UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand
I read this book on the Kindle - the ARC from Net Galley - - the pub date was 1/4/2011.
Amazon Product Description:
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.
I enjoyed reading Unearthly. The author builds a modern, believable world containing characters that are realistic, interesting, and easy to invest in.
I thought Clara is a wonderful character throughout the book. She is faced with choices, decisions, and responsibilities that are challenging and have dire consequences - difficult for anyone - almost nearly impossible for a teen. She works through these issues throughout the book; always trying to do the right thing for everyone while still attempting to fulfill her purpose and stay true to herself at the same time.
Christian is wonderfully mysterious, but a little on the "not the guy you want him to be" side. I found myself wanting him to be so much less and so much more at the same time. I think he is one of the most well created characters.
Tucker - what can you say about Tucker...he is truly my favorite character from the book.
The mother was harder, she is too closed up for much of the book for me at first. I found myself wanting, like Clara, so much more from her mother. She does, throughout the book, redeem herself in my eyes.
The theme that I found throughout the book - the very noticeable missing parent or parents of the characters who were angelbloods - was well thought out and well played.
A major plot point - THE PURPOSE - was somewhat under-represented I thought. I am sure that this was the intention of the author as it was the main idea of the whole story, but I didn't really get the amount of information about the reason behind it for my comfort. I didn't feel that Clara's mother gave her enough information about her purpose, but I didn't get the impression that any of the other angelbloods had any real idea of their purpose either. I would have liked more on that...and I can't help but wonder - one specific incident is their whole life's purpose? I am hoping for a sequel that answers many of these questions for me.
Well worth the read - be sure to check it out!