Monday, May 23, 2011
My Thoughts: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
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?
I am a terribly slow reader. It's awful. I can generally read a book in about three days, but that usually means non-stop reading. In saying that, me finishing a book in 24 hours in not a common practice. But, that is exactly what I did with Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. This was an AMAZING book. Which is really exciting for me. I've read some really great books in the last couple of weeks, that I've become spoiled by great writing and am leery when starting a new book. Even more so that I have had little success with angel books. First let me say that Unearthly has spent the last four and a half months looking pretty on my shelf, I don't know why I hadn't read it before now. But I want to quickly bring to your attention the cover. Is it not beautiful? Yeah, I thought so to.
I think I am going to have a hard time articulating what I enjoyed about this book. But I'll try.
When I picked this up Saturday afternoon, I had just finished reading Halfway to the Grave (I'm trying to alternate my YA reading with non-YA stuff), normally after I've finished reading something it takes a little while before I can fully immerse myself in something else, but I am a reader so I can't not be reading anything. So I picked up Unearthly not expecting to get further then a handful of pages in. Before I knew it I was 50 pages in and had no desire to stop. I loved Hand's writing. I say that a lot, but there wasn't a single thing in this book that I did not like.
The book starts with Clara recalling her vision, her 'purpose', which is basically her raison d'etre-her reason for being- The one task that she is destined to complete during her time on Earth. With the unveiling of her vision Clara with the help of her half angel mother is able to determine that her vision is calling her to Wyoming, specifically to a boy-Christian- Whom Clara was supposed to save. There was some initial plot build up at the beginning of the book, but it wasn't tedious and annoying. It was a small part of the book, and I really appreciated it. For the most part, the reader experiences everything with Clara, and figures things out with her. I thought this was a brilliant change from most modern day novels. I really enjoyed experiencing everything with her.
Hand draws an amazing picture of the Wyoming mountain range. I live with winter about 7 months out of the year and I hate it, I am not called to winter nor am i swayed by it, but Hand writes about a winter that is beautiful. Even for Clara who moved from sunny California. She describes everything so well, but she doesn't spend the whole of the book describing everything. She does it in a way that puts you in the scene but allows your imagination to take over. It's so much fun.
The Characters in this book are great (big surprise), I loved the relationship that Clara had with her mother. I have mentioned before that I have found parents abnormally absent in most YA books. So the fact that Clara's mother was present was a welcome difference. Their relationship was also believable. Clara's mom was just that a mom, she exerted her authority when she needed to, but gave her daughter space to find herself as well. Christain was an interesting character and things between him and Clara did not go as I expected them to. Which was fine. I read somewhere that people did not like Wendy's character, that she was a meaningless character, I don't agree with this at all. I thought she complimented Clara, showcased Clara's humanity, kept her grounded (no pun intended). I also read somewhere that Unearthly does teen romance the way teen romance should be done, and I agree 100%. It was slow and sweet and it evolved from friendship and totally by accident *Sigh*.
I am very much looking forward to the rest of this series. The end of this book brought on a lot of "WHAT?!?!?!" Which I would be mad at, if Unearthly wasn't such a pleasure to read. Overall I would encourage anywho who is feel discouraged with angel novels. This will exceed expectations.
Happy Reading Everyone!