A review of book nr 1 in an older/ended series.
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #1
Release date: 4th of January 2011
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Paranormal
Pages: 435 in Paperback format
Source: Bought from a local bookstore
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 a mysterious boy lead her to a new high school in a new town but provide no clear instruction. 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 the boy in her vision and the boy in her life, 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?
This book theoretically did everything right in my opinion:
An interesting take on angel mythology without being too technical and deep while still remaining intriguing and original.
The story was completely character driven, no overwhelming plot and mega grand scheme of things (at least not yet). The people where the focus, the plot complimented their decisions and on goings.
A YA mom that actually exists and participates in the life of her teenage daughter.
A sweet slow building romance and no insta love.
It’s not an immature book led by immature people who make rash and immature decisions. Everything had a purpose and reasons, nothing major that had me going “uh? where did that come from” or “why of why! Think before you act!”
Very important: a love triangle that didn’t take over and wasn’t as unbearable as I dreaded. Still, quite annoying though, but I’m quite intolerant towards them anyway.
And most importantly, creating two incredibly likable main characters/couple. A girl and guy I can actually respect and who, despite reality and everything going on, came across as normal and “healthy- minded” teenagers. No excessive angst, unreasonable teenage tantrums or the nobody-understands-me-and-I secretly-don’t-even-want-them-to-because-it’s-so-great-to-mope-and-whine-and-be-emo-etc-etc symptoms.
Nevertheless, despite all positive features, and I do feel immensely guilty, but I couldn’t help but be bored thought the majority of the book. Again, I stress, it’s a good story, but it didn’t entirely work for me and thus I wasn’t excited when reading it. It had some great moments and the end definitely picked up the pace, but is it just enough to say that this story didn’t quite reach me for reasons I can’t completely figure out myself? I really can’t explain or defend my opinion adequately this time. Moreover, slightly negative, the plot twist at the end was surprising and out of the blue, but I didn’t really understand it’s purpose – it seemed as such a simple solution to the issue, unexpected but still an easy way out, will that be explored in future books? Hopefully.
So, overall, I repeat, I think this book is great, it doesn’t fall to the same traps as many other YA books concerning various plot devices, characters stereotypes, pace, etc, and due to that it’s not filled to the brim with clichés (of course there are, it wouldn’t be YA if it didn’t have its fair share of clichés). The story does its own thing. But, ultimately, it’s a matter of taste and I just wasn’t into it as much as I hoped. But as much as I’ve gathered, almost everyone who has taken up this book loves it so who am I to judge.
Clara: A heroine I could relate to and sympathize with. She was a nice girl, someone easy to like and root for. At the same time she wasn’t too bland or indecisive, I admired most of her choices because they were hers completely.
Tucker: A charming and sincere cowboy gentleman with a little rough on his edges. Extremely lovable and sweet. The perfect boyfriend material and I have to admit all the hype regarding him wasn’t off the mark, I can see why so many readers find him as an exemplary YA hero to swoon over.
Christian: He wasn’t explored as much and I felt we didn’t really know the real him or what he thought or felt. A nice guy definitely, but at the moment slightly two dimensional and distant.
A theoretically perfect story, but not really for me. I definitely recommend to all who love angel YA, because despite my whining this is a great book.