“UNEARTHLY,” by Cynthia Hand, HarperTeen, $17.99 (young adult)
People have been fascinated with angels since their first appearance. The thought that there are beings watching over us is comforting to most.
Angels have made appearances in TV, music, movies and, of course, books. So it really comes as no surprise that they play a starring role in Cynthia Hand‘s “Unearthly.” What’s a surprise, however, is the fresh look she offers and a compelling story many will happily gobble up.
Clara Gardner glows when she gets excited, literally. Her mom’s part angel, and that means Clara is part one, too.
Being part angel has its advantages; Clara is smarter, stronger and faster than most humans. The snowy white wings that sprout out of her shoulders are an added attraction, and with a little practice, Clara can also fly.
But with the wings comes responsibility, a great one. Clara has a purpose, something only she can fulfill. It’s why she was put on Earth. Now she just has to figure out what that purpose is.
Clara’s been having visions of a raging forest fire with a boy standing in the middle of it. Clues from that have lead her to a new town in a new state and a new school. As Clara begins to piece together her purpose she faces challenges far beyond that of a normal teenager. There’s a gray area between good and evil, and finding a balance becomes hard when the life of a loved one is on the line.
I bought “Unearthly” because of its cover. But I ended up loving it because of its content. I read the entire book in less than a day, even sneaking peeks when things got slow at work.
At first glance, my thoughts were, “Yeah, right. This will make a believable story.” But Cynthia Hand made the unbelievable believable. Her characters have meat to them, and that helped to quash any preconceived misconceptions. I became invested in the story and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.
Unfortunately fans will have to wait, at least for a while, for the conclusion of Clara’s story. But the good news is a sequel is in the works.