by Cynthia Hand

Genre: YA Paranormal
Published: January 4th 2011
by HarperTeen




When Clara Gardner learns she’s part angel, her entire life changes. She now has a purpose, a specific task she was put on this earth to accomplish, except she doesn’t know what it is.

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, 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. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?


While Unearthly isn’t nearly as bad as other YA angel novels – Hush, Hush, Fallen, and Halo to name a few – it still lacks anything that makes it especially memorable.

Clara Gardner is part angel, and has been waiting her whole life to discover her purpose – the reason she’s on Earth. When she starts receiving visions, she and her family move to Wyoming, where her fate begins to unravel itself.

Clara is a decent heroine, but she’s not especially memorable or noteworthy. Her character felt a bit one-sided unfortunately – there wasn’t much complexity or depth to her. She’s sweet, but I just wish there was a bit more to her character.

The romance is a bit typical of YA as well. There’s a love triangle, and, on one side of the triangle, a severe cast of instalove.

When Clara moves to Wyoming she meets Christian, who is very literally the boy from her visions. The first thing Clara does when she sees him is faint because of his “ungodly beauty.” And, of course, Christian turns out to have no personality whatsoever.

The other love interest, Tucker, is much better developed, and there is no instalove in their relationship. Despite this, I still wasn’t fully invested in their relationship as much as I wish I could have been.

If you’re looking for YA angel books, this is certainly one of the better ones. While I admit I don’t fully understand why everybody seems to love it, it is a well-written story nonetheless.


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