I'm not sure why, but I'm not a huge fan of fantasy stories dealing with angels. I guess I just don't find them as compelling or interesting as other fantastical beings - maybe because their existence then begs the question of the religious issues surrounding their presence in the story, and that sort of conjecture just isn't terribly interesting to me. I'm not even sure how this ended up in my book pile, whether it was from a review I read or a recommendation from someone, but I don't think I even knew it had anything to do with angels, or I probably wouldn't have picked it up in the first place.
The story is about teenager Clara Gardner, who has recently learned that she is part angel, and because of this she has a purpose, a reason she was put on earth, something very important she has to do that will have an enormous impact on the world in some way. This purpose is not clear to her - it comes to her in a series of visions that are confusing but convenient to the plot and the tension in the story. Because of these visions, Clara, her mother and her younger brother move to Wyoming, because that appears to be the place where Clara's purpose is taking her. There she finally finds the incredibly hot guy it appears to be her destiny to save, but also falls for another incredibly hot guy (insert obligatory love triangle here) and becomes good friends with a classmate who is, coincidentally, also part angel.
This is a sweet story, and I think it would have a ton of appeal to teens who enjoy supernatural romance novels. The pacing is slow throughout most of the book, but Clara narrates the story in an engaging way that makes things interesting, even though not a whole lot is happening. I found Clara a little too perfect to really connect with, though - by virtue of being a quarter angel, she is stunningly gorgeous, incredibly intelligent, unbelievably athletic, etc. I liked her relationship with her mother, though, and the fact that the mother is not a typical mother-figure construct that waits in the wings until needed. Even though there is a love triangle (which I am so weary of), it's handled in a fairly satisfying way. While I'm not sure I feel the need to continue with this series myself, I'm sure it will be a popular one at my library, and I'll be recommending it to teens who enjoy contemporary romance with a dash of the supernatural.
Books in the Unearthly series:
Unearthly (#1 in the Unearthly series) by Cynthia Hand (HarperTeen, 2011)
Also reviewed at:
Book Sp(l)ot Reviews: "Hand created two characters I was rooting for from the beginning all the way through to the end. I loved both of them and I loved them together."
Ivy Book Bindings: "Yes, that’s right. 35/435 Pages of this novel were action. What were the other 400 Pages devoted to? High School. Prom. Romance. Flying. Teen Angst. Jerks. Just your usual, run-of-the-mill, dramatic teenage novel. "
Small Review: "This is also one of those books where all of the characters commanded my attention, not just the main characters. They all felt real to me with fully developed personalities."