Book Title/Author: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Yes, Unearthly is book 1.
Other Books From Author: Hallowed (Book 2) & Boundless (book 3 — out tomorrow!)
Amazon| Goodreads | @cynthiahand |
I purchased this at a Dark Days tour!
As Clara’s teenage year ushered in the normal teenage issues, for her, she also learned that she’s actually an angel blood — half human, half angel — as is her mother and brother. Being half angel means that she’s fully human but she’s got some superhuman abilities and the angel blood in her can manifest certain angel characteristics such as being able to fly or having her “glory” manifest. She also learns that while she’s here on earth she’ll start to learn her purpose through a series of visions. When she finally gets a vision of a boy and a fire, the family picks up and moves to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where they believe to be the location of her visions. She starts school and comes face to face with the boy from her visions — Christian — and she starts to get to know him better and tries to figure out her purpose and what he has to do with it. She knows that Christian is her purpose but she gets distracted when cute cowboy Tucker comes into the picture as Clara is awaiting the day when the scene from her visions will come true. Will she be able to fulfill her purpose? Or will her own free will get in the way?
Ok, guys. You know me. I’m picky with paranormal and rarely read it so I was a little bit nervous about this one because ANGELS? I was skeptical to say the least AND the dreaded love triangle signals were there for me with all the TEAM TUCKER or TEAM CHRISTIAN declarations I’d see in reference to this series. And you know my feelings on love triangles. They have to be really well done for me to enjoy them! All that being said, I’m happy to report that I devoured and LOVED Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly! I’d definitely say it’s one of my favorite paranormal YA’s that I’ve read and I’m just not sure any other Angel series will ever top this one.
I will say that starting out I was really nervous because it was reading a wee bit young for me (as a 27 year old woman) and, though I was enjoying the story from the start, I was getting nervous about some of the borderline eyerolly descriptions of how a guy smelled or how someone’s hair looked or how she described the social statuses at school with things like “Haves” and “Have Nots.” I was nervous that it was just going to be a book full of these kinds of cliches but thankfully it was not like that AT ALL! The story really shook those things off early on and became this intense must-read-in-a-single-sitting kind of read that I was wholly absorbed and invested in invested in the characters and especially Clara’s purpose. The angelology was so interesting and I loved as we learned more and more about the angel world through what Clara knows and then putting the pieces together even more, right alongside Clara, through Angela and Clara’s mother. I thought Cynthia Hand’s storytelling was incredible and she really knows how to place tension, action, twists and BIG OL’ SHOCKERS while still having really great characterizations and worldbuilding. Very evenly paced sort of book and the WOW moments are of the heart thumping variety.
Let me tell you how much I loved Clara! It was so refreshing to read a book where the female was the paranormal/supernatural one rather than chasing around some OMG-SO-HOT character just because “there’s something different about him.” She was strong and independent and such a realistic teen girl with her crushes and insecurities. I loved watching her grow in both her angel abilities and as a human and I just REALLY loved her.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the ROMANCE. I know you all are just sitting here like “OMG TUCKER OR CHRISTIAN ALREADY??” The dreaded love triangle ended up one of the BEST EVER and I’ll hint towards the fact it gets even better in Hallowed. It’s so WELL DONE that I can’t stop gushing about it. Both Tucker and Christian are fully fleshed out characters — none of that cardboard crap — and they are both genuinely great catches — no douchenuggets here! The love triangle isn’t superfluous and it is so interconnected to the story. I saw an image once that said “if you took the love triangle out of THG you’d have a story about a televised fight to the death and if you took the love triangle out of Twilight you’d have a book about a girl moving to a town where it rains a lot” and this is SO SO TRUE. Cynthia Hand provides a love triangle that isn’t just THERE and is so important to the story that you really couldn’t take it out but if you did you’d still have an actual story. Both Christian and Tucker make sense. Christian’s the guy from her vision and he’s a good guy so naturally she starts crushing on him and then moves to more powerful feelings because of how interconnected her destiny is with him. And Tucker’s the guy who clearly is crushing on her despite his school boy teasings and whom she really gets to know through conversation and hanging out and then falls for him. He’s the one she falls for freely and naturally. It’s this amazing tension of this destiny and fate versus the free will and Tucker and Christian so aptly help illuminate this struggle.
So the answer to your question: I’m Team Tucker though by the end of Unearthly Cynthia throws that CURVEBALL at you that made me start wavering a bit at who would be better for her and make the most sense. I love his rugged cowboy appeal and his heart and his hardworking nature. I love the scenes where they are swimming in the river or fishing on the boat — just so sweet and carefree and lovely. AND THE BARN SCENE. OH THE BARN SCENE.
With gorgeous Wyoming as a backdrop, Cynthia Hand will mesmerize you with her irresistible story of angels, love, destiny and free will. The angel world she’s built is fascinating as we grow into Clara’s knowledge of the angel world, her powers and what her visions mean and how she will handle her purpose. Hand knows how to create tension, amongst incredible characterization, and you’ll find yourself wanting to finish this all in one gulp and she delivers jaw dropping moments at the right moment. With one of the best love triangles ever, Unearthly left me swooning, re-reading the sweet moments and ultimately, by the end, wavering with if I was Team Christian or Team Tucker. Romantic tension in the best way!
For Fans Of: BETTER angel books, swoonworthy boys, kissing books, paranormal without all the dramatic and annoying cliches, a love triangle that doesn’t make you want to jump off a cliff
Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard of it? Are you Team Tucker or Team Christian?? Let it all out!!