Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

This girl reminds me of Keira Knightley. Is it just me?

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? (Goodreads)

The Story:

Clara has a unique calling.  While she doesn’t know it in great detail, she has a vision—the same one continuously—that gives her clues to her destiny.  This calling takes her all the way from California to Wyoming in search of the boy whose face she knows only from her own mind. The one she’s certain she must rescue.

Clara’s mom is part angel. And Clara, as her daughter, is one quarter angel.  Now, if you think this is another freaking fallen angel story again (I’m sick of them too), think again.  Clara and her mother are guardian angels, each with a distinct job to fulfill.  Their purpose is known only to themselves and only when revealed (by whom?) at the appropriate time.

When Clara finally settles in Wyoming, all is not as simple as it seems.  She finds Christian, the boy from her vision, but she is still unable to connect the pieces from her vision and translate them into waking life. They share a somewhat confusing bond made all the more complicated by the fact that Clara is strangely drawn to Tucker, the somewhat annoying brother of her new friend. Tucker proves to be both exasperating and sweet and he becomes a major distraction from the one guiding thing in Clara’s life—um yeah, her purpose (which is kind of everything).

My Take:

There is a short list of this sort of book that I actually truly, truly love.  More often, they annoy the shizz out of me.  I’m sorry, but it’s true. Angels have lately felt like such a tired concept.  But Unearthly was in a completely different category.  While there is little talk of God and religion, you get the feeling that these ladies are sent by the Big Guy himself.  They’re guardian angels, but not in a random, do-gooder sort of way. They were created with a distinct purpose,  and special abilities, yet they are part human—with human emotions and needs.  They’re called to put it all on the line to answer when duty calls.

The story is so refreshing because, although it had supernatural elements, much of the book dealt with Clara battling between understanding her calling and fighting her own human desire to follow her heart.  Tucker isn’t supposed to be a part of her plan, but he sort of slips in and he fits blissfully into her human life.  Christian represents her supernatural life and though she has no romantic tie to him, she has a sense of duty.  She should have nothing drawing her to Tucker, yet she is overwhelmed by her desire to be with him.

Crush Intensity: 4.5/5 I really couldn’t put it down. It was so well-written, so engrossing and I never saw the end coming.  I loved it.

Soundtrack: Snow Patrol

6 thoughts on “Unearthly

  1. Sounds pretty good. Although i’m kinda over the whole angel thing.
    It seems like angels and dystopias are the new vampire. 😉
    It kinda sucks though when one book gets really good reviews so they then publish like 7000 more and it becomes hard to weed out the good ones from the crap.
    i like that you clarified that this one should be in a different catagory. Maybe i’ll give it a try.

    • Yeah, I’m pretty sick of angels too. In fact, I only read this because I signed up to read it as part of the Debut Author Challenge…but I’m so glad I did. It does have angels, obviously, but they aren’t fallen angels (which is a huge difference right there) and though the story involves finding out about the lineage of angels, most of it is about the MC trying to figure out her vision and being pulled in another direction. I hope you like it! I really did. It was different.

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