Book DetailsTitle: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Genre: YA Paranormal
Page Count: 448
Publishing Info: HarperTeen, January 4, 2011
Why I read it: netgalley review copy
The Plot: This is a really refreshing change from other YA paranormals I've read. There's still a girl who finds out she has paranormal powers, but as the story opens, she already knows she has them. No mysterious hot boy has to give her the news. Does that mean this book is without a mysterious hot boy? Of course not--that'd be asking a little too much, I think. Clara, our main character is an angel-blood. She has recurring dreams about the previously mentioned boy, a forest fire, and that she needs to save him. Her mother explains to her (her mother is also an angel) that this dream is her purpose. So, as details of the dream reveal themselves, they figure out the boy is in Wyoming and move their little family (she also has a brother who is an angel) there. There she begins high school life, trying to fit in, meeting the boy from her dreams, a couple of good friends, and another boy, Tucker, who shows her the beauties of Wyoming (they're in Jackson Hole). So, yes, another thing that would be too much to ask would be no love triangle. We can't have everything. This one is different though, and you'll just have to take my word for it and read it to see why.
The Characters: Clara is actually really likable. She's not bland and boring, all the while attracting the eye of every boy in the story. She just seems to be a fairly normal girl who happens to be an angel. But the real draw, for me, was the love interest. Normally when I read YA paranormals, the minute the love interest is introduced (and throughout the story) I think the guy is such a tool. Only attractive in that the author is telling me so, and not in anything I read in the story. But this time, what's left over of my teenager heart was really crushing on Tucker. Oh how I would have loved an attractive cowboy to show me around beautiful country. Cynthia Hand really does it right here. I'm finally reading a love interest that I can root for.
The Setting: I've already mentioned that most of the story takes place in Jackson, Wyoming. The author does a wonderful job of describing the beauty of the place and making the reader want to be there. I've never actually been there, so I can't say how accurate it is, but if it is anything like how it is in the book, I want to live there.
Who Should Read This? Every fan of YA, especially those who are burned out on the crap (yes, I said crap) that's out there right now.
Final Thoughts: Sometimes you want to read a book that doesn't require a lot of thought, and just sweeps you away in the adventure of the story. This is one of those books. I was charmed the whole way through the novel, and I absolutely adored it. It seems like this has to have a sequel, and I really hope it does. I want to read more by this talented author!
Cover Thoughts: The cover is pretty, but it's a little too pretty for the story. Clara goes hiking, rafting, fishing, flying--she's a girl who seems to love adventure and the outdoors, not an untouchable pretty girl, which is what this picture looks like to me. Still, it could be worse. I can kind of see what they were trying to do here with this cover.