Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (ARC)

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: January 4th 2011
Length: 448 pages
E-ARC: Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers
Genre: YA, fantasy, paranormal romance

4/5 **** An unearthly good debut novel! Unearthly is a natural and funny novel to enlighten your day! 

~ The Author ~

Cynthia Hand grew up in southeast Idaho (very near the Wyoming border). Currently she lives in southern California with her husband and son. She teaches courses in creative writing at Pepperdine University.
Author profile by Goodreads 

For further information check out

~ The Novel ~

Unearthly, Cynthia Hand’s debut YA novel, will be published by HarperTeen in January 2011. Cynthia Hand announced a sequel to Unearthly a few weeks ago.

~ The Story ~

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 it 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 deciet, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Summary by Goodreads

~ The Review ~

The first chapter of Unearthly introduces us to Clara Gardner, her family and their supernatural heritage of being angel-bloods. At the moment there are many angel-themed YA novels, but Unearthly shows up with many new ideas and individually interesting characters.

Every angel-blood has a purpose on earth that needs to be fulfilled so that the cosmic order remains intact. I like the idea of having a special purpose in life, because it adds a very spiritual and beautiful meaning to this novel.

Clara has a purpose, a new residence and no time for other affairs… actually. There are two boys, one purpose and three possible hearts to be broken. On the one hand is godlike beautiful Christian Prescott and Tucker Avery, raw and charming cowboy on the other. The two boys can’t be more different so that I really enjoyed their also very different relationships with Clara. A captivating love triangle develops around Clara, Christian and Tucker and Clara finds herself drawn between her feelings and destiny. The emotions and feelings expressed in this novel do not seem shallow or insignificant on one single page, they are full of truth. But who does Clara truly love and how could she ever fight heaven?

The romance plot and the further exploration of Clara’s purpose are fastened up by a mysterious enemy, the Black Wings. An inevitable battle between heaven and hell becomes apparent. There are many secrets, especially kept by Clara’s mother which support the overall mystery character and rise the tension. We’ve got some clues but no complete picture of the whole character of an angel blood. Cynthia Hand has left a great potential for possible plot developments in the sequel to Unearthly.

Hand’s writing style is youthful and flowing. Some references to popular culture give the novel a fresh and funny touch, although the angel motive is probably as old as time.

The plot has its up’s and down’s and I wouldn’t be pleased with the end of Unearthly if I didn’t know that a sequel is going to be published. It’s such a long wait till the sequel now, but it will definitely be worth it!

~ We love this book because… ~

1) we love creative birthday presents
2) we love the rural charm of its setting
3) we want to have our own Jumping Tree
4) a simple history lesson can be so much fun
5) everyone has a purpose in life

~ The Verdict ~

Glorious novel about a young angel blood searching for her place in world or even outer world. Unearthly will find a comfortable place on my shelf, on yours, too? 

Thanks to netgalley for their fantastic service and HarperCollins Publishers for allowing me access to the net galley of Unearthly.


  1. Great review. I have a lot of trouble with angel books lately but this might be just the one to fix that. I like the sound of the youthful and flowing writing :)

  2. Sounds good. I'm not a big angel fan, but I'm going to read this book through Net Galley. I'm glad you liked it pretty well - especially that the writing is good. Although if I was writing a book about angels, I don't think I'd name the main boy character "Christian."

  3. Awesome review. I think I'm going to try to get this one through NetGalley, too-- I can't wait any longer. lol, I agree with what Alison said about the name 'Christian' though-- how 'in-your-face'! :)

  4. Thanks for the review. I can't wait to read Unearthly!

  5. Great review! This looks like a new and interesting twist on the fallen angel trend. I'll give it a try when it comes out. I already love the sound of Tucker, a charming cowboy sounds like a refreshing character.

  6. What a great review!! This book has been on my wish list for some time. I can't wait to read this one. The cover is very pretty and the story sounds very promising.

  7. Wow! Awesome review! I'm eagerly anticipating the release of this one :)

  8. I'm becoming more and more fascinated with this book every time I read a new review about it. GREAT review! You just boosted this a little higher in my TBR!