Unearthly – Cynthia Hand

SOME SPOILERS!

Before you judge this book based on what other popular angel books lurk out there, listen to me. This book is not what you think it’s going to be. I know a lot of you are going to be expecting what I was expecting (cough hush, hush cough). Or perhaps on of the other books in the angel section of YA  (e.g. Fallen, Halo) that I have never read, but I have also heard from very popular opinion that they resemble hush, hush. (by the way, that’s not really a good thing.)

If you want a summary of my hush, hush review, here it is “Ew. No. Get away from me. No. Wrong. Bad. Stop.”

However this book is what happens when authors get it right.

Summary

Clara is an angel, and has found her purpose in life is to save this beautiful, amazing boy that she’s been seeing in her dreams, however lots of stuff happens that gets in the way.

Cons

Cover

This is both a pro and a con.

The covers for the book, while beautiful, are also misleading, just because I’ve learned to distrust covers of girls in long dresses looking forlornly at something. After all, both hush,hush and Wicked Lovely had beautiful covers, but were not so beautiful on the inside as they were on the outside. Factor in this pretty cover with the blurb about angels on the back and you’ve got a very cautious Weishi looking at it and wondering why she’s putting herself through this.

On the other hand, that is a really nice cover.

Writing Style

The writing style wasn’t hard to read, or very awkward to read. When I first started reading, I felt like she used way too many short sentences, where there could have potentially have just been commas. It felt very strange reading the description in this short, blunt, voice with lots of tension even when she was just chatting to her mum or doing mundane tasks. Perhaps it’s because I expected the writing to be very flowery and flowing at first, but then it turned out to be the opposite. Either way, I would have preferred a more descriptive and interesting writing style.

This will be associated with THOSE books

This is probably going to go in the supernatural romance YA section, where there are hoards of terrible books (I cannot say that with complete confidence as I try to avoid most of those books in that section, but I assume that a lot of them are written more because of the trend than to tell an interesting and unique story). This book deserves to be classed somewhere else with good books, not surrounded by horrible, awkward and repetitive novels about emotionally abusive relationships that are portrayed as good, and incredibly stupid leading characters.

Pros

Clara

Clara is a believable girl, for being a quarter angel.

She’s really pretty, but she knows she’s really pretty, which is a relief in YA Fiction. Most of these female characters must be close to blind as they never see their complete obvious attractiveness. Clara’s completely embarrassed by her new hair because it takes away how pretty she is. And she’s not perfect!

She’s not this angel prodigy who’s supposed to save the world or whatever. She’s just this normal average angel. And she’s likeable. She’s actually likeable.

Well done, YA fiction gods! We have found a likeable character!

Love Triangle

The love triangle finally made sense. Cynthia Hand acknowledged this stupid magnetic connection excuse that authors use because they’re too lazy for actual character development.

Clara feels this magnetic connection towards Christian (ironic name, right?) because he’s her destiny. She’s meant to be with him. But just because she’s supposed to be with him, that doesn’t mean she wants to be with him. It’s like this completely irrational mega crush that she has on him, and she knows it feels more like lust than love.

Because she falls in LOVE with Tucker. Like, actual character development love, in this bunch of scenes that make the novel feel more like a Nicholas Spark’s novel than a Paranormal Romance. It spans over a time period, and is definitely not immediate.

Kay

Marcie Miller from hush, hush is what Kay could have been. She could have been a real sandwich about everything and a massive stereotype, and to begin with I really did think she would be some cliché mean girl. But as it is becoming a theme with this book, Kay was more dimensional. Not that Clara came to like her, god no they were horrible to each other, but Clara came to understand why Christian loved Kay (fun fact: every time I try to write Christian, I type Christmas first by mistake an have to go back and change it).Kay’s actually kind of nice, not this complete sandwich.

The End

Holy crap, that ending. That twist.

Oh my god.

I want the next book, that ending. Whoa. I really did not see that coming.

Quotes

  • “Tucker,” I say. “I’m so glad you’re still here.”
    I throw myself into his arms. He hugs me tightly.
    “I couldn’t leave,” he says.
    “I know.”
    “I mean, literally. I don’t have a ride.”
  • “I feel like Cinderella sitting in the middle of the road with a pumpkin and a couple of mice, while Prince Charming charges off to rescue some other chick.”
  • “I think he seriously believes that deflowering an angel could mean an eternity in fiery hell.”
  • “In fact, I’ve essentially given up on the idea of flight altogether and accepted that I’m going to be an angel-blood who stays earthbound, a flightless bird, like an ostrich. Maybe, or in this weather, a penguin.”

Overall

Hmm… What to give this one?

It’s more of a fun read than an amazing amazing amazing book, however it rose from the ashes of terrible paranormal romances and showed how it’s supposed to be done.

So 3 1/2 shuriken stars. Perhaps it wasn’t perfect, but it was exempt of all the problems that plague nearly all paranormal romances. And I’m actually very interested to see where this series goes.

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