December 15, 2011

Book Review of "Unearthly" by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly (Unearthly #1)
Author: Cynthia Hand
Classification: YA Fiction, Paranormal
Source: Bought from Amazon

Overall Grade:
I thought...
An addicting and un-typical story coupled with very typical characters, love triangle, and romance.

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Summary (from Goodreads):

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 Thoughts:

I had been hearing many, many good things about this paranormal series before I picked it up, and the novel definitely didn't disappoint. It was exciting, addicting, funny and romantic!

However, while Unearthly was well-written and had only a few clichéd moments, which many young adult paranormals seem full of these days, it still felt lack-luster.

Yes, it had an interesting story, where the girl protagonist is the paranormal creature, rather than the male lead. It was addicting, fast-paced, unique, and romantic, everything that you could ask for in a paranormal novel.

However, these different plot elements, as well as the construction of the characters themselves, were rather unbalanced and bland. Case and point, the love triangle. While I don't want to go into too much detail to ruin the story for those of you who haven't read this book yet, I have to say that Clara's attraction to both Tucker and Christian was oddly sporadic.

In the beginning of the book, Clara is all "Oh my, well isn't that ________ just the cutest, sweetest, most interesting boy you ever did see?!". Then, the plot all but stops about halfway through the book, when Clara starts hanging over the other guy, all "I had no idea that I even wanted _______, but I don't dress up for him, cause I'm naturally bee-u-tiful, and I totally forgot about that other guy!"

Granted, the love triangle is definitely not as flawed as that seen in Nightshade, but it feels as if the author skewed the plot and slowed down the story simply for the purpose of adding in more romance and kissing. It felt off-balanced and contrived, especially since Clara put her "purpose" on hold for almost no reason at all during this period of time.

While I definitely had issues with the pacing and love triangle in Unearthly, this story is seriously addicting! It was able to hold my attention for long periods of time with a story of fate, suspense, secrets, and romance. Plus, that ending. Like... wow. It should have felt cheesy, but it didn't!

It was surprising and made me want to buy the sequel, Hallowed, immediately!! Even though it won't be released until January 3rd, 2012.

Overall, Unearthly is a very readable and addicting start to a solid paranormal series... perfect for those that don't mind a little rough pacing or love triangle qualms.


Overall Grade:
I thought...
An addicting and un-typical story coupled with very typical characters, love triangle, and romance.

Add to Goodreads | Pre-order from Amazon

(Full Disclosure: Any books purchased from Amazon through the links on this page will result in a small commission to me.) 

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