Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia HandUnearthly by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #1
Also by this author: The Last Time We Say Goodbye, The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Published by HarperCollins on 2011-04-19
Genres: Adolescence, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

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.

Usually when I think of angels, I think of shoddy writing, the Jesus emails my grandma sends me, and that ‘closer than my peeps you are to meeeee’ song. So, in all, a wide range of things. Also, dumb ass names like Patch.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand is hands down (har-har) the BEST angel book I have ever read. So, okay, that may not be a huge compliment because the angel books I’ve read were disappointing. BUT, well, it is a compliment, and I genuinely loved Unearthly. I was impressed by a lot of things, the names, the parental involvement, the disproving of my paranormal theory (about how the relationships are so unrealistic), and the writing and the characterization.

Okay, so, in Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly world, Clara is an angel. She glows like Mr. Burns, Glowing, The SimpsonsMr. Burns in that episode of the Simpsons where they think he’s an alien when she is happy. Anyways, Clara keeps having these visions which are part of her PURPOSE. Also, she’s not one of those lame ass angels who doesn’t do anything but whine about cute boys. No dude, she has a DUTY, and she is actually pretty committed to that duty. Anyways, she has this vision, so her whole family packs up and moves to Wyoming, which apparently has rich people? (I know right, I thought rich people only lived in New York, California, and Florida, not these states with nothing in them). So, she’s the new girl in school, she makes friends, her classes are awesome. She actually spends time doing work for school.

OKAY and there is a relationship AND LOVE and it is normal. I am serious. NORMAL. Like, not insta-love. Instead Clara and boy character whom she loves who I won’t name because I don’t want to spoil it, get to know each other. They become friends first. Then they develop into a relationship and it is awesome.

And Clara does not ditch her friends for said relationship.

Also, okay, I was nervous about starting Unearthly, because it’s long. I know, what a stupid fear. The pages pretty much flew by! I was so immersed in Clara’s story. And I had to know if she was going to get sexytimes, if she would fulfill her purpose, and how would her Queen Elizabeth project turn out (History nerd in da house!!).

Really guys, I am super psyched for Hallowed the sequel to Unearthly.

Other Book Reviews of Unearthly:

Makeshift Bookmark
YA Bookshelf


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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Jami (YA Addict) says

    “that ‘closer than my peeps you are to meeeee’ song.”

    “Wyoming, which apparently has rich people?”

    Hahahahahaha!!! I can’t stop laughing. Very fun review. I loved this one too. Yay for realistic romance!

  2. DUDE.
    Seriously. I can hardly contain myself because I am filled to the brim with joy at the fact that you referenced the X-Files Simpsons episode. I know I already tweeted this to you, but you are my favorite person right now. Not only are you Friendsing it up, but you have love for The Simpsons.

    Anyway, now that I’m done fangirling over you and Mr. Burns, I must say that I loved this review and HELLS YES to the normal lahve.

  3. Huh, I’ll have to check this out. I read a few mediocre/boring angel books when the whole angel thing was being touted as the “next big thing” and wasn’t impressed. To be honest, i didn’t think you could write a good, interesting angel story, but maybe I’m wrong. I’ll definitely pick up Unearthly and give it a try. Thanks!

  4. I loved this book so much I did one of those heck lame early reviews. Great review!

  5. Great review, April! Love the Simpson reference 🙂 I read Unearthly in December and adored it.

  6. I agree on with everything you said: best angel book I’ve read and even though that isn’t the biggest compliment since most other angel books suck I (we) mean it as one. love it.

    Also, I guess we can’t be friends anymore….cause I’ve never SEEN The Simpsons. Or Friends. Not a sitcom person I guess.

    Anyway….yay for Clara! A real angel versus other characters like…oh say…Patch. Or Bethany.

  7. I agree! This is my favorite angel book yet! I also really liked that their relationship progressed slowly and wasn’t insta-love. Great review!

  8. I never NEVER thought i would say this about a paranormal romance book but holy crap April you have made me want to ditch my contempory lover and get me a hot new paranormal boyfriend that can show me how things roll on his side of the fence.

    Plus this review made me laugh. especially this –

    ” Like, not insta-love.” Because THAT’S SO TRUE. Most books should have this on the cover saying just add water and shake and WHAM insta-love.

  9. I really like Unearthly! And, the mall they go dress shopping in is 30 miles from my house. 🙂

    Jackson Hole is pretty close to where I live, and it attracts a lot of wealthy people. If I’m not mistaken, Harrison Ford has a home up there. 🙂

    I almost didn’t read this, because I was so tired of angel junk, but this one was just great!

  10. Your analogy/comparison about glowing cracked me up!

  11. STOP READING MY MIND, APRIL. No, nevermind, keep doing it because I love it. Agreed to what you said times 1,000. How is this angel book so NORMAL? Who knew it could be done? Lovely!

  12. “She glows llike Mr Burns”
    bwahahaha. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but YES!
    I heart you, April!

  13. Your review made me smile! I haven’t read Unearthly yet but I’m on a waiting list at the library. I usually don’t like angel books either so I’m glad and relieved to hear that you liked this one. Great (and funny) review! Now that song is stuck in my head!

  14. “So, okay, that may not be a huge compliment because the angel books I’ve read were disappointing.” Hahaha I have read angel books I liked and Unearthly is a good one. I enjoyed it too. Glad you found one to redeem the angel scene. 😉

  15. This book is on TBR list, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. But OMG-the photo of Mr. Burns is the best.

  16. Love this review by the way! May have to give this one a try – have shied away from angel books.


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