By: Cynthia Hand
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication date: January 4, 2011
* I received this ARC via Netgalley for Kindle*
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.
Great characters? Check.
Gorgeous setting? Check.
One of the most realistic romances I have read in a YA paranormal? Check.
Teenager's mom is actually a part of teenager's life? Check.
LOTS to love about this one and from what I have seen so far, everyone HAS loved it. However I can't say I'm as passionate about this one as everyone else although I did really like it. My main problem with it is the whole vision/purpose thing. The way it was interpreted and why it would even be her purpose just never made any sense to me. And since it was kind of the plot device that was supposed to drive the whole book and the characters actions, I had to ding it a star. In all honesty, reading this was a bit like watching a season two episode of Lost....where are the answers???? Nothing was really resolved and that left me feeling like I had read an extended prologue instead of a complete story. I think perhaps not every story is meant to be a trilogy. Had things been better explained and had there actually been some resolution, Unearthly would have easily earned 5 stars. Hand has done a marvelous job of crafting believable and likable characters in Clara, Tucker, Wendy and Christian (let's face it....Angela is a bit creepy and I don't trust her as far as I can throw her.) And the romance...I have to say "loved it!" Hand chose the road less travelled and I was more than happy to go along for the ride. Truly one of the best YA romances I have read.
All in all, a solid, promising debut. I'll definitely be picking up book 2!
(**I wish THIS was the cover here...SO much prettier than the plain purple one. **)