Home About Contact Policies Reviews Challenges Giveaways Image Map

"Unearthly" Book Review

Hello, fellow readers! Alex here! (okay, that sounded kind of lame...) If you’ve been following our blog, you should be expecting reviews of “Unearthly” (Alex), by Cynthia Hand, and “The Future of Us” (Montana) by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. Here’s the review of “Unearthly”:

Okay, so I’ll admit, when I opened up this book I thought, “Oh no–this is going to be some trashy Twilight rip-off.” Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised–although Unearthly borrowed some Twilight-like elements (the Genesis quote at the beginning of the novel, the imagery- packed prologue in the beginning, moving to a small town, Clara’s clumsiness, etc), it was refreshingly original compared to the numerous vampire/werewolf novels out there. Before I go into depth with a full-on review, here’s what you need to know:

Clara is part angel (or an angel-blood, as Hand refers to it), and apparently, all angels (and part angels) have a divine purpose in life. Clara’s purpose is brought to her in a series of visions: to save a boy she doesn’t know anything about (besides his Abercrombie and Fitch worthy looks) from a forest fire. As in, she has no idea where he lives, why she has to save him, or even what his name is. But, because the plot has to move forward, Clara and her family eventually find out where he is, when she’ll have to save him (but not why), and how to hide her angel powers in a modern high school society (because she has to do something while she’s there).

And now, back to the review. I liked Hand’s writing style, and the angel mythology of the novel was fascinating. So fascinating, that I wish the author had spent more time with it. In the beginning of the novel, she jumps right into Clara’s visions and why the family has to move. She doesn’t stop and take time to explain the angel world, or even why angels have a purpose, until chapter four (actually, she doesn’t answer the second question at all). Don’t get me wrong, I like a little suspense here and there, but the novel didn’t suck me in enough to keep reading and figure out where everything was going. Plus, I thought the side plot detailing Clara’s “daddy issues” was thrown in and completely irrelevant to the plot. And I felt no sympathy for Clara in the beginning–why should I care that she has to move? The author hasn’t taken us into her world and introduced us to her friends–in the beginning, it seems like Clara is just a big loner, like she has no friends at all. The author constantly contradicts herself (if the town Clara moves to is so small and cut off from society, then how is the high-school so prestigious? Also, if angel-bloods are so good at everything they try due to angel powers, then why does Clara describe herself as clumsy in the beginning, and why does it take her so long to learn how to fly?) Finally, I wish the author had spent more time with Clara’s visions–if I were Clara, I’d be more concerned with figuring out my divine purpose in life, not spending all my time with a cute boy.

Okay, now before you call me a Debbie Downer, or a Negative Nancy, or a Cynical Cindy (you get the picture), I didn’t hate Unearthly. It had a lot of nice points. Like I said, I liked Hand’s writing style, and Unearthly was such a fun read that I was able to finish it in a day. Plus, one of Clara’s love interests, Tucker, is completely irresistible, and is officially my new book crush. I like that Clara has a good relationship with her mother, because so many book heroines hate their parents. And even when Clara’s social life is in the toilet, she still does what she needs to do, and doesn’t completely fall apart (although her thoughts are still consumed by two boys 24/7).

Overall, I’d give Unearthly three and a half out of five stars. Although not deserving of a Pulitzer Prize, it was good (enough), and I am curious to read the sequel to Unearthly (Hallowed), to see what happens to Clara and her world.

Tune in next week for my review on “Someone Like You,” by Sarah Dessen. You can find Montana’s review on “The Future of Us” above.

Happy Reading!


  1. I really need to still read this one!!! :) I've had it sitting in my Kindle for months!

  2. sounds like a book I would like. Great review. :)


Hi! Thank you so much for commenting, I read each and every comment and love reading them :) Also, I'll comment back as soon as I can. Happy Reading!