Unearthly (Unearthly Series #1)

Unearthly (Unearthly Series #1)

4.4 714
by Cynthia Hand
     
 

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When Clara Gardner learns she's part angel, her entire life changes. She now has a purpose, a specific task she was put on this earth to accomplish, except she doesn't know what it is. Her visions of a raging forest fire and a mysterious boy lead her to a new high school in a new town but provide no clear instruction. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she

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Overview

When Clara Gardner learns she's part angel, her entire life changes. She now has a purpose, a specific task she was put on this earth to accomplish, except she doesn't know what it is. Her visions of a raging forest fire and a mysterious boy lead her to a new high school in a new town but provide no clear instruction. 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 the boy in her vision and the boy in her life, 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?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hand debuts with an engrossing take on the angel mythos that centers on human/angel hybrids living modern lives. All semihuman descendants of angels have a "purpose," something they were put on Earth to do, and 16-year-old Clara is no exception. Following the clues in her visions, Clara and her family move from California to Wyoming to find the boy she believes she's destined to save from a forest fire. Locating Christian is fairly easy; figuring out why and how she's supposed to get close to him isn't. As Clara negotiates high school cliques and homework, learns to use her wings, and suffers oddly stimulating arguments with her best friend's brother, she finds she will have to make decisions that could break her heart or deny her very purpose. Hand avoids overt discussion of religion while telling an engaging and romantic tale with solid backstory. Her characters deal realistically with the uncertainty of being on the cusp of maturity without wrapping themselves in angst. While the exciting climax satisfactorily concludes many of the story's threads, some questions are left to the next book of the trilogy. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Lisa Kuehne
How does someone choose between destiny and desire? Clara Gardner has known for several years she's part angel and her destiny is to complete a specific mission for God. With every new dream, she grows closer to uncovering the clues and fulfilling her destiny. Her family moves to Wyoming to help her find the mysterious boy she must save from a ravenous fire. When she discovers Christian, certainly the cutest guy in her new school, is the boy needing rescued; could life get any better? Clara focuses on developing a relationship with Christian. There's an unfortunate kink in her plan, his current girlfriend. Hand weaves her magic and takes us along Clara's emotional rollercoaster. When Clara begins having strong feelings for Tyler, the boy who has been getting under her skin since she arrived in Wyoming, her mission becomes compromised and involves an impossible sacrifice she might not be ready to make. Readers are sure to get fully engaged and end up attached to Hand's remarkable characters. Be prepared, Clara's journey will leave you intrigued and ready for the sequel. Reviewer: Lisa Kuehne
VOYA - Deborah L. Dubois
Clara has always been better at most things than others. She is smarter than most kids her age, can run faster, and can speak languages she never studied. Clara learned she was angel-blood at age fourteen, but she begins to have the vision and learn her purpose when she is sixteen. She is in a forest with the smell of smoke all around, and a boy about her age stands with his back to her. Her purpose has something to do with this boy and the fire. As more details are revealed in the vision, her mother uproots Clara and her brother, Jeffrey, from their home in California and moves them to Wyoming, where Clara will fulfill her destiny. Clara meets Christian, whom she recognizes as the boy in her vision. She comes to love Tucker, her best friend's brother. Danger and grief threaten to overcome her while she makes choices no teen should have to make. In this coming-of-age novel, Clara struggles with learning how to be an angel and fulfill her purpose while trying to be normal and fit in with the others at her new school. She feels increasingly distant from her mother and confused by what is expected of her. Hand has crafted a story of angels among us that is intriguing and believable while appealing to those interested in the paranormal. This debut novel is the first in a trilogy, and readers will be left wanting to know more about Clara, Tucker, and Christian. Reviewer: Deborah L. Dubois
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Clara Gardner is a quarter-angel. She lives with her mom and brother in California, until she starts to receive visions of her divine purpose involving a handsome young man, a forest fire, and sadness. The teen and her mom slowly piece together her visions and realize that the fire is near Jackson, WY. Clara's family packs up and moves there so that she can fulfill her destiny. She meets the boy from her vision, Christian, but he already has a girlfriend and a popular set of friends. She tries to get closer to him, but is distracted by friends, trying to learn to fly, and a cute, but annoying cowboy. Despite her brief visions, Clara doesn't know much about her angelic nature. She meets Angela, who is also an angel, and guesses that Clara is too. Clara learns that fallen angels have dark wings and will try to take her powers. The day of her purpose comes and she must make an impossible choice—do what she is supposed to do or save the boy she loves. Although the book is lengthy, the plot moves quickly and should appeal to reluctant readers. Hand does an excellent job of creating and sustaining the mood of teenage angst mixed with first love. A gentle, paranormal romance that is sure to appeal to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight (Little, Brown, 2005) fans. First book in a projected trilogy.—Samantha Larsen Hastings, Riverton Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews

After receiving visions of saving a teenage boy from a forest fire, 16-year-old Clara Gardner (one-quarter angel-blood), her half-angel mother and her younger brother relocate from their suburban California home to Teton County, Wyo., so Clara can find this mysterious boy and realize her angel purpose. Despite the ever-growing surge of angel stories and its hefty length, this solid debut novel stands out with even pacing, fully developed characters, vivid descriptions of the West's rugged beauty and Clara's independent spirit. As she learns more about her gifts and angel lore—particularly fallen angels known as Black Wings—from her evasive mother and a fellow angel-blood classmate, Clara struggles with her mother's expectations of her purpose (is she just a heavenly puppet?) and her desire to acknowledge her human side (does she have any control of her own life?), as well as her feelings for both Christian, the boy from her visions, and rodeo star Tucker. The cliffhanger ending, with an unexpected twist, leaves plenty to ponder until the sequel. A divine supernatural romance. (Paranormal romance. YA)

Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Hand has crafted a story of angels among us that is intriguing and believable while appealing to those interested in the paranormal.”
Richelle Mead
Utterly captivating. One of the most addictive books I’ve read in a while.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061996160
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/04/2011
Series:
Unearthly Series, #1
Pages:
435
Sales rank:
122,949
Product dimensions:
8.56(w) x 5.84(h) x 1.38(d)
Lexile:
HL660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Cynthia Hand is a native of southeastern Idaho and currently lives with her husband and two children in Southern California, where she teaches writing at Pepperdine University. She has graduate degrees in creative writing from Boise State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Instead of a muse, Cynthia has a guardian angel named Buster. He wears a Stetson in place of a halo, prefers a beat-up pickup truck to flying, and loves to correct Cynthia's grammar.

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