Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

January 4, 2011

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.

I had gotten Unearthly via NetGalley back in November and only picked it up a couple days ago. I can't believe it took me this long to finally start reading the book! The cover is absolutely gorgeous with the elegant girl on the front, but I immediately thought that Clara was going to be this picture perfect angel that would make me dislike the book. I was wrong. I absolutely loved Unearthly.

Cynthia's writing is extremely well done. She gives just enough description to get the reader's mind going, then leaves the rest up to you. Clara's voice is very clear and so easy to relate too. By the time I finished I felt like Clara was a close friend.

The characters were by far the best part of the book. Clara is sassy, headstrong and caring. We may not be part angel, but like Clara, we all struggle to find out what path is best for us. Multiple times throughout Unearthly I found myself laughing like crazy at things she would say. Clara is definitely one of my favorite leading female characters. Her voice is strong and clear. I felt like I was in hear head the entire time, which I totally adored.

The boys in this book are definitely swoon worthy. I must say I like Tucker a heck of a lot more than Christian, who I found to be quite annoying and irritating at times. Although both definitely are very well off in the looks department. Yum! I don't want to talk too much about Tucker in fear of giving something away, but I'll just say... he's so mine ladies! Ha!

At times I felt the plot to be almost too fast paced. There were times where I wish I could have been with Clara when certain events happened and not have to hear a summary about it. Although I thought it was quickly paced, I completely loved the plot. It was totally original! I loved that Clara was the angel and she had the save the guy instead of the other way around.

Now here comes the bad part... the ending! I was really disappointed with how Unearthly left off. It wasn't quite a cliffhanger, yet it didn't end gracefully. I felt rushed to accept what just happened and all the major decisions that had been made only a couple pages before. It didn't feel like there was enough space between the climax and the end of the book to my liking.

Awesome Quote:
"Everything was falling into place. And out of place, at the same time."

"Life sucks. That and my feet are cold."

Characters: 4.5/5
Creativity: 4.5/5
Voice: 5/5
Plot: 3/5
Impact: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

You might be wondering why I gave Unearthly such a high rating when I didn't like the ending and felt rushed at times. Well because the characters were perfect, the plot was just amazingly original and when I wasn't rushed I felt like I was standing by Clara's side living through this with her. I completely recommend that you buy this book! There needs to be more heroines like Clara and more authors who write with an amazing teen voice like Cynthia Hand.

Crazy Katie


  1. Great review! Clara sounds like an awesome main character! Can't wait to getting round to read it now! :D

  2. This is my next read, so excited!
    Thanks for the review, l know what you mean when books just suddenly end!

  3. I've seen a bunch of glowing reviews of this one, but I'm still hesitating for some reason! I guess I'm not really a fan of angel books, because I haven't liked any of the ones I've read so far. Maybe I'll have to change my mind and read this one... thanks for the great review!

  4. Thank you Cicely! I can't wait for you to read it either! haha

    I hope you enjoy it Books for Company! Phew! I'm glad you knew what I meant with the fast ending lol

    Hi Ava! I *totally* know what you mean. I wasn't a fan of angel books until this one. It's first a book about a teen girl going through life, second part angel which I think is so awesome! I hope you decide to check it out! :)

  5. Great review! It looks like a really great read. I do love a good strong protagonist. Thanks!

  6. Awesome review :) I just love this book :) You are SO right about the swoony boys!

  7. You're right about the ending...but it only made me want to read book two all the more! (that, and, y'know, TUCKER)

  8. Ow, you got it from net galley. I'll search the book soon.
    cant comment more before I read it.
    But thanks for not writinh the spoiler

  9. LOVE this and totally agree...If I wasn't married Tucker would be MINE! :)

  10. I really enjoyed this book as well!

    Mad Scientist

  11. Amazing review! Haven't read this yet but now I'm anxious to see how I will feel about the pacing and ending. I'm sure I'll love the characters though!

  12. TUCKER! Yes, I'm with you--got this months ago but only picked it up in the last week. Why did we wait so long!?!?!

  13. Thanks Alice! I hope you end up reading this one! It's great!
    Aw thank you Juju! :)
    Hey Lauren! OMG you're so right about needing book two! UGH I need more Tucker! haha
    Thanks Aleetha! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!
    Nice Jasmine! LOL
    Thank you Steph! :)
    Wasn't it just amazing Mad Scientist!
    Hi Aylee! You'll totally love the characters! They're amazing!
    Hey Anna! I know right! I don't know what took us so long either! (Tucker! *drool*) haha!

  14. Great review-I loved this book! Totally team Tucker too. I was wondering, could I use that button for team Tucker you have on your sidebar? I could keep it linked to your blog. :)

  15. Thanks Caroline!
    Oh absolutely you can grab the Team Tucker button! :) I'm so glad you like it!! :D