Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

15 September, 2011 Reviews 0 comments

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia HandUnearthly by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #1
Published by HarperTeen on January 4th 2011
Pages: 435
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon Good BooksBook 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.

Hush, Hush, who? Halo, what? Fallen, huh?

After reading the catastrophe Hush, Hush, I had pretty much given up on reading any more books involving angels. As far as I was concerned it would be my first and last angel book. I resisted the urge (mostly thanks to my dear Goodreads friend’s reviews) to pick up Halo and Fallen, even though they still remain on my TBR shelf. At first glance I thought, “435 pages?! This means 435 pages of misery or 435 pages of awesomeness.” Needless to say, I was not very optimistic about this book, demoting it all the way to the bottom of the library book pile. But, I decided to give it a chance. And I can honestly say I’m glad I did. Unearthly will make you forget all about those sad, pathetic excuses for a book about angels. Unearthly is the real deal.


Unearthly tells the story of a 16 year-old girl, Clara, who is 1/4 part angel-blood. The book opens with her discovering her purpose in life. It appears she is destined to save a young boy from a forest fire. So, together with her mother and brother, Jeffery, they pack up their house and home and move from California to Wyoming.

At first glance, you think you have this book figured out. You’re thinking, “Ok, I know what’s going to happen. She is going to save this dude and they are going to fall in love, yada, yada, yada.” And just when you’re feeling really clever for single-handedly predicting the outcome of the book, Cynthia Hand shatters your preconceptions. I love a good plot twist and this book exceeded my expectations.

A few things I LOVED about Unearthly:

1. No disappearing parent syndrome. Clara’s mother was very much apart of her life. Albeit mysteriously, she is always there to help Clara with succeeding in fulfilling her purpose.

2. Likeable heroine. Not once did I feel irritated at Clara for doing something dumb. She isn’t overly whinny or a pathetic damsel.

3. Healthy relationships. You will not find insta-love in this book! No, sir! In fact, I would say Hand may have written one of the best developing relationships I’ve read in a long time. She let it build up perfectly. By the time our heroine actually falls in love it
is believable. As a result, it is much easier to feel Clara’s emotions. I could feel myself swooning! Clara isn’t overly dependent on her love interest, either. She learns to draw on her own inner strength. Kudoos to Hand for handeling this very well.

If there is one complaint I have, it’t that I didn’t really like how it ended. It felt akward to me, like it was imcomplete. There are so many unanswered question left in the ending that it almost drove me insane! And to top it off, the next book doesn’t come out till next freakin’ year!



In conclusion, it pains me to think this book will be compared to Halo, Fallen and Hush, Hush. It’s in a higher and better league then them, hands down. So, I’ve decided to do my own little comparison through a visual story. Enjoy!

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved life. Everything was wonderful!


Untill one fatefull day she picked up


and it left her in a state of


After finishing City of Fallen Angels, she sank further into depression. The girl felt no one could understand the mental pain she felt.


Then,one day she came accross Unearthly and she saw the heavens open with rays of light.


The girl was once again happy.


The end!

Ironicly, if you google “Angel saving human” this pops up as an image:


Coincidence?  I’ll leave that up to you.

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

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