Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand 

Published 2011, Hardcover, 435 pages, library copy. 

I'll start off saying I wasn't really sure about this book at first. I'd seen the cover all around the internet, but the whole "paranormal romance" hasn't appealed to me after trying to read Twilight and Hush, Hush and not getting past the first chapter (and on top of that, reading scathing reviews of those two on Goodreads :P). I picked this book up from the library, though, and let it sit around my house until I got an e-mail saying it was due in three days. I thought, 'Well, I'll give it a try. Either I can finish it in three days or I can't.'

Talk about addicting writing. I read this book most of Sunday. I had to force myself to put it down so I could get some writing done. I finished it today.

Clara has recently found out she's quarter-angel. She has a purpose in life, a vision, and this vision involves a forest fire and a mysterious boy. When they find out where this boy lives, her mom (half-angel) moves her and Clara's brother to Wyoming. So for a while, the book suffers from "new girl at school in a young adult novel syndrome" as she tries to make friends and fit in.

This book's pacing was kind of off for me. The first half is slow, and then the book really takes off once it gets into the romance. And then the ending is a huge bundle of what-the-hell-is-going on! I think I said, "Oh, my gosh" like a thousand times during the last fifty pages.

In general, it's great storytelling. Cynthia Hand has some great writing. All of her characters are likable and relatable. I especially love Angela and, you guessed it, Tucker. I thought Clara's relationships with her friends, families, and love interests were very realistic. I liked Clara, too. A few times I thought she was kind of a jerk to her mom, but she was going through a lot. I hope we learn a lot more about Clara's mom and her life in the next book. And more about angels and fate and God and the war and everything.

Towards the end, I loved the mystery of the story. I had no idea how it was going to end. I did predict some things, but others totally came out of left field. I have a feeling the next book will lay the love triangle on pretty thick, and I'm actually not sure which boy I want Clara to choose. It's not as clear cut as most YA love triangles. I mean, I love, love, love Tucker and his personality, but I also love the whole destiny concept between Clara and Christian. We'll see.

I think this is a gem in young adult paranormal novels, even though I'm definitely not an expert. I'm excited for the next one, Hallowed!

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