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Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Published by HarperTeen

Pages: 448

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary: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.

How would you handle the knowledge that you believed you were something completely different than you were born to be? Would you take hold of that knowledge, moving forward with a greater purpose than you ever imagined? Or would you push past it, try to deny who you were born to be and enjoy living the life you thought you had? And what if the choice had so much more to do with a sacrifice that could break your heart? This is Clara Gardner’s story. A girl with a new purpose who also happens to be part angel.

Unearthly was the perfect way to start off a new year. I was able read this on New Year’s day and it was exactly what I needed. It was, without a doubt the originality and the characters that had me hooked from the very beginning. Not that the concept of angels is a completely new idea, but the idea of children “born-into” a bloodline of angels that also assume that same role with an angelic purpose was fantastic. In addition to that, the characters were not the typical teens of some young adult books. There was depth to many of the characters, especially Clara that had me wanting to know more about each of them. It was refreshing also to not have the average whinny leading lady of so many books recently. Clara was strong, opinionated and yes occasionally had a bad day, but it was never a constantly whinny ongoing diatribe of her woes.

Now, what I’d really love to talk about is that ending! Oh my, what an ending! But truly I don’t want to spoil it for some of my readers who haven’t had the pleasure of getting to know this debut author, Cynthia Hand, through her writing. I’m not one for being easily surprised and though the ending wasn’t a complete shocker it was still so pleasantly uncharacteristic. Again, I’d love to know what you think of the ending if you’ve read it and if you haven’t come back after you’ve read it to tell me what you think!

An unexpected gem in a field of new young adult novels coming out over the next few months, Unearthly is sure to please. As a leading lady, Clara Gardner is as close to the perfectly written teen as it comes with all the angst and will power that keeps you wanting her to make the right choices. Unearthly is also filled with characters that will have you falling in love, making you question, and rooting for them until the end. As a debut author, Cynthia Hand has created a fantastic new world with a cast of characters you can’t forget. I for one know I’m eager for the second in the series and know that many other readers will be as well.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 13 and up. A debut novel sure to please! Readers of Young Adult novels will be clamoring to pick up this book on their next trip to the book store.

Take a look at the book trailer for Unearthly by Cynthia Hand…

Also, as a side note, I adore the Australian cover! (Although, yes, the US cover does depict Clara’s dress a bit better.) Tell me what you think, US or Australia?


This book was provided for review by HarperTeen thanks to NetGalley. Thank you! Make sure to stop by their website, facebook page and follow them on Twitter for up-to date info on the newest releases!
Also, check out their newest site Pitch Dark Books and on Twitter, for the latest info on HarperTeen paranormal books coming out!
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14 Responses to Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

  1. A. I completely agree. It was/is an unexpected gem.
    B. FAB review.
    C. Whoa! That Australian cover does rock!

  2. I’ve wanted to read Unearthly ever since I saw the cover. I’m SO glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Courtney says:

    I have been seeing this one around quite a bit so I am adding it to my TBR. Glad to hear you liked it. I would have to say I like the US cover better…but I have seen similar…the Australian one is more eye-catching and unique! Isn’t it funny how they have different covers for the same books? =)

  4. Jamie says:

    Ahh! I want this one. I don’t read too much paranormal but this sounds really excellent. I really like the concept and it sounds like it was well executed! Fabulous review!

  5. Jenn says:

    Can’t wait to read this–it’s next on my to-read pile. Thanks for the review!

  6. Gina says:

    I keep hearing so many good things about this book, simply must check it out one day. It seems angels are making their mark in YA stories right now….a nice change of pace with so much possiblity. Great review, Danielle! ^_^

  7. I think I must be one of the only ones who liked this book but didn’t love it. Maybe it’s because I saw the ending coming? I do love Tucker though!

  8. Christina T says:

    Great review! I was on the fence about reading it but now I am definitely going to pick it up after reading your thoughts on it.

  9. Pam says:

    I loved this book!

  10. Jessi E. says:

    I just finished reading this last night, and I LOVED it!! I really like both of the covers.. I think the Australian version looks a little more “unearthly” than the US one, but I do like the dress better on the US version.

  11. [...] Unearthly by Cynthia Hand – All about the guy and her destiny. Where is Clara going to end up? Soon we’ll all [...]

  12. [...] nothing but amazing! 4. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand – I adored the first book in this series, Unearthly, and when I received an advanced copy I’m not kidding when I say I actually hugged it. I [...]

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