Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Source: ARC provided through Amazon Vine
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 a purpose, 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. (Goodreads)
Had a little bit of deja vu with this story; teenage angel falls in love with a human boy and doesn't take into consideration how her actions might affect her destiny. Sound familiar? This seems to be an emerging theme lately, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the book. Sometimes it's all about the journey, so even if the path is the same, getting there is still worth it!
Clara is a Quartarius, which means that she's a quarter-angel. Her mother is a Dimidius, or half-angel. In Hand's universe, angels have wings, can fly, and are stronger than ordinary humans. There are other perks and powers to having angel blood, but I don't want to spoil any of the surprises! No mention is made of whether or not Clara's children will have any angelic abilities, as the angel blood power seems to become diluted, with Dimidius being stronger than Quartarius.
A large part of the plot deals with Clara's Purpose, which every angel blood has and is why they were put on Earth. An angel blood's purpose sounds like a pretty big deal and she does get visions, but only in bits and pieces. She is understandably frustrated by this, but I was still a little disappointed that she was willing to gamble with her destiny like she does. And I wish her mom had shared her purpose with us, as Clara and I were both curious.
Not only did I like Clara, but I also liked her new friends! Especially Wendy, who seemed like a really nice girl. Would have liked to have seen more of Clara's brother, as it would be different to see things from a male angel's point of view. Maybe we'll hear his story in a future book?
Gave this one a 4/5 as I enjoyed the story despite the sense of deja vu! Liked the characters, thought it was well-paced, it had an interesting plot, and I'm curious about these characters and what might happen to them next. Think that Cynthia is a very talented writer, and am definitely a new fan!
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