Rachel Harris's Reviews > Unearthly

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
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Mar 23, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, wish-i-wrote-it

By now, my love of angel stories is well established. So it shouldn't come as a shock that I leapt at the chance to read Cynthia Hand's UNEARTHLY last month. What surprised me, though, was Ms. Hand's ability to capture my interest so completely and bring something new and fresh to the table.

UNEARTHLY follows a young girl, Clara, who recently discovered she is a quarter-angel. When she begins having visions of a forest fire and a gorgeous guy, the family packs up and moves to Wyoming so she can fulfill her angelic destiny. When she arrives, she quickly meets Christian, the guy of her dreams (literally), along with Tucker, a cute but rude Cowboy determined to make her life miserable.

Clara tries to find a way to get closer to Christian, but her dyed-orange hair and status as the newcomer doesn't exactly propel her into the in-crowd that Christian inhabits. While she flounders, she befriends Tucker's much nicer twin sister Wendy and eccentric Angela, who is also an angel and guesses Clara's secret. Together, the two of them learn about their strange new world and try to figure out the meaning of Clara's visions before the day of her purpose arrives. Too bad she is distracted by Tucker, who turns out to be a sweetheart and not quite as rough around the edges as she first thought.

When Clara's fateful day of destiny arrives, she is hit with an impossible choice: save the boy she was put on the earth to help, or the boy she has fallen in love with?
Now for my raving. I loved the triangle in this book. Both boys were swoon-worthy, and I honestly kept going back and forth on who I thought she should be with. And while I was happy with Clara's choice in the end, the cliffhanger left me still wondering who I ultimately belived was right for her.

Also, can I just say how much I loved that in this version, it is a girl angel that is the main character! And it isn't her angelic nature that makes her one of my favorite heroines this year. Clara wasn't overly perfect, or loser-like. She rode that happy medium that most of us inhabit, full of fears and hopes, normalish families (well except that whole angel blood thing), bad hair days, embarrassing moments and typical angst. She was sensitive and a warrior rolled into one, and I respected her.

The friendships in this story were believable and really enhanced the plot. I loved how close and realistic the family was with each other. The pacing of the story was perfect. The tension and conflict never seemed forced, and my attention didn't dwindle once, which is saying something considering it is 448 pages!
The ending twist was brilliant and cleverly set up the next two books in the series.

I highly recommend this story, but be prepared to turn into a detective, constantly trying to decipher who (if anyone) is evil? Who is truly good? Who do you want Clara to be with? What is her mom hiding? What is up with her brother? What will happen now? And finally, how will I fill my time until the sequel comes out??

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