Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best I Read 2011: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Over the next few days (the last of 2011) I'll be posting my top ten favorite reads of the year, in no particular order. They're not necessarily books released in 2011 -- just books that I've read in the past year. I'll be giving the synopsis and linking to my review (if it's been posted) and telling why I love these books so much. Feel free to share your own favorites -- I'm always looking for a good recommendation!

Release Date: January 4, 2011
Series: Unearthly #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


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 apurpose, 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.

First Line:
The first time, November 6 to be exact, I wake up at two a.m. with a tingling in my head like tiny fireflies dancing behind my eyes.

Why It Was The Best: In a word, Clara. She seemed so real. Like a girl you would meet on the street, or who could be your best friend. Though she's a divine being, she's also just a teenage girl. She deals with hair-dying mishaps and irritating boys and going all tongue-tied around a crush. Her road's not an easy one, and sometimes she falters, but she's got a beautiful resilience that keeps her going. Sometimes she might get fed up, but she never gets whiny or angsty. It's impossible not to fall in love with her authentic, snarky voice. Another aspect that I can't say too much about without spoilers is the romance. Cynthia Hand takes it in a surprising and wonderful direction that is much more enjoyable and believable than the usual cliche love story. Overall, despite the paranormal elements, this is the most realistic, believable cast of characters I've read in a long time.


Anna said...

I definitely loved this book! Hallowed was amazing too. I'm really excited to read the third one! I did really like Clara as well, she was an awesome character and really relatable!

Anna @ Literary Exploration

Ria said...

While I wouldn't say that "Unearthly" was one of the best books I read this past year, I certainly enjoyed it more than I thought I was going to, so it was quite a pleasant surprise.

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