Feb 01

2011 Debut Author Challenge: Review of Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand

Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: January 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
(Also Available in Electronic and Audio Formats)
Pages: 435
Age Group: Young Adult +
Source: Publisher

Review: I would first like to thank HarperTeen for sending me the electronic ARC of UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

UNEARTHLY is not just another angel story. Clara, the main protagonist of the story, knows she’s an angel. I enjoyed this aspect of the book, instead of Clara discovering she is an angel. However, the one thing Clara has yet to discover is her purpose in life. In UNEARTHLY, all angels have a purpose. Clara is a guardian angel of sorts. The reason I say this is because Clara doesn’t know the person she’s supposed to guard. That is, until she receives a vision.

When the book opens, Clara is a given a brief snippet of her vision — she’s standing in a forest surrounded by a forest fire where she sees a boy she’s never met standing near her. But Clara isn’t familiar with this forest. It doesn’t look like where she lives in California. So Clara asks her mother (who is also an angel) for help.

Along with her mother’s trusted guidance and another vision, they figure out the forest is in Wyoming. Because an angel’s purpose is vitally important, Clara can’t just visit Wyoming, she has to live there so her purpose will unfold and reveal itself. Clara, her mother and her brother Jeffrey pick up and move to Wyoming — which Jeffrey is none too happy about. Soon, the family gets settled in. Not only does Clara make friends at her new school, she also meets Christian, the boy from her vision. And to complicate matters, Clara starts to fall head over heels for Christian. This begins to complicate matters. Can an angel fulfill her purpose when crushing on the person she’s supposed to save?

It seems right now that the publishing industry is becoming saturated with angel books. But I feel UNEARTHLY is very different from the books already on the market. I truly enjoyed my reading experience, especially the characters and the world Hand created. Yes, UNEARTHLY features the very popular love triangle plot device which sometimes feels thrown in just for the heck of it. However, it works well in UNEARTHLY. I was surprised how much I fell for Tucker, instead of Christian. Tucker is a gruff, good old boy cowboy who is the brother of Clara’s friend, Wendy. Though, Wendy tries to push the two together, Clara wants nothing to do with Tucker until she starts seeing him in a new light. As a reader, you will, too.

The characters of UNEARTHLY are the heart of the book. The relationships are dynamic and realistic. I loved Clara’s spunk and wonderment about her purpose and what it means to be an angel. Christian and Tucker are both hotties and my new literary crushes. I also liked the special relationship with Clara’s mother. Her mother is very family-oriented, but also a good friend to her children. She’s there for them when they need her and also knows when to give them their space.

I really didn’t know too much about this book and I think it’s best to know very little when reading it. It’s fun to discover all the twists and surprises as you go along. I thought the ending was spectacular! It really blew me away. Clara makes some tough choices in UNEARTHLY — some she makes with her head, but others with her heart. I believe she makes the right decisions. I liked how the book leaves a lot of questions for the sequel. However, the sequel won’t be out until 2012. Drats!

I’m giving UNEARTHLY 5 “Relaxing with a Good Book” retro pictures for being out of this world!

Follow Cynthia Hand on: Twitter | Website | goodreads

Purchase UNEARTHLY at: Amazon | The Book Depository | IndieBound | Powell’s | Barnes & Noble

2 COMMENTSThis post is filed under: Young Adult

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2 Responses to “2011 Debut Author Challenge: Review of Unearthly by Cynthia Hand”

  1. Small Review says:

    2012 can't come fast enough! I was surprised at how much I loved this book. I was expecting it to be an insta-love angel book, but it wasn't. I especially liked a few things you also touched upon in your review:

    The fact that she already knows she's an angel

    Her mother's involvement in her life

    The new spin on the love triangle

    Nicely written review!

    • Julie says:

      You're definitely right on that sister!! I kept putting UNEARTHLY off, but I couldn't wait anymore. Now, I'm like…should I have read this so soon? LOL Thanks! I really loved this book. I was so happy for her mother's involvement. So many books have disappearing parents. I'm reading IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS now. Not about angels. I was relieved. Kind of getting burned out on that. But anyways…the mother of the protagonist is very involved in her life. My parents are involved in mine so I relate for sure.