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Unearthly (Unearthly #1) – Cynthia Hand
Book Reviews
March 16, 2013 posted by Nichole

Unearthly (Unearthly #1) – Cynthia Hand

7488244In 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.


You guys voted for me to read Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, and here’s my review.


I have never been a fan of angel books. I’ve tried to read several, and I’ve usually put them all down. The only exception is Immortal City by Scott Speer, which is an absolute amazing read that I would recommend to everyone. Unearthly was just mediocre to me. Let me explain why.

I found the main character, Clara to be so dull and boring. I found her to have no spark, character or perk that made me sway her way. And because she is the narrator of this book, I was really bored. There was actually a point that I set the book down and decided to not read anymore. I was going to give it a DNF (did not finish) and call it good. The only thing that made me pick the book up again was Tucker.

Tucker, one of Clara’s love interests, is one of my all time favorite male characters. I found him to be so amazing. One thing that I really liked about this angel/paranormal/fantasy book is that it had a major contemporary piece to it. There is a large chunk of time dedicated to the romance between Clara and Tucker, and I loved those scenes. Thankfully, those scenes happened right after I picked the book up again, and they made me fall in love with the book itself.

I didn’t like the concept of Clara having to go do this purpose. For those of you who haven’t read this series, Clara is an angel (well…part angel) whose family up and moves to a different state so that Clara can save a boy named Christian from a forest fire to fulfill her purpose (something given to all angels.) I didn’t like Christian, and I didn’t like the concept of the purpose. I just honestly wish that the paranormal aspect of this book had been taken out and that it had been strictly contemporary.

I had a really big problem with the mom in this book. I don’t care if you’re kid has a purpose to save some random guy. If she wants to be happy with someone else and live her life…then let her. Don’t go grounding her because she doesn’t want to settle down with a guy that she doesn’t even love. I couldn’t stand the mom.

I’m sitting here talking about all of the characters and not really about the story itself, so let’s take a different approach. I found the story and writing to be very mild and relaxing. It definitely is not a book full of action and suspense. It is also very predictable. I think that the girls over at epic reads accidently gave away the ending to me, so I can’t say that I wouldn’t have been shocked…but I do think that I would have guessed what happens. Most of the characters in the book were pretty bland, but there were a couple exceptions..namely Tucker and his sister.  I do have to say that I expected madness to go down with Angela’s character. I was expecting something that never happened in the book, which is really exciting. I’m going to be shocked, though, if my predictions don’t occur in the rest of the series.

Overall, I would not recommend anyone to go out and buy this book. It’s definitely something that you want to borrow from a friend or the library. I went out and bought the first two in the series, because I had heard how amazing it is, and I’m really disappointed that I did so. On the upside for all of you, I’ll probably be giving my copies away once I finish the second book.

Christina reviewed the book in 2011 and gave it a whopping 5 stars! Check out her review here!


Pages: 435

Publication Date: January 4th, 2011

Publisher: HarperTeen

Rating: : ★★★☆☆


Teaser Quote: “Think about Tucker. Think about a good memory, she whispers in my mind. Remember a moment when you loved him. And just like that, I do.

“What did the fish say when it hit a concrete wall?” he asked me. We’re sitting on the bank of a stream and he’s tying a fly onto my fishing rod, wearing a cowboy hat and red lumberjack-style flannel shirt over a gray tee. So adorable.
“What?” I say, he grins. Unbelievable of how gorgeous he is. And that he’s mine. He loves me and I love him.
“Dam!” he says.

Book Reviews
February 8, 2011 posted by Christina

Unearthly – Cynthia Hand

“Clara has known she was part-angel ever since she turned fourteentwo years ago, but only now is her purpose – the crucial rite of passage for every part-angel – becoming clear to her. Clara’s purpose leads her family to Wyoming, where amidst terrifying scenes of a bush inferno, she finds a boy of her visions, Christian. He’s everything she could wish for – so why does she also have feelings for her enigmatic classmate Tucker?

Clara discovers that her purpose is only a small part of a titanic struggle between angels and their destructive counterparts, the Black Wings. And when the fire of her visions erupts and both Christian and Tucker are in danger, who will she choose to save?”

Under normal circumstances it would only take Richelle Mead’s praise of a book on its front cover for me to say “Well, enough said, I’m reading it!” But it wouldn’t be much of a review if all I wrote was “Richelle Mead says so, READ IT.”

Till now, most of the books I’d read about Angels had been lackluster to fairly decent but nothing that I completely loved, Unearthly changed all that.

Clara has known she was part-angel for two years now and finally, she has begun having visions which are the clues to her ‘purpose’. These visions are cryptic and her purpose isn’t quite clear, only that she sees a boy standing in a forest area that’s about to be engulfed in flames. Who is this guy? Where is the forest? Why is he there? What’s she even meant to do once she’s there? That’s all up to Clara to figure out.

If I could use just one word to describe this book it would be refreshing. Everything from our main character Clara, to the love interests, to the use of angel mythology were so well done it makes this book a stand out amongst its genre.

The storyline was artfully done, with a perfect blend of realism with the supernatural. The writing is easy to read and amazingly captivating – just when you plan on reading one more chapter, you find yourself reading another hundred pages instead.

Some moments were quite suspenseful and I found myself gasping out loud or yelling at the characters hoping in vain that they’ll hear my warnings, but of course, that’s as useful as when your Dad is yelling at players during a football match on tv – they can’t hear you.

I loved that this wasn’t one of those, anti hero, I’m-coming-to-terms-with-these-new-powers-which-by-the-way-I’m-awesome-at-but-waaaa-my-life-will-never-be-the-same-kind-of-books. Clara’s known about her angel abilities for two years already so has had time to adjust to the idea and all the extras that go with being a part-angel, but she still has a lot to learn.

I was also very glad that her family was not only well aware of Clara’s purpose and part-angelness but that they were also part-angels. It was nice that it wasn’t some secret that she had to tip toe around and make lame explanations to cover up.

Clara herself is a completely likeable, down to earth and strong character. Her angel blood means she can naturally excel at things most people have to try very hard to master, but there are other things she really has to work for, especially when it comes to her own angel powers. She’s witty, especially her banter with Tucker, she’s not rebellious but definitely has a mind of her own.

The characters in Unearthly are so well done, each of them being much more than just props to Clara’s story.  They have their own minds and their own issues and goals that they’re working towards so that within the story they’re living with Clara not for Clara and her story.

From the blurb we gather that there are two guys who could be potential love interests. When I saw that I groaned because I’m soooo tired of love triangles. The way the story pans out in Unearthly though is quite unique and though it seems it, it doesn’t conform to what we think of as a normal love triangle. In this case it’s like the characters are just as unhappy about how it as we are.

The love story in Unearthly was so sweet, so beautiful, and once again, absolutely refreshing. It proves that in the supernatural genre you can have a romance that doesn’t happen overnight, or is based on someone just being unbelievably beautiful, or with one of them being stalker obsessed or spineless. I LOVED Tucker….just sayin 😉

Unearthly was extraordinarily fabulous, I’ve used this word a lot so far but I LOVED it. I can’t believe I have to wait till next year for the sequel because a lot was left hanging at the end.  Unearthly proves you shouldn’t give up on the Angels concept by delivering a knock out story that you’ll fall head over heels in LOVE with.

Pages: 432
Publication Date: January 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Challenge: Debut Author
Rating: : ★★★★★

Teaser Quote: “I take a step toward the boy, open my mouth to call his name. He hears me. He starts to turn. One more second and I will see his face.

That’s when the vision leaves me. I blink, and it’s gone.”

Did you think Unearthly was amazing too? Team Tucker or Team Christian? Come discuss it on the forum!