Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
The Skinny: Clara Gardner is a quarter angel and is suddenly given her purpose, the reason she is here on earth, in a dream. In her dream she sees a boy standing within a fire. Her mother, who is a half angel, uproots Clara and her brother, who is also part angel, and they move to Jackson Hole, WY, a big difference from their former California home. There Clara meets the boy from her dream, Christian, and is instantly drawn to him. There’s only one problem: he has a girlfriend. As she becomes settled in her new home, she must learn more of her purpose and what it is she’s supposed to do. But distractions are everywhere, including a handsome but annoying cowboy named Tucker…
BFF?: Clara was such a refreshing heroine because finally, FINALLY, here’s a normal teenager, who is caring and selfish, kind and sarcastic… she’s a great mixture of what makes teenagers so darn interesting. But, at the same time, she’s a freakin’ angel! With angel powers! And like any teenager who has special powers, she has no clue what to do with them! Clara was really interesting to follow, to see how she reacted not only to all the angel bits and her mother, who, like any real mother, only wants what’s best for her kids (much to their great annoyance) but also how she reacted to the every day life of a teenager. I don’t know if I’d want to be her BFF, but I think it would be fun to be like her cool aunt or much older big sister – cause then I’d be an angel!
Readability: There’s a great mixture of poetry and practicality in this book. Clara’s voice is clear, definitely the voice of a teenager at parts, but then it goes all wonky and poetic, especially when she’s describing her purpose or her dreams, or even just the beautiful country in which they live (y’all, I want to go to Wyoming after reading this and I’m pretty sure I don’t even know where it is on the map). While this may not be a realistic voice of a teenager, SHE’S AN ANGEL! I image angels think things differently than the average 16-year old.
Crush Level: 5 and 8
Two crushes? Yes… I was a crush whore with this book.
Christian, a 5, gets rated because he’s sort of dreamy in a “I’ll never have him but I like staring at him stalker-style from the 3rd row in history class” kind of way. He’s Mr. Perfect of High School, that boy that everyone wants to either be or be with. But he’s more than that… he takes things to heart, he’s incredibly kind to Clara even when she’s weird…
But then there’s Tucker. Ohhh, Mr. 8 himself, Tucker. There’s just something about boys who act sort of jerky at first because they really like you that I eat up. He’s not uber romantic, which I like, but still sexy and wonderful at the same time. He’s also a great guy who looks out for not only Clara – um, at prom? wow – but his twin sister Wendy as well. I really fell hard for Tucker and his accessibleness. Annnnd smokin hotness.
Sometimes I forget that there’s other sports besides football. Being in the south, that’s really all we have here. Okay, that’s a lie, but we definitely don’t have things like skiing. But to have skiing in your own backyard where you can just pop over on the weekend and hit the slopes? That would be completely awesome.
I only made it to one of my school’s prom (senior year) and it was such a let down. The decorations were a bunch of tiki huts and torches with fake palm trees made out of PVC pipe and balloons. There were even pink flamingos on the table (although this was a huge inside joke for our school’s art teacher). Luckily in college I was able to attend a few sorority formals, but I still yearn for prom and getting dressed up all fancy and dancing the night away to a cheesy DJ. This prom scene made me major nostalgic.
Bad Hair Dye Jobs
Okay, who hasn’t accidentally dyed their hair Bozo the Clown red? I loved the fact that for the majority of the book Clara goes around looking like a too bright over the top red head, much to her misery. Ah, the painful mistakes of coloring your hair at home!
Commencement Speech: It took me just about forever to finish this book, but I’m so glad I stuck it out and made it through. The first part is definitely harder than the rest, as we’re just getting to know Clara and about her angel heritage. We also only get glimpses of her purpose and are trying to figure out what the heck’s going on right alongside with Clara. But once the story picks up, whoa! It’s such an interesting ride, filled with history and angel mythology that’s majorly interesting. I also really loved seeing Clara’s relationships fill out, not only with Tucker and Christian, but with her new friends Angela and Wendy as well as her mom. It was very interesting to see how all of these affected her life and changed her, sometimes for the better; sometimes for the worse. Also… I LOVE ANGELS!
Superlatives – Most Likely to Need to get to a Salon ASAP