Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly

Author: Cynthia Hand

Series: Unearthly #1

ISBN: 9780061996160

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
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 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.

I picked up “Unearthly” for the simple fact that Angels seemed to be an ongoing theme and I wanted to see what all the hub-bub was about. What better book series could I choose than one that toes the line between fantasy and religion. To be perfectly honest, I am not into books with a highly religious air to them that so many angel books can have. When I got into “Unearthly” it was with a resonated sigh and a thought process that was more so to the theme of “Well… I better be prepared for a healthy dose of the bible, the devil, and especially God.” This book was not what I expected at all.

Yes, God is mentioned. Yes, there are mentions of heaven, hell, God’s divine purpose, and, of course, angels. There is not however an overdose of it. It was just enough to show it was a book about angels without religion being thrust upon the readers.

I did not fall in love with Clara from the first pages of the book as some fictional characters I have read before. She seemed a little too uptight in the beginning. That how she was meant to feel, I surmise. As I read on and started watching Clara deviate slightly from her all-mighty purpose and start following her heart more and more, she started to grow on me. I watched her awkwardness that I always find so endearing in characters grow into a certainty and strength I wouldn’t have thought she would have been capable of early into the story.

When the love triangle started I groaned. I was so sick of all the “I love you! No… wait… I love you! No, I’m sorry I love…” blah blah blah. Sometimes love triangles to me are just too forced and uncomfortable. This love triangle was not as well developed as I would have thought. It was blatantly clear that Clara cared for one more than the other so her struggle wasn’t as believable as it could have been. At least not to me. Others may have found it completely believable and the stuff of dreams. I am a tough critic.

With any love triangle I have to give my siding of course. My choice is a bit bias I must confess. I am a southern girl and have grown up knowing country boys rather well. So, without a doubt when presented with a pretty boy jock or a down-to-earth country boy, it’s no surprise my heart skipped a beat when Tucker came onto the scene. He is so different from Clara that it is an interesting match. Throughout the book I didn’t know if Clara and Tucker were a good match or if I just found Tucker completely swoon-worthy for myself.

“Unearthly” is a story of a girl with angel-blood coursing through her veins who was taught to always follow her God given purpose that presents itself in visions. While realizing her visions of her purpose in bits and pieces she struggles with doing what is expected of her and what her heart tells her to. It really speaks to reality. Who hasn’t had to struggle with something they are supposed to do or something they feel is right for them personally? It is that connection that makes Clara’s struggle between head and heart so touching. This book gripped me from the very beginning and stuck with me. I hadn’t even reached the middle of the book before I was searching for the next installment feverishly. If you never feel the need to read a book on angels, read this series at least.

Purchase: Amazon  »  Barnes & Noble  »  Book Depository

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