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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

***2011 Debut Author***

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 4, 2011
Pages: 435
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: NetGalley

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)

My thoughts:
I love angel stories. Don't know why but they have always been a draw for me. So, when I first found out about Unearthly I was thrilled. And maybe that's why I was disappointed when I finally read it.

Don't get me wrong, it's a good story. A really good story. And the writing is pretty awesome. Not awkward or unrealistic. And even with the unanswered questions, the plot was pretty solid.

But. The romance. The romance just did me in. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again but I really dislike love triangles. I love a good love story, but I would much rather see no romance then a triangle. Or in the case of Unearthly, a half formed, messy shaped thing of unlikableness.

Ok, that didn't make much sense but I hope you get what I'm trying to say.

And it's so hard for me to say I didn't enjoy the romance in Unearthly because I very much enjoyed the characters - most of them at least. AND the romance actually played a huge part in the storyline. BUT...well...it just didn't do it for me.

I'm one of the few. Many, MANY people absolutely love this book and you would probably be one of them. The issues I take with Unearthly are just that, my issues.

Gotta say, the mystery was pretty cool - but not complete. It's the first in a series though so, yeah, to be expected. A lot more of this story to tell but for me at least, I don't know if I'll continue the journey. I can almost see the weirdly shaped love shaped thing getting even messier and the overall story getting bogged down by it and I would hate to read that because I very much would love to see what happens to these characters. But, we'll see. No synopsis for book 2 yet so I can't really say for sure.

Final verdict:
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would. If you're a fan of paranormal YA romance, you'll probably really enjoy Unearthly. Like I said, the writing is solid and the plot is unique and engaging, It's just sadly, wasn't a book for me. Cynthia Hand is a debut author and while I might not pick up the next installment of the Unearthly series, I would defiantly read more by this author.

Overall Rating:
2.5 / 5 Stars

Books in the Unearthly Series:
1. Unearthly
2. Hallowed (2012)

Linkage Love:
Author's Website


  1. I find it so interesting that you didn't like this one. I have discovered that I do not really like angel stories, but I really enjoyed this one!

    I also don't really like love triangles, but this one didn't feel like that much of a triangle to me, because Christian was just kind of there. He was the hot guy, but more than that he was her 'job'. She liked him initially, but I don't really feel like it lasted that long.

    But I did really like Tucker, and I LOVED how that relationship was handled.

  2. Oddly enough, I don't like angel stories, but I loved Unearthly. I get where you're coming from though with the messy love triangle. I never really saw it as a love triangle though. I saw/see a very clear male character coming out with Clara's heart (and I have to say that I love this male character). Now if the series unfolds more and the love triangle really gets messy, I'll be mad. I should accept the inevitable that it will go in that direction, but I'll decide how I feel once it gets there.

    It's too bad that this one fell short for you, but we can't love them all, right? Thanks for the review.

  3. I'm not sure if I have the same feelings as you but I didn't really like Tucker (although it seems like most have) so if that's what you meant, then I agree with you. However I really enjoyed the angel mythology so that redeemed the book for me.


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