Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand ★★★★

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Book one in the Unearthly series
Publication Date: January 4, 2011
ISBN: 978-0061996160
Page Count: 435
My Rating: ★★★★

Summary

In this first book of a thrilling trilogy about angels, one girl must choose between fulfilling her Purpose and following her heart.

Clara has known she was part–angel ever since she turned fourteen two years ago. But now she is finally getting visions of what her Purpose—a rite of passage for every part–angel—is to be, and it happens to involve a gorgeous guy. Of course, there is the raging forest fire surrounding them, too. When Clara’s Purpose leads her family to Wyoming, Clara finds the boy of her visions, Christian, but complicating her mission are her growing feelings for another guy, Tucker. As the day in her visions draws closer, Clara discovers that her Purpose may play into a larger struggle between angels and Black Wings—fallen angels who spread sadness and misery wherever they go. But when the fire erupts and both Christian and Tucker are in danger, who will she choose to save?

From debut novelist Cynthia Hand comes a riveting tale full of supernatural powers, forbidden romance, and the choice between fulfilling your destiny or following your heart.

REVIEW

A YA paranormal that gets my official stamp of approval.

This was a charming read with some truly wonderful endearing teenaged characters. I was delighted both the main character, Clara, and the two boys in her life.

And, yes, sadly that does mean there is a love triangle of sorts in this story (I know - groan. I feel your pain, too). However, it's not quite a simple as all that. I can't really explain why without giving too much away, but suffice it to say, the way it's written is unlike any other love triangle set up I've experienced before, and it left me rather flummoxed. You see, normally, with these love triangles I will simply pick my favourite team and the other one can go jump off a cliff for all I care. But here, with the clever way Hand steered me one way, then all of a sudden threw in a game-changer until I was totally facing the other way, I was left kind of dazed and confused and a little bit in love with both of them. They're just so... nice! You know? Why couldn't one of them be a butthead just to help a girl out, hmm?

Aside from boy troubles, I also really enjoyed the angel mythology aspect. The fact that each angel is taxed with his or her own Purpose (with a capital P) that comes to them through visions somewhere between 14 to 20 years of age. They don't always know what the visions mean right away, as they tend to come to them (rather conveniently) in little short snippets and bursts of images which they have to slowly decipher. It's these visions of a boy and a forest fire that cause our protagonist, Clara, to move with her family from California to Wyoming. She finds the boy but still has no idea how or when she is supposed to fulfil her Purpose, so she sets about trying to settle into the new school and make friends and hopefully, get to know her quarry in the process while she figures it out.

The pacing of this settling in process was quite gentle, and life in Wyoming was portrayed as very peaceful and laid-back, and I enjoyed the imagery Hand provided. As someone who usually enjoys faster-paced novels, I found it surprising how much I enjoyed the pacing and style. It was quite relaxing and the characters personalities were able to slowly emerge, and I really enjoyed getting to know them all.

At the ending we were left with a few loose ends, and I cannot wait to read the next one, Hallowed, to see how everything pans out from here

4 Stars! ★★★★

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