Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)
Title: Unearthly (Unearthly #1)
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTEEN
Date of Publication: January 4, 2011

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.
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Due to the tons of raves and glowing reviews I saw and read over at Goodreads, I didn't hesitate to buy my own copy and read it asap. My paranormal weaknesses are mermaids and angels so I didn't doubt that I'll like this book. I was sure I will love it. And then I didn't.

Maybe it was the unreasonably high expectations, maybe. Maybe it was unfair to Unearthly and to Cynthia Hand, maybe. But I didn't love this book. I originally rated it 4 stars, which means I really liked it. But then, I was mostly pressured by all the reviews my friends gave. It felt like, I might be shunned by not loving this book. Then I realized that it is my own opinion and as a book blogger, I should be open and proud of my opinion. I thought long and hard about how I really felt towards the book and thus, I proclaimed that I only liked it.

See, a three-star rating from me is good. Because I follow the Goodreads rating system and a 3 means that I liked it. So I still recommend this book, especially that I heard that Hallowed, the second book in this trilogy, is way, way better than Unearthly. This came from those who reviewed it with the same rating for Unearthly as me. So I have hope, I do, for this series. Moreover, I am OCD in such a way that I must finish all books I read and I must finish all series that I start. Hee.

As I was reading Unearthly, I kept thinking, when will it get awesome? Where's that part where tables are turned, everything goes haywire, all hell breaks loose? Because it started so slow. I was starting to get bored, if not only for a certain hot, sensitive guy named Tucker. But I would like to applaud Cynthia Hand for deftly upping the ante. Surely, the details to Clara's purpose were revealed painstakingly slow and most of the novel tackled high school and romance. But by jove, the action at the end had me flipping and reading so fast! I admit, I was late for a class because I can't stop reading it. I just sat by the couch and went to class 30 minutes late, still reeling from Unearthly. I did not expect what's gonna happen, it all came by so fast. Definitely made me want to read Hallowed.

However, maybe I was a bit disappointed in the low-key ending. After the action-packed scenes and the ~BIG REVEAL~, eeepp, it just ended. Sure, it made the reader muse the heck out of his/her mind but I just wish it ended more strongly.

As for the characters. BOOM, I love everyone! Clara was popular in her previous school but ever since moving, she had to tread the murky waters of high school popularity all over again. It didn't help that the dye job at her hair failed, concealing her glowing angel hair perfectly with ORANGE. Yes, carrots. Eeeeepp! Doesn't help that her younger brother's so famous now, even if it's highly discouraged of them angels to be in the spotlight. Then there's Tucker. Oh, Tucker. Tucker's her new bestfriend's brother, who always teases her. And you know what it means when boys tease girls, amirite? Team Tucker all the way!

Unearthly kinda lost me on Christian's characterization. He was this perfect guy and then he just disappeared. Enter Tucker. And then he comes back at the end and of course, it's awkward because Clara and Tucker already spent A LOT of time together. Kinda like Peeta and Gale of The Hunger Games. How will I root for Gale if I don't know him? Same with Christian. So yes, Tucker all the way!

Overall, I recommend this to any angel-loving reader out there. People mostly loved this book and I'm part of the minority that didn't love it as much. Now, to get money to buy Hallowed...

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