Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: Harper Teen
Challenge: Debut Author 2011
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? -summary from goodreads.com
In this story we follow Clara, who is one-fourth angel blood and now that she is 16, she receives a “purpose” in a form of a futuristic vision, which will help her fulfill her earthly purpose. Her visions point her to a certain boy in a burning forest. Later on she meets this mysterious boy; Christian, and tries to befriend him in hopes of one day rescuing him from the fire.
It was very nice for a change, to read a book for the protagonist knew what she was. Clara knows she’s an angel; it’s not something that was suddenly announced to her one night. While I was very intrigued by the background of the Nephilim, one of the complaints I have about Unearthly was that there are entirely too many things left unexplained, questions unanswered, which, to me, left too many holes in the plot. I understand that the reader learns things at the same time as Clara does, but I find it hard to believe that she is able to accept such incredible things with barely any explanation as to what is going on or why. It really bugged me that Clara's mother was always super secretive and never gave Clara any answers to the questions she asked.
Being the hopeless romantic that I am, my favorite part of Unearthly was the romance. It's not at all what I expected, but it's the surprising direction it takes that makes it so memorable. There's a genuine tenderness that grows between Clara and Tucker that you can’t help but love it. Half way through the book, when Christian all of a sudden comes back into Clara’s life, I found myself thinking, “Oh yeah… this story is supposed to be about Christian, not Tucker.” I loved reading how Clara and Tucker’s friendship grew into something more, that I completely forgot about Christian and Clara’s purpose. In the beginning, I really liked Christian. I was rooting for Clara, in hopes that she would get to keep Christian to herself, but after what happened at the dance, I was like, "oh hell no!"
*Slight spoilers* The only thing that didn’t go to well, personally, was the ending. One scene that really bugged me was when Clara and Christian finally meet up at the fire. To be honest, their whole conversation felt rushed and left a lot of things unexplained. I was like, "That's it?! 'I love Tucker and, oh yeah, don't you love Kay'?" ugh. but I guess that will work out cause there will be more books in this series.
Overall, I think Unearthly is a fun, romantic read! It's a pretty awesome debut by Mrs. Cynthia Hand... Here’s to hoping the sequel picks up right were Unearthly left off :)