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. (from goodreads)
My review: ...in which I RAVE about a paranormal YA (!)
Mate, how much did I LOVE this book?
Me & the paranormal thing: Me and paranormal YA usually do not mix. I don't read a lot of the genre and when I attempt it I usually feel very blah about it ~ even popular well-loved paranormals bore me... it's just the way it is :) However, I often feel like I'm out of the loop ~ A LOT of people seem to be having THE BEST time in the paranormal scene, so I'm often on the outside looking in and hoping to one day . All this to say: I'd seen a lot of good mates REALLY LOVE Unearthly so I started to get pumped about it while still holding my breath in case it wasn't my thing.
So... when I read Unearthly ~ it was just the perfect book for the mood I was in:
- seamless, well-written prose that's easy to sink into (the pages fly by ~ OKAY, so I got addicted and couldn't put it down...). A main character to love, a couple of fictional boys whom I was oh-so-delighted to be introduced to, and a story that kept me charmed the whole way through.
You know when you read a book and then later emerge from the pages and feel like you have literally been transported to another place and time? That was me and Unearthly ~ the setting was LOVELY ~ I just soaked it up. It was so easy to become immersed in it: the small town vibe, the high school halls and the forest ~ all beautiful.
The characters are REAL, man. Like contemp characters: fleshed out and interesting and Clara is an MC you will fall in love with. She's spunky and fun, and also a little unsure of herself. I LOVED her brother and her mum and the family dynamic. I liked the semi-complicated girl friendships, and I ADORED the two boys in Clara's life
I LOVE a convincing and anti-melodramatic love triangle. Hand has NAILED it in Unearthly. She has all the right components that make it a compelling, non-cliche, tangled-up swoon-y triangle. AND, the LOVE STORY that emerges in the second half of the book would rival some of your favourite YA couples ~ it has so many funny, fun, genuine, butterflies in your tummy moments. Sigh... I LOVE that feeling of swooning along with the MC and I would DARE you not to swoon in this book :) Young TUCKER has leapt on to my literary crush list ~ what a guy ;)
The whole VIBE of the book was just refreshing. It's a book you could happily pass on to younger YA readers (the angle lore was done really well, it felt good and clean and intriguing) ~ yet will also appeal to anyone who enjoys a GOOD coming-of age. There was nothing tacky or cringe-worthy about it.
Unearthly also features a pretty STUNNING kind-of twist in the climax ~ which has me SO hanging out for the sequel ~ yet it didn't leave me with a painful cliff-hanger. Perfectly done.
Recommended: why, yes, yes, yes. You know when Anna and the French Kiss came out ~ and non-contemp readers were falling all over it and in love? Unearthly is (for me) it's paranormal equivalent. I have fallen in love with it ~ I couldn't put it down. I swooned, I found it utterly compelling with gorgeous prose and charming characters. It's a definite favourite of mine. <3 <3 <3
Unearthly @ goodreads: current rating of 4.38 with 1, 600 ratings.