MINI-REVIEW: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

unearthlyUnearthly by Cynthia Hand
HarperTeen, 2011
[Goodreads] [Book Depository]

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 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.



  1. I am like the last person on earth to read this book. I kept putting it off, because of all the hype, and also because angel books and I haven’t gotten along so well in the past. But this one was good. Honestly I’m not sure I get the hype, though. It was good, not great.
  2. Portions of this book seemed to move REALLY slowly. There’s a lot of setup to get the reader understanding the plot, and there’s a little angel mythology thrown in but not a lot (because Clara doesn’t really know a whole lot about angels herself, even though she is one). The story also seemed to move fairly slowly, which I guess worked in terms of the romance, but also made for parts that I admittedly skimmed.
  3. Tucker Avery is amazing. Once he was introduced as a major player, the book really picked up. I found him charming, funny, and all-around awesome. I really enjoyed the time he and Clara spent together.
  4. Being the first in a trilogy, there are still some major questions left to be answered. I can’t help thinking that something major is up with Clara’s mom, and am also wondering a bit about her brother as well.
  5. I liked the female friendships Clara makes in this book. Angela and Wendy were both awesome in their own rights, and I liked that Clara spent time with them as well as the boys. (Side note: there IS a bit of a love triangle, but it’s more on the part of one of the boys than anything else. Once Clara and Tucker get together she’s pretty singleminded in her devotion.)

FINAL VERDICT: This was an intriguing start to the series, and sold me just enough that I bought the last two books. Best angel book ever? No. But there’s definitely still time to convince me!



This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to MINI-REVIEW: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

  1. Briana says:

    For some reason I just never got around to reading the last book in this series, but I really loved Unearthly. I felt like it was one of the few angel books that took “angels” as a species seriously and tried to deal with some of the religious and ethical baggage that comes with that. So many literary “angels” are just people with wings.

  2. Liam's Library says:

    This is that book that got me into YA reading so I was obsessed with it and now it just remains one of my favourites out of nostalgia. But yeah I really enjoyed this when I read it, I felt like it dealt with angels quite well and was more interesting than the typical paranormal you can get plus the romance was swoon-worthy. Hallowed is definitely my favourite of the series, I hope you enjoy it!
    Great review!

  3. Pingback: September in Review | Read and Reviewed

Thanks for visiting! I love receiving comments and do my best to respond to all of them. However, due to time constraints, this blog is now an award and tag free zone. I really appreciate the thought, but just don't have the time to pass them on.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s