Thanks for an honest review. My best wishes for 2011.

  5. ooo la la this one looks good. I haven't read a good YA since Mockingjay.

  6. @Savannah and Jenny... hopefully netgalley will have book 2 as well! (oh and Jenny... bwa ha ha)

    @Nina... I think that place got too big for it's britches! I hope you get it straightened out quickly! I'd be ticked!

    @Petty... I understand. No book is for everyone. Thanks for the compliment. :)

    @SHB I think you'll like this one.

  7. Blahahaha! That quote!

    Well, Melissa, I'm still very interested in reading this one, though I'm with you on the not liking the approach the mother took. I see that as very problematic.

    Still every review I have read for Unearthly has been glowing, so that tells me something good.

  8. Wasn't so much fun to read lol? :D and yeah the deflowering line I laughed so hard :D

    OMG you found a trailer awesome :D

  9. @Missie... The author doesn't ignore the fact so I was "okay" with it because it will/does have consequences. :)

    @Samita Glad you liked my fave quote. ;D

  10. I will definitely be reading my copy soon!

  11. I would never be ok with not knowing more about my angel blood. So yes, could see why that part was a bit meh.

    Still you liked it :)

  12. Hmm...I've had this book on my wishlist for a while but I've been getting a little bored with the same old YA destined romance so I like that the story actually progresses from that point! And you are such a tease with that quote - it makes me want to read it more! :-)

  13. I quote: "the romance in this book actually ends up being much more believable than typically presented in a YA book..."

    So no falling in love at first glance? ***Does happy dance!***

    Thanks for the great review- I am really looking forward to this book. Well, maybe not the beginning and the annoying mom...

  14. Adults who withold answers from the YA protagonists are my pet peeve as well. I think it's a worn trope to enhance the mystery and keep the plot going.

  15. I have this one in my review pile, but in all honesty, after getting burned by Halo, I'm not really feeling like another angel book at the moment. Since it's a review book, I'll definitely be reading it eventually, but not ASAP. I'm going to wait until I can get rid of my post-Halo aftertaste. Lol! Glad to hear that you enjoyed it though. It makes me less hesitant to pick it up!

  16. @Blodeuedd I liked it because the author didn't ignore that fact. That made me happy. :)

    @Avery, yes, you would be happy with the way the romance progresses with this one.

    @Stephanie... oh, good point!

    @Natalie... I haven't read Halo, but for others I've seen who haven't liked the whole angel genre they seemed to enjoy this one. :)

  17. I have this one on my WANT list and I am so glad to see you ended up enjoying the read. I'll have to try to remember the slower start here. ;) Thanks!

    Oh,I have to ask... is the little man on the header new, or did I miss him before. :) The girls say hello!

  18. Nice review! I keep reading raving reviews of this book, might need to check it out hehe=D

  19. @Mel... yea the boy is new. :) I put him up there after I took the holiday one down. ;)

    The boy says, "How YOU woofing?" To the girls!

    @Larissa... I think you'd enjoy it! :)

  20. Haha, that was one of my favorite quotes as well. :) I absolutely ADORED this book. The romance was sooo sweet. I loved that they got to know each other first. :) Great review! ♥

  21. The romance with Tucker was so sweet. I loved it. Very interesting twist on the love triangle.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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