Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Published January 4, 2011 by HarperTeen

Pages: 435

Series: Unearthly, #1

Genre: Paranormal

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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.


My thoughts

 I think he seriously believes that deflowering an angel could mean an eternity in fiery hell.

So this is the first angel book I’ve read, and I am in love with it. I’ve got Fallen and Hush, Hush sitting unread on my bookshelf, but this was the one I picked up first. And I’m so glad I did, because I’m sure that this is probably the best book in the whole angel subgenre. I think I’m going to recommend this book to every single paranormal fan. You don’t like angels, or you’ve given up on angel books? Oh well. Read it anyway. Just because it’s that good.

Clara is part angel. One quarter angel, to be precise, and three-quarters human. When the book starts, she’s trying to figure out what her purpose is. Every angel has a purpose. Pretty soon she determines that her purpose will be saving a guy from a fire…in Wyoming. (This is a book about angels, and his name is Christian. Either you’ll groan and roll your eyes or you’ll love the irony, like I did.) So she’s forced to abandon her popular California girl life and move to Wyoming. Along with her comes her younger brother Jeffrey.

I expected that the story would follow the usual YA path. I thought Clara would instantly fall in love with Christian and then she’d save him and then there’d be two other books with a bunch of angst and crap about destiny and what it means to be human versus being an angel.

Boy, was I wrong.

Now, I should warn you that there IS a love triangle, but it’s really not that bad. There’s no insta-love.

Instead, there’s a beautiful love story. Clara isn’t the usual YA heroine. She’s a little tougher and she doesn’t allow the guys to mistreat her. She realizes that she might have to save Christian from the fire, but also that her purpose does not dictate who she must love. And there’s another difference from other YA novels- in this particular story at least, she chooses the better guy.

I loved learning along with Clara about her angel abilities and history. Of course, she has wings, and she must learn to fly. Her eagerness, frustration, and elation is easy to imagine. If you could sprout wings and fly, you wouldn’t get it on the first try, either. It keeps her relatable, and it’s fun to read.

I’m excited to read the next two books! I can’t wait to read more about Black Wings and see if my theory about Jeffrey is right. I can’t wait to figure out more about Clara and Clara’s mother. I’m sure it would be good!

Recommended to paranormal fans, even if you’ve given up on angel stories.

Rating: 5 stars

The Unearthly Series

Click the images for their respective Goodreads page.

unearthlybkcover hallowedbkcover boundlessbkcover