Friday, November 26, 2010

Review: Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

Title:  Unearthly (Unearthly #1)
Author:  Cynthia Hand
Pages:  448 pages; 22 chapters
Release Date:  January 4, 2011

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 it 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?

Thanks to HarperTeen and NetGalley I was able to get an ebook ARC for review and I'm so glad.  I really enjoyed this book and love the cover. 
Poor Clara.  She goes through so much with the visions of her purpose coming at the worst times, the pressure of success, the tragedy of an unfortunate dye job, the misery of high school, and an equally weighted love triangle.  When I first started reading, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get into the story.  However, after I learned how everything works and got past the more informative chapters, things started to get more exciting and confusing.  

There are definitely some good twists and surprises that I never saw coming.  I really liked learning about Clara's mom and getting glimpses of her past (since she's over 100 years old).  The way that angels interact with humans is written as both beautiful and terrifying.  Cynthia definitely portrays both the light and dark aspects of angels and the war in heaven.  While reading about the angels some of them seemed beautiful, graceful and somewhat romantic but others also had a presence of extreme sorrow, anger, regret and danger - I was fascinated by it.      

Now to the love triangle.  This one was tough.  One chapter I would be head over heals for Christian and the next chapter I would be squealing over Tucker.  Of course, they both have to be gorgeous in completely different ways.  
...although his appeal is kind of sexy-rugged whereas Christian's is sexy-broody...
How can you decide?!  Poor Clara.  I felt sorry for her throughout the book even though she's extremely blessed and fortunate.  Despite being torturous and confusing (in a good way), I find love triangles to be interesting turning points for a character.  It signifies the different paths the main character (the one stuck with the difficult decision) can take.  If Clara chooses one guy, she's following her heart, if she chooses the other, she's following her destiny.  Again, how can you decide.  I feel just as torn between the two options as Clara.  What frightens me right now (maybe it's just anxiety) is, even though it seems she's made her decision at the end of the book, there is still an uncertainty weighing heavily in my mind and two more books in the series for Cynthia to throw another curve ball at us.  A part of me wants Clara to choose Christian but another part of me wants her to choose Tucker.  I don't think I've ever been this indecisive with a love triangle before. 

There is no major cliffhanger for this book (and thank goodness for that because I've been reading a lot of those lately) but it is definitely open ended.  The story is just beginning for Clara, her family, Christian, Tucker, etc. and Cynthia has done a wonderful job at making it a captivating one.  I cannot wait to see the consequences of Clara's decisions, more of her mothers past, her brother's purpose and reason for his mysterious behavior towards the end of the book, the continuation of the love triangle (I'm not convinced it's over), more angels, and much more.  Great debut!

This snippet is from the description of the angel language called Angelic:
...I understood the words she said even though she wasn't speaking English, but a strange language like two notes of music played on every syllable, so eerie and alien it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.
 You can find Unearthly (Unearthly #1) in stores January 5, 2011.  The second book in the series is still untitled but it will be available in 2012.  The wait is torture but I'm sure it will be worth it!

1 comment:

  1. The book ended with some unanswered questions that I hope will be answered in the next book. I just don't wanna wait another year or more for the next one. I just loved reading this one so much it will be one of those books that I read again! This is one of the best books I have read so far this year.