Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (Favorites Extravaganza: Day #13)

2015 Favorites Extravaganza: Day #13

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Unearthly #1
First Published: 2011
Kindle Edition
Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating:
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 wrote and re-wrote this review about three times. Maybe more. It took me about a month to finally post it at all, and I wasn't sure I was ever going to get there. For once, it's not because I don't have what to say. It's because I have too much and I just don't know how to put it down in writing or what to focus on and it's driving me nuts.

It's been a long, long time since I've read such a solid and well balanced contemporary YA fantasy. Especially one that's an angel book. And, to be honest, I really wasn't expecting this to be this good; this well rounded; to have all the elements I'm looking for in a story.

First of all, the whole concept here is refreshing and well thought out. It's obvious the author knew exactly what she was going for and not only that - knew what she wanted to develop it into. We don't learn everything in this book. Far from it. We're given enough so we understand everything that's happening, while making it clear a lot of vital information is still missing from this puzzle and will be unraveled in the future. I love that.

I loved Clara, the main character. Geez, when was the last time I read of a YA heroine who is level headed, logical, rational and real. Who fights for what she wants and for her life. Who is willing to listen. Who doesn't give up. Who is actively working on her life and not just... waiting for something to happen--Especially when the whole plot actually revolves around waiting for a certain event to happen?

This was so precious to me. I was 100% behind Clara and with her.

And then, the romance? My god. I was so afraid of the romance because the synopsis seems to tease Insta love and I am happy to inform the synopsis is lying! No insta love for this book, thank god. Just a case of insta attraction which is a-okay with me. Instead, we've got delicious, slow burn built up between two people who I think are meant to be together and asdfghjkl so many feels.

Is there a love triangle? Kinda. We do have two boys.

The first is Christian, the guy who Clara uprooted her whole family for. He's sweet, nice, kind of removed... but I didn't feel much towards him. He's, to me, not appealing. There isn't too much to him, and even when he was nice to Clara it never felt like he was really invested in her.

The second? Love of my life, light of my soul, what else could a girl want when she's got the sweet and layered rancher Tucker Avery in her life (romantically wise, anyways)? He starts off as the guy who teases and makes fun of Clara, in a rather fun manner. Then he grows to be more, showing her around the place and being sweet af and just... I can't with this guy.

Don't need to tell you which team shirt I'm gonna buy, is there?

Then we've got the surrounding relationships in the book which were all wonderful. The siblings in this novel love each other. They are also a pain in each other's butts, but when they need each other they are there for them. It's so realistic and heartwarming and I loved it.

Then we have the parental relationship between Clara and her Mom which was a big part of the story. I loved their relationship, even as we watched it begin to fracture underneath the weight of secrets and lies and destiny. But their love was never in question. 

And everyone in this story are such good friends to one another. Good, real, healthy friendships. You've no idea how much I miss those in literature sometimes. 

I highly recommend this novel to everyone who love YA and fantasy, and I will most definitely read the sequels! 
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2 comments:

  1. I was hesitant for the longest time of this series because of the love triangle, but I've decided to binge-read it sometime this year. I love the sound of Clara's character. And of course, Tucker sounds amazing! <3 I hope Christian doesn't bother me too much.
    Can't wait to read it now, Nitzan! :)
    Lovely review!

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    1. As far as this book goes, the love triangle is mostly non-existing. Can't say for the next books as I haven't read them yet, but here's to hoping it stays very subtle.
      Really glad you're giving this book a shot! And who knows, maybe you'll be Team Christian?
      Thank you <33

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