Review: Unearthly

Author: Cynthia Hand
  • Series: Unearthly #1
  • Published: January 4, 2011
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Reading Level: Ages 13 and Up
  • Pages: 435 pages
  • Source: Bought
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.

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Since I recently joined the 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, I decided to take a book off of my TBR pile that's been sitting in my room forever. I bought this book when it first came out and just never got around to reading it, probably getting distracted by a book I was pining for. But recently, I've been seeing a lot of "Team Tucker" banners on some of the blogs I followed and I thought, "huh, I own that book! I should see what all of this is about." After finally reading this book, let me say that I am officially "Team Tucker" as well.

Clara Gardner is part angel. Because of this, she has a purpose. After receiving her purpose through visions, Clara's family moves away from California to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where she meets Christian Prescott--the boy whose life she is supposed to save. While struggling to fit in and dealing with the oddities that involve growing into her part angel side, Clara makes new friends that are both human and angel and finds love in the oddest of people. But is her love for her best friend's brother distracting her from her destiny with Christian? She has to choose between her destiny and her heart.

The pacing in this novel was done pretty well. I have to admit, the beginning was slightly slow for me, but once we got past the introductions to all the characters and finally got to know them a bit better, things began to pick up. And the last quarter of the book passed by in a blur of page-turning action that left you breathless. This book definitely doesn't feel like it's over 400 pages long, which is a good thing in my book.

 For an angel book, the plot is not something that you're likely to come across again. I have never seen an angel book done from this angle. An angel in training fighting to fulfill her purpose so young is not something I've come across before, so it's definitely unique. It isn't religious either. Normally, when dealing with angels, a book may contain plenty of religious references, but the only portion of this book that is even remotely religious is when Hand is explaining what glory is. And in that instance, I found its meaning beyond interesting.

I also fell in love with the characters in this novel. For an angel, Clara has a huge stubborn streak in her. It's refreshing to find an angel that isn't 100% goody-goody, not that she's anything far from angelic. You'll easily fall in love with her.

Now, for the two love interests. I understand that this was supposed to be a love triangle, but it seemed like one of the boys was more favored over the other. Christian wasn't characterized perfectly in my eyes. He seemed to be really materialistic and fake at times. He cared about what others thought and didn't really stand up for what was right. People liked him for his looks, and while he had some deep moments, he just didn't connect with Clara the way Tucker did. It's like Clara liked him just because of her destiny, but didn't feel a real connection with him. With Tucker, she had a true connection. This is where my problem with the synopsis comes in. Hand makes Tucker out as a huge bad-boy that appeals to Clara's less angelic side. He's not. He's a cowboy with an amazing body that works his ass off at many jobs so he has money. He rides in rodeos with his horse Midas and has his own form of popularity because people just gravitate towards him and naturally like him. He's not all looks and no talk like Christian. The only way that he may appeal to Clara's less angelic side is that he's constantly teasing her and calling her Carrots because of her obnoxiously orange hair. But he loves her and she loves him and they're so perfect together. I was just shocked to find out that he's supposed to be the "bad-boy."

The ending of this book will take you by surprise. That, I promise you. It's unexpected and will leave you breathless. The plot twists are amazing and unexpected besides the few that were supposed to be intentionally predictable. I'm giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. I just wish I could connect with some of the characters better and the beginning of the book was more intriguing. With all that being said, I'm still dying for the sequel and I greatly regret not picking this book up sooner. For over a year, I've had a gold mine of a story sitting in my room and I've been too stupid not to pick it up. This is a nice read, but set some time aside to read it. It is over 400 pages after all, but it's 400 pages worth reading!


I constantly hear people raving about these covers. I don't really see it. Yes, they're appealing to the eye and all, but they don't blow me away or anything. It's just a girl standing there, looking bored. However, I am crazy about the font used for the title and I do like how the same theme for the cover itself is repeated throughout all of the novels in this series.

4 stars


  1. I haven't read this series yet, but my sister has. She keeps on trying to get me to read them though because they're so good. I'm sure I'll get around to it :) I'm glad the plot twists are good! I hate when books have predictable twists. And I totally agree with you on the cover. I'm not too crazy about it. It's just kind of ho-hum. And the other covers in the series really aren't any better. Great review!

    1. I would give them a shot! And yeah, we can't always judge books by their covers!

  2. Im part of the 2012 TBR challenge too ;) What I like most about the cover is that the whole series matches! I can't stand it when the covers have nothing to do with each other. That being said there really isn't anything super special about the cover, but I like the idea of having the same theme but different colors for each book.

    Thanks for the great review :)

    1. Ugh, I don't understand the point of having covers that don't match. It's a huge pet peeve of mine, like the author doesn't care how their novels are being portrayed!

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this book so much! Yay for Team Tucker!!! =) I couldn't agree more!!

    1. Tucker was just so great! I want my own Tucker to tease! Christian was nice and all... but he wasn't Tucker. lol

  4. Wow! you've been busy this week with all of these reviews! great review! I was 'Team Tucker' too, but then I read 'Hallowed' and changed teams. great review:)

    1. I still haven't gotten my hands on Hallowed! I'm curious as to why I'd change teams because of the book though! hmmm...

  5. Glad to have you join Team Tucker .You will not be happy in book #2 though :P
    I'm not too crazy about the covers either.Font I love :)

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

    1. That's what everyone is saying! You're all making me nervous. lol

  6. I've had this book on my Kindle for months now, so I'm glad to hear that it was good. And I agree with you on the cover, it's nice but I don't see why there's such a hype over them.

    Great review!

  7. I agree about the covers. They are pretty, yes, but there are so many spectacular covers out there, and this one is not spectacular. I read this one a long time ago, and it still sticks with me. I, unlike MOST other people, am Team Christian all the way. It was a very good book, as was the second one. I have yet to read the final book in the series. I don't really know why. Probably has a little (okay A LOT) to do with hearing how the ending played out. He was the best part of the book, for me! Anyway, have you finished the series yet? Did you still land the side of Tucker by the end of the series? Do you hate me asking you questions in almost all of my comments? If it bugs you, just let me know and I will stop!