“Unearthly” by Cynthia Hand
5 out of 5 stars.
Clara Gardener is an angel blood, which makes her life infinitely more complicated than your average teenager’s. Ever since she found out, her life has never been the same; she had always known she was different from other kids her age, but, really, an angel? Adding to the weight of this burden is that all angel-bloods have a certain purpose (or purposes) that they have to fulfill, and bad things happen when an angel-blood decides not to complete it. At least that is what Clara’s mother says. Clara has decides to follow her calling, which leads her and the rest of her family to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Traveling to Jackson Hole was even more unglamorous than expected, and Clara is now experiencing the full-fledged fury of an angry teenage boy. The more time goes by, the more Clara wonders about her purpose. Is this really what she is meant for? Did she somehow misinterpret something and uproot her family for some teenage fantasy? And even if she is on the right track, how can she really fulfill her life’s calling when the boy she is supposed to protect won’t allow her to get close enough to actually help him?
Nothing is made easy for Clara, but she is determined to finish it! Nothing and no one is going to get in the way of protecting the boy from her visions, but life throws her yet another curveball, and Clara doesn’t know quite how to deal with it, with him. Can she finish what she started, or was she doomed to fail from the start?
I was really surprised by this book. My sister had read it last summer and she had enjoyed it quite a bit; I, however, did not read it because I was drowning in new books at the time, and I was a bit wary of the angel aspect of this series. Well, here I am seven or eight months later and in love with a new series that I was originally pooh, pooh on. Yeah, I am eating crow, and just so you know, it tastes delicious.
The month of February has been good and bad for me; I was a bit overwhelmed with all the FEELS that certain books gave me, and it was a lot to process in such a short period of time.
I really just wanted something enjoyable to read that was interesting while still being lighthearted, and this book came to mind. I am so glad it did because it panned out so well, and I had a blast reading “Unearthly” by Cynthia Hand.
“Unearthly” takes place in Wyoming, and I just loved that! Me and my family used to travel through the midwest to come and see extended family. So the setting of this book was familiar, but still new and I loved that about this book. I felt like I was actually there and I could really get into this book because of that. Beside the setting being absolutely beautiful, I ended up really enjoyed the characters in “Unearthly.”
I like the struggle that Clara went through trying to figure out who she was and who she needed to become to fulfill her purpose. I think that this is very relatable for anyone who is alive; we are all just trying to find out who we truly are and what we’re meant for in this life, angel or not. That aspect of this book really intrigued me and it caused me to think about my life’s purpose, and, whether the author intended to or not, I felt like I came out at the end of the book knowing a little bit more about myself than I had before, and it has gotten me thinking about my future and who I want to be.
Purpose aside, Clara also had a lot of other things she had to deal with; family, friends, and possible romantic relationships. I thought it was interesting how Cynthia Hand dealt with all those things in “Unearthly.” I admired that, even when Clara was avidly pursuing Christian so she could get to know him, Cynthia never made it too obsessive; it was a bit of insta-love with them, but I could deal with it, which says a lot. While reading this book I felt like it had a more realistic approach to romantic relationships, and that the characters were more mature in the fact that they didn’t become super obsessive, and that they didn’t just drop everything because they thought they were going to be together “forever.” Instead of falling prey to the Edward/Bella syndrome, said couple still lived their lives, but enjoyed being with each other, and I really liked that about this book. It is very rare in teen fiction to see that kind of relationship; granted, it is still fictional, but I thought it was still a much better approach to that kind of relationship than is commonly written these days. Okay, with Clara out of the way, let’s talk about some of the other characters.
Christian Prescott, the boy Clara is supposed to save, was a very good character. I thought that he was well written and I didn’t mind him at all. With that said, I thought him to be a bit too perfect (my sister and I discussed this after I had finished “Unearthly”)…I don’t know why but I still feel that way. He was super nice, popular, attractive, and seemed like perfect boyfriend material. What’s wrong with him to make me not be in love with him? I can honestly say, I don’t know! He is a great character and he and Clara have some really sweet moments together, but he just wasn’t my romantic cup of tea. I would like him to be good friend to Clara, just not a romantic interest for her. But alas, he is one, so I have to deal with it if I am to read the rest of this series and enjoy it!
The last character I want to talk about is Tucker Avery: A.K.A amazing Wyoming farm boy.
Cynthia Hand did a number on this character (in a good way). Tucker is a very minor character in “Unearthly” for the first three-quarters, but then he really arrived with a BANG! At first he’s just the brother of Clara’s new friend, Wendy, and quite the jerk at first; he has issues with people from California, apparently. But as the story goes on, you discover that he is actually a really, really good guy. He reminded me a lot of Logan from “Defiance” and “Deception” by C.J. Redwine.
If you enjoyed that character, I think you might really like Tucker. Besides the fact that he reminded me of another one of my favorite characters, I just LOVED Tucker. I loved the way Clara’s and his relationship turned into a kind of truce and then turned into a sort of friendship. There was no insta-love involved here. Yay! I just get a big old smile on my face whenever I think of Tucker or one of his and Clara’s sweet moments.
Cynthia Hand did a fantastic job of creating a genuinely good guy character, while still making him dynamic and fun to read about. He didn’t have to be a bad boy to be interesting, which was refreshing.
Overall, this is a great read! I am very excited to have found a new series to read, and I look forward to future works of Cynthia Hand’s. Well done!