Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: 4th January 2011
Rating: 2 stars - It's not my cup of tea
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 started reading this book with high expectations, and it was probably because of my exceedingly high expectations that I felt this book was quite disappointing. Despite the fact that I did not quite like this book, I can understand why so many people thought it was such an amazing book. However, this just wasn’t my type of book.
Unfortunately, I felt no connection with any of the characters. Clara, the heroine, seemed like any other heroines out there. I felt that there was nothing special about her to distinguish her from anyone else. I was hoping for a more intriguing and exciting heroine. I felt her character was quite boring throughout the book. At times, she was snarky and sarcastic, but for me, her uninteresting side overruled her fun side. As for Christian, he's the most popular guy at school, with ridiculously good looks. But unfortunately, he bored me to death. A popular guy who's good at pretty much everything? Not uncommon. His personality was flat and boring - basically devoid of character. However, I had mixed feelings about Tucker. Tucker was probably the most interesting character in Unearthly since he actually had character - witty, sarcastic and funny. Tucker’s character is usually the sort of character I fall for (yes, I have A LOT of YA fiction crushes!!!!!), but I didn’t quite like him as much.
Characters aside, the plot was very...typical.
Girl moves to new school.
Girl instantly falls for most popular boy.
The "It" Girl takes an instant dislike to new girl.
Girl falls in with 'unpopular'/unnoticed group.
I was really hoping for a different, unique and original storyline. Clara trying to unravel the mystery behind her 'purpose' on earth and the meaning behind her visions is original to an extent. But I thought the author focused more on the relationship between Clara and Christian, and later, Clara and Tucker. The first half of the book focused almost entirely on the everyday life of a typical teenager. On more than one occasion, I was eye-rolling at the things Clara did to attract Christian’s attention. It was only towards the end that some questions were answered and the real action began but I felt that the action and events that unfurled towards the end, was a bit random. Personally, I felt the action only took place for the sake of writing a more interesting scene, which required action/fight between the good & evil.
Although I did not quite like the book, I must admit that Cynthia Hand is an excellent writer. Her writing style is flawless and the book is written at a consistent pace. I was also quite happy with the lack of super cheesy scenes in the novel. (Some events were quite unoriginal, but at least they weren’t cheesy.) The ending was abrupt, but it did not feel rushed, which I really liked. The ending sort of seemed to lead into the next book. I’m still debating whether to read the next book or not, hoping that I’ll somehow be able to connect with the characters. Plus, the cover of Unearthly and Hallowed (second book) are both stunning,
so perhaps I won’t be able resist and will end up reading the second book!
P.S. This is the Australian cover for Unearthly. I think I prefer the US cover, but I really like the font on this one!