Tag Archives: Unearthly

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
March 7, 2013 posted by Kiona

Boundless (Unearthly #3) — Cynthia Hand

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California – and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

Boundless picks up with Clara, Angela, and Christian leaving for and starting at Stanford. Each of our three characters are dealing with new visions, new threats, and a new atmosphere. Samjeeza’s still lingering around, but he’s no longer the biggest bad. Or even bad at all, for that matter. Now, our angels are facing another enemy, one much more threatening than Samjeeza. On top of all that, Angela’s hiding a huge secret and Clara’s trying to navigate her relationship with Christian.

The very first thing I loved about this book was the Stanford atmosphere. So many YA novels take place in high school, which is fine, but moving onto the world of college was a fun departure. I thought Hand depicted college life super accurately. I could relate to a lot of the forced socialization aspects, the orientations, navigating a huge sea of unfamiliar faces, and somehow forming friendships out of all that mayhem and confusion. I also liked that Clara stays in school and goes to class throughout the entire novel. This shows what a dedicated student she is and makes her a genuinely good role model for anyone reading. Plus, it’s just more realistic. If you’re paying for an education, you’re going to get that education, even if you are a Triplare. And the Stanford campus was just a fun change of scenery all around.

Second, I loved how hard it was for Clara to move on from Tucker. Yes, Christian is supposedly her soul mate and a really great guy, but she was still in love with Tucker. And when you’re in love with someone, no matter how hunky the new guy courting you is, you can’t just move on. Plus, Tucker’s just as amazing as he always was. This is one of the few love triangles in YA where I’ve been completely torn about which guy the girl should end up with. I love Tucker and Christian equally and they’re both really great guys. And they’d both be great for Clara. I won’t spoil her choice for you, but one of the characters really doesn’t get a satisfactory ending. Or any ending. Which really grated on my nerves, considering how much I care about these characters. That lack of ending left a bad taste in my mouth and catapulted the series finale from amazing to just enjoyable.

Another of Boundless‘s strengths, though, is that something was always happening. This book was even more plot- and conflict-driven than the last two, which impressed me. I couldn’t predict any of the plot and looking back, I can’t believe I missed certain hints, but at the same time, I’m glad I did. I liked being surprised. I was also much more concerned for the characters, unsure of if everyone would make it out okay. The characters undergo a lot in Boundless, and they can’t easily bounce back from these events.

My problems with the book revolved around Angela’s plot line, the whole idea of angels’ purposes, and the ending. I really didn’t like the direction Hand took with Angela. I hated Angela for most of this book, didn’t understand the reasoning behind most of her decisions, and confused by Hand’s incorporation of Angela’s scenes. Sometimes, Angela was used as an important character, while other times, she disappeared for whole chapters. Then, there was her purpose, intertwined with Clara’s purpose. Purposes are supposed to be these big, life-changing things. These are angels put on Earth with a purpose to do God’s bidding. Yet, Clara’s purpose supposedly revolves around Angela, while the entire series leads us to believe Purposes revolve around Clara, the almighty Triplare. This is a little hard for me to swallow. Shouldn’t Purposes be bigger than just people? And especially bigger than angels? None of this made sense to me and, unfortunately, the ending doesn’t tie up any of these, or other, loose ends. The ending also seems rushed and unrealistic for me, but I’m sure some people will just be happy with Clara’s choice of boy-toy. I just thought such an explosive series deserved a better ending. But I still enjoyed reading this book and I still love this series.

Pages: 438
Publication Date: January 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought
Rating : ★★★☆☆

Teaser Quote: “I should have fought for you, Clara, even if I would have had to fight you to fight for you. I should have never let you go.

Cover of the Week
October 26, 2012 posted by Kiona

Cover of the Week #95 | Breast Cancer Awareness Edition

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness, every single week of October, we will be dedicating both our Waiting on Wednesdays and Covers of the Week to Breast Cancer Awareness. Some of the most amazing pink young adult book covers will be featured here on YA Reads.

You should never judge a book by its cover.

Sure…but they never said we couldn’t admire them. Cover of the Week pays homage to the beautiful and eye catching graphics that grace the covers of our young adult titles.

This week’s cover of the week goes to Boundless by Cynthia Hand.

Release Date: January 2013

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) — Cynthia Hand
Book Reviews
January 10, 2012 posted by Kiona

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) — Cynthia Hand

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

If you liked Unearthly, you’ll love Hallowed. At the end of Unearthly, Clara made he decision to save Tucker instead of Christian, leaving her purpose unfulfilled. Now, despite the fact that Tucker and Christian are both alive and well, Clara can’t help feeling guilty, confused, and lost. On top of all that, a Black Wing is still stalking her and she’s having more visions, this time of someone’s funeral.

I didn’t know what to expect from Hallowed. After finishing Unearthly, I thought of so many different directions Cynthia Hand could take the series, but I had no idea which she would choose. And still, she manages to surprise. Like Clara, I believed the issue of her purpose was now a moot point. She didn’t fulfill it, but everything turned out okay in the end, so no harm, no foul, right? Except maybe her purpose isn’t finished after all. Poor Clara — her mom continues to keep everything from her, despite how desperate Clara is for answers. But as frustrating as that is, at least Hallowed proves just how important it is for some of these secrets to remain secret. And Clara’s mom does finally give into Clara’s request for information, revealing a lot of shocking truths and interesting angel lore. Hallowed deftly explores the legend of the Nephilim and Hand puts her own spin on it so that the second book in the series is just as eye-opening and engaging as the first.

In addition, each character is much further developed in Hallowed. Jeffrey is insufferable and annoying and awful, but there’s a surprising motivation behind his actions. Christian is willing to just be Clara’s friends, though he is undeniably drawn to her. And while Clara loves Tucker with her entire being, she can’t deny that she and Christian seem to be destined for each other. Personally, it’s hard for me to pick favorites. I love each boy for entirely different reasons. In the first book, there wasn’t really any reason for Clara to like Christian other than the facts that he’s hot and she kept dreaming about him. Her slow-blooming relationship with Tucker was much more natural, the product of an adorable friendship formed over a long summer. But in Hallowed, it’s easy to see just how much Clara and Christian get along. They get each other and they have this one huge thing in common: they’re both angels. So how can she possibly decide between these two great guys? I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes.

Hallowed is one of those rare sequels that is just as good as, if not better than, the first book in the series. These characters are smart and lovable, more than willing to seek out the answers to all the questions the reader is just as eager for answers to. They’re easy to respect, the kind of characters you want to be best friends with. Cynthia Hand’s beautiful world is captivating, from the beautiful descriptions of rural Wyoming to the fascinating explanations behind angels and their purposes. If you were at all wary or suspicious of another angel series, like I was, cast your fears aside. You won’t want to miss Hand’s masterpiece.

Pages: 416
Publication Date : January 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Challenge: N/A
Rating : ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote: “Warm fingers enclose mine. I look up at Christian. He squeezes my hand. I shouldn’t be letting him hold my hand, I think. I belong to Tucker.

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!