Reading this book after the paranormal romance Shiver (and frankly that past read being a disappointment), I was a bit anxious. This is a book I’ve been wanting to read for a few years, but hadn’t gotten around to it. Finally, I found some time, and I wish I would have read it sooner!
Unearthly follows your atypical teenage girl slash half-angel, Clara, who is coming into her own… angel wings. Clara begins having visions about her destiny and a boy standing in a forest fire. After the visions start and clues begin to surface, Clara and her family move to an unknown snowy country town. Determined to make sense of her angelic purpose, she befriends mysterious and handsome, Christian while dodging the encounters with the rugged Tucker. Pulled between duty and love, Clara resolves to make a choice.
This is the angel story I chose to read over any of the other contenders. Let’s chat about character development, which this story oozes! As the main protagonist, readers are welcomed into the mind of Clara, as she agonizes over what she is meant to do and what she wants. Clara’s thoughts are narrated throughout the story as she stumbles through her understanding with the aid of her new friends. She makes errors, learns, and recovers. She balances angelic perfection with human error. Her character is flawed and likable, as she navigates first love, friendship, and responsibility she is unable to turn away from.
While the other characters don’t develop as much, the reader is given insight into their feelings, thoughts, and motives. The theme of family largely embodies this work, as Clara’s angelic strong mother. Her mother has reasons for her unyielding treatment of Clara, as she coaches her daughter through trials without revealing her unknown secrets. Her relationship with her brother is typical sibling, as they help each other out when necessary, such as with flying, but frequently bicker when it comes to sports tryouts, laying low, and poor decisions.
What had me was the story. Sure, you may think you can predict this read – go ahead and try – but Cynthia Hand will turn it around and keep you guessing. The romance and love story is pure enjoyment. I was pulled into the birthday dates, fishing, and sweet adventures. The romance is slowly developed with great care, which is most-appreciated! Insta!love is a thing I despise! While teenage love is intense and inspiring, Hand knows how to masterfully progress relationships. And those witty plot twists at the end – thank you! Keep them coming!
However, that boring conclusion was unnecessary. The author could have removed the last couple of pages, left readers on a shocking cliffhanger, and it would have been more exciting. The story did not need a dry narrative about Clara taking a shower and reminiscing on the turn of events. Don’t slowly end the drama with this trivial nonsense. End on a tortuous cliffhanger and open book two with this drivel.
Now a fan, I’m eager to read book two and uncover more about the nature of angels, the consequences of Clara’s choices, and further courtship between characters. SO! Four out of five lemons, but this is a true winner in the angel/paranormal romance genre for young adults.