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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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

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Unearthly Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.56(w) x 5.84(h) x 1.38(d)
HL660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Richelle Mead
Utterly captivating. One of the most addictive books I've read in a while. Unearthly had me lying awake at night, wondering what would happen next. (Richelle Mead, bestselling author of Vampire Academy)

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Unearthly 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 714 reviews.
BookaholicTracy More than 1 year ago
Awesome Weekend Read. Loved it from beginning to end
kittydanza More than 1 year ago
UNEARTHLY, by Cynthia Hand, is a phenomenal story with a creative approach to angels. I started this book and could not put it down. Hand weaved a mesmerizing tale coupled with an epic romance that left me wanting more! There are not enough words to describe how much I loved this book. Each page sucked me into this story deeper and deeper until I could not stop reading until the end. I loved the idea of a 'purpose' for Clara and other angel-bloods. The history of the angel-bloods was very intricate and I anticipated gaining more knowledge as the book went on. Although Christian was Clara's main focus, I always enjoy a hate turned to love relationship which she shared with Tucker. Tucker was not the most popular guy in school but he sure was perfect to me. Handsome, charming, and so sweet! I wanted to jump into the book and steal him for myself. And the tension! I have to say Hand definitely has a talent for heightening romantic tension. There are a ton of questions that I had by the end of this book that are still unanswered. The ending was nothing like I expected and I am anxious to see how Clara deals with several revelations that occurred. Hand wrapped it up just enough to keep me satisfied, but I anticipate the sequel to get the rest of my questions answered.
shmy More than 1 year ago
Unearthly is about the decision of Clara a quarter angel between love and destiny, and if that is not enough there's she also has to decide at some point between two boys: Christian and Tucker. Tucker being the boy that teases her and calls her "Carrots," but that also makes her feel normal. And Christian, being the boy that is part of her purpose and destiny, and also the picture perfect kind of boy. I found myself rooting more for the couple than for Clara's purpose. So, I'd safely say I became invested in a couple and I picked I side in the triangle between Tucker and Christian. I really enjoyed Clara's point of vie, she's funny, and honest about her feelings even when she's jealous. Clara's relationship with her mother Maggie is what I liked the most in this book. Parents in YA are virtually non-existent and it always turns into a double life for the main character. Not in Unearthly, Maggie is a actually a half angel and she tries her best to guide her children throughout the "finding your purpose" process. Of course I have the feeling she's not being entirely honest about everything she knows by the end of the book, I felt the same way about Angela, another half angel in this book and Clara's friend. I have to say I found the lack of Jeffrey, Clara's brother, disturbing, he's also a quarter angel and he should be experiencing the same confusion Clara is and yet we rarely get too see what's going on with him. Until the last part of the book when we see Jeffrey has his own tale to tell. There were many questions floating in my mind when I finished this book, what's Maggie's secret? Sam's secret? What happen to Jeffrey and the color of his wings? Does Angela have an agenda? I really think so. I wished the author had not been so specific about things or name dropping things like Map Quest and Barnes and Noble among other things. I fear these come with an expiration date. What will happen if Barnes and Noble merges with Borders and someone picks up Unearthly after that? Mmm, I do wonder. The pacing in this book is fantastic, I found it really hard to put down and that hadn't happen to me in a while. I laughed, I almost-cried (believe that's compliment enough), and I kept on reading. Would I read the next book in the series? Absolutely, actually the first thing I did after finishing was look up if there was going to be a sequel. And lucky for me, its going to be a trilogy.
ChelseaW More than 1 year ago
There are angels that walk among humans, and Clara Gardner is one of them. She has wings, glowing hair, and a weird magnetism to birds. At sixteen, she begins to have visions and is given her purpose: to save a boy from a wildfire. Her mom and brother pack up and follow clues in the vision to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Clara enrolls in the local high school. Though she is an outsider, it doesn't take her long to make friends with two girls, Wendy and Angela. As well as two guys, Christian and Tucker. But as her visions come more and more frequently, Clara discovers not everyone is who they seem. First I want to mention how much I totally love the cover. No angel wings or anything like that, but a very ethereal girl and a beautiful dress. Great job, design team! I really liked how there wasn't a whole lot of time to get to know Clara before she came into her powers. It is always fun to watch a character discover hidden powers and such, but in time when there are SO many angel stories out there, it was refreshing to be thrown into Clara's world without the wait. The mystery unravels at a snails pace, building a slow and powerful suspense. Cynthia Hand created great tension by having Clara recognize there are parts of her mission that she doesn't yet know but needs to find out in order to fulfill her purpose. Angela was an adorable secondary character, one with her own story worthy of it's own book! And I don't think I've liked a dude in YA paranormal this much since Jude from the Immortals series. But Tucker! He was rugged, handsome, and total swept me off my feet while he showed Clara around the area. I have my fingers crossed that we will see a lot more of him next time. This is a planned trilogy and I wait with baited breath for part two!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this story to be rather enjoyable. Twilight fans will like this book. I like how the author described certain aspects or powers that an angel might have here on earth.
vampireprincess18 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, I really like the story line. It actually felt, very real. A real life family with sibling squabbles. Except these squabbles were not from who gets to watch TV or has to clean.. its about moving across the country to an all new house, school, friends, and climate. All for a "purpose"(pun intended) :) I recommend this series to anyone who loves a great story, with family, young romance, and excitement, and a little paranormalcy. This has a little of everything and just enough of it.I love the idea of angels in our midst..
Sophie_DG More than 1 year ago
This one so surpassed my expectations. I had already been hearing good things about it for a few weeks, and when I saw it in the bookstore -- GORGEOUS!!! So glad I bought it. The characters are interesting and well-rounded, especially Tucker (!!!), Clara, and Clara's mom. I just fell in love with them. I missed them when it was over. I so wanted to be there in that story! The overall story was completely new. I just found myself turning the pages, thinking I knew what would happen next but always being surprsied, then wondering what I would do in the same situation. It constantly broke my expectations, which I loved. And the sudden revelation near the end? Okay. Finish the next book soon, please! The cover is just stunning. Sooooo much better than on the computer screen. Go see for yourself, and you'll know exactly what I mean. Just.....Wow. Oh, and did I I say I liked the book? :) GO READ IT!!!!! You will not be disappointed.
LauriannReads More than 1 year ago
I picked "Unearthly" up from the shelf initially because it had a beautiful cover. When I read the synopsis and saw Richelle Mead's blurb on the cover, I was sold since Mead's Vampire Academy series is one of my favorites and I have enjoyed other angel stories I've read. Once I got a few chapters into "Unearthly," I could hardly make myself put it down even to take care of regular real-life necessities. You know, eating, sleeping, etc. I finished the book far too quickly, leaving me somewhat crushed when I realized it's the first in a series and I'm going to have to wait a year or so for the next to come out. After moving to a new town with a new school, Clara has to deal with the typical issues that any teen would face in such a situation: making new friends and unintentional enemies, figuring out who's who in the school, etc. But on top of all that, she's got the added pressure of being an "angel-blood" with a "purpose" to decipher and then fulfill. But when she finds herself pulled in another direction, she has big decisions to make that could effect much more than just her own life. I fell in love right along with her, and could feel how torn she was about her decisions. The main characters' personalities were well developed, but they retained enough mystery to keep you wanting to get to know them better. The scenery is described very nicely, making me long for a trip the mountains to fly fish in the cold mountain rivers. Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised with this impulse buy and have been highly recommending it to all of my friends who enjoy good YA books (and some who don't).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was fascinating and delightful, the romance was built well, with actual character development. Only issue: there wasnt really a "villain" but that might change in the next book. Overall a really unique and well-written novel with interesting mythos behind it and plenty of intrigue to keep the plot moving.
MsGlam More than 1 year ago
So just.. WOW!!! I LOVED this book from the very first page. I don't even know where to start because everything and I mean EVERYTHING about this book is just......amazing 5/5 STARS!!!! The storyline pulled me in from the very first paragraph and kept me engross till the very end just praying it wouldn't end. There were parts that were predictable while others just caught me by surprise but yet it totally fit the story and I can now see how I missed the subtle clues letting me know what was coming. This is one of those books where you get bits and pieces of information at a time however all the way through the book you have enough information that you are not clueless to what is going on. That was one of the things I really liked about the book I never felt clueless to what was happening. Cynthia Hand's writing style is very easy to follow. Oh and the characters.so well written and developed even the minor characters. Tucker and his gentleman ways, Angela and her intensity (oh is she focused.lol), Christian and his swagger, Wendy and her kindness, and Clara well she is an angel-blood so what is there not to like about Clara. Cynthia Hand did a remarkable job of bringing these characters to life. I can't wait to see more of them and how their story unfolds. So needless to say I am not so patiently waiting for the next book and thanks to Netgalley and the ARC they provided for me to review I have to wait even longer because Unearthly isn't even out yet. This is definitely a series I will be adding to my favorite books list as I was captivated from the very first page and screaming for more once the pages ended.
Ems_Reading_Room More than 1 year ago
Color me shocked, I loved this book. I don't love paranormal romance. I generally find it shallow and uninteresting and all about the romance. For the first few chapters I thought, "Eh, this is the same old thing I've read a hundred times." Then, it all changed. I don't want to give anything away, but the main character does something in this book around chapter 13 that had me doing some serious celebrating. Clara is a woman after my own heart. She understands her destiny and her purpose, but she doesn't allow herself to be trampled on. Reason number two that I loved this book. Tucker. Tucker is the best thing to happen to YA fiction since Gilbert Blythe. I loved that he called Clara carrots. Also, he has HOBBIES! He doesn't sit in his room and listen to music and brood. It's river rafting, fishing, hiking, and the like. Talk about a breath of fresh air. Last major reason that I loved this story were for Clara's friends Wendy and Angela. They were both important to the story in different ways and weren't just a faceless filler for friends. (aka Jessica in Twilight). Her friendship with both of them was genuine. Now, this wasn't the perfect book. I felt like the ending left a bit to be desired. I am not a cliff-hanger kind of girl. I like seeing more resolutions than more questions. And, unfortunately, there was a lot that wasn't answered. Also, I felt like there were a few gaps in the story towards the middle. Wendy and Angela go on trips/internships (oh so convenient) and it's like communication with them ceases until they return. I would have liked to have seen more interaction between Clara and her girl friends. Overall, this book exceeded my expectations. It was the first book I read in 2011, and I chose very well. I can't wait for the sequel, and I have a feeling that I'll be recommending this book a lot. And, as a PS, two other things I thought were done well were the angel folklore and the culture in Wyoming. Well done Ms. Hand. Well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, this book takes "not being able to book a book down" to a whole new level, it gives it a whole different meaning! I skip a day of school, went to bed early (like at 8 or 9), stayed up till like 1 or 2 for like half a week so I could read this. Even when I could barely keep my eyes open, and the words were getting really blurry, I couldn't tear myself away it was that good!!!!! I love it so much!!!!! You have to read it! Everytime I thought about this book I got really excited! I can't wait to read the next one! I disapointed because therd are only two books! :(
Sue Benefiel More than 1 year ago
Love it............love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LLL_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Cynthia Hand's Unearthly is like a drink of iced cold water after the first leg of a hike. Refreshing and exactly what I want and need. Unearthly will definitely have readers/bloggers singing praise. ******************* Unearthly is a young adult paranormal romance that just hot shelves. Being an adult and young adult reader sometimes I find YA books to tame for me (which is perfect for the intended audience) but then there are books like Unearthly that possess memorizing plot an even more so characters. ******************* The mother, Magaret/Maggie, is by no means absent in Clara's life but play s huge role in it. I applaud Cynthia for pulling that one off with no bumps in the road. Non-existent/preoccupied parents are pretty common in YA so when I see the parent role fulfilled but not hindering the teen hero/heroine from growing I am excited!=) ******************* From start to finish, there is nothing I can complain about. Unearthly captures its reader and the romance is sweet, unexpected, and fully explored. I am entranced to no end. My sister will be getting a copy. There is nothing inappropriate for teens and even great for adults who genuinely love YA PNR. Oh, the ending is where everything comes together but it's not over. Not by a long shot. So come 2012, I will be reading the installment. *******************
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
This book is complete and total awesomeness! I loved reading it and was hooked immediately. Clara knows what she is. She has had her first vision and is excited to fulfill her destiny. Finding her way to her purpose, Clara discovers it is not as easy as it seems. Clara is faced with a new town, people and is suddenly struggling to fit in. When an unlikely person takes notice on her, something breaks. Clara is faced with a descion on who to save. With her heart hanging, she must save only one. Who will she choose? Clara is an extraordinary character. With her back round on angels, she is contempt and ready to face the world. After moving, she faces many struggles that teenagers face when you move to a new town, new place. I was glad that their were a few who were nice to her. The romance in the book was staggering. I felt her heart falling for the guy. The guys was sweet and caring. Everything you would hope to have. When Clara made her choice, I was heartbroken. I felt for her and hope it would all end well for her. The ending was shocking. It left me surprise and hanging. I loved how it ended. It was perfect to what the book was all leading up too. I just want to read the second book already, so I can figure out what happen. If you love a great angels story, with research and romance, then read this book. I can guarantee you that it will be on heck of an reading experience!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED it. it was AWESOME
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ABSOLUTELY loved this book. It was something I could not set down and I kept reading till the wee hours of the morning. I started to get so into the book that I felt the emotions and thoughts of the main character, Clara. Definetely an interesting and intriguing book. I would recommend this to anyone. If you like this book, you'll want to read the rest of this series. What are you waiting for! I suggest you buy it now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the book, Clara is your average straight A student, but she is also an angel blood. She moves to Wyoming, to fulfill her purpose, but she finds friends like Angela and Wendy. She also meets Tucker, Wendy's twin brother, and also her dream come true. She also meets Christian, who is the man in her visions, but he is going out with Kay, a diva. He seems to have a large part in her purpose though... Clara has to decide between Tucker, who she wants to be with and Christian, who she is meant to be with. I love Clara's careful, but outgoing personality and the storyline itself, it is hard to put down. If you are into love triangles and supernatural stories you might like this, it is a sweet and elegant tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hmm.. im sorry but if your looking for a really good read about finding out angels and love triangles, i recommend City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Its a thousand times a better love story and a really good edgy urban fantasy book too. This book on the other hand pales in comparison. Sorry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book a while ago but never read it, not sure why but i didnt. I started reading it two days ago and i couldnt put it down!! I enjoyed it so much. One of the best books i have ever read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great book. I could not put it down. I read it in less than two days!
book4children More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I've truly enjoyed a book in the angel genre. I have read quite a few angel books, but most of the time I find them tacky and cliche. Unearthly had it's fair share of cliche's, but I enjoyed the characters so much that I almost didn't even notice the things that would normally bother me. I loved Cynthia Hand's writing. Especially in the first few chapters, I thought her writing was beautiful. As the story moves further along it loses a bit of the eloquence, but by that point I was so wrapped up in everything that I didn't care. I found the concept of a Purpose very interesting, especially since Clara has such diluted angel blood. She is only a quarter part angel. The way her Purpose is communicated to her was fascinating, coming in a dreamlike vision while she is wide awake. The love triangle was different than in most YA novels, and I liked the way Clara navigated her love life. I felt like she fell in love with the right guy. ;) Christian is a typical, overly gorgeous hero that most people seem to love and I never do. Not that there is really anything to dislike, but I just like Tucker more. Tucker is awesome. He is 100% adorable. His reaction to Clara was perfectly normal and I was happy to finally see that in a paranormal romance. I was left with a lot of questions about the story, which was probably intentional so that I will read the next books in the series. I couldn't help but wonder what Clara's brother was involved in, and why she didn't really seem too concerned about it. I also wondered what was the deal with the dark angel and why did he pop up in the story? Why was he even there? There were a few things that irritated me about the book, but I really enjoyed reading it. It was an intriguing book and I have to admit that I am hooked and will definitely be reading the rest of the series. The Cover: It's a nice representation of the actual story. It is similar to other books in the genre while still having a unique aspect about it. I LOVE the title design. I want to find that font...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read about angles and life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It is one of my faves.