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Unearthly: (Book 1 of Unearthly Trilogy) Kindle Edition

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Length: 453 pages
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

As if adolescence isn’t enough, California girl Clara has recently begun to come into her powers as a Quartarius, a quarter-angel. Her half-angel single mother lends support, helping to puzzle through visions that reveal tantalizing portions of Clara’s “purpose.” The visions’ clues—a forest fire, license plate, and boy in a black fleece jacket—lead the family to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There, on Clara’s first day of school, she meets her destiny: A-list football player Christian, the boy of the vision. She also makes friends with two very different girls: easygoing, horse-crazy Wendy, and intense loner Angela. It’s Wendy’s twin brother, Tucker, though, who begins to drive the plot, unwittingly seeming to change Clara’s purpose. If some of this series starter seems overly familiar—the rural setting, the two love interests, the dark powers at work—the details about angels make up for it. The dynamics of flying, the intense shining of “glory,” and an unplanned trip to hell are all creatively addressed. Grades 7-10. --Karen Cruze

Product Details

  • File Size: 724 KB
  • Print Length: 453 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (April 19, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 19, 2011
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003VIWNKS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,751 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Cynthia Hand grew up in southeast Idaho, just outside the town of Idaho Falls. From as far back as she can remember, she loved books and reading, and wrote her first short story (about a fairy being born in a tulip) when she was around six years old--pretty much as soon as she could write. Her second grade teacher, Mrs. Widdison, told Cynthia that she'd be an author some day, and Cynthia believed her. She kept writing stories all through grade school, most of them wildly fantastical musings on supernatural beings or creatures, none of which ever won the annual short story competition where the writer got to meet Kenneth Thomasma,the author of one of Cynthia's favorite books, Naya Nuki. Cynthia learned early on that if you wanted to win the writing contest, you should write stories about that time your parents got their car stuck in the snow on the side of a mountain just before dark. You should not write about a group of unicorns fighting to take over an island from an alien invasion. Cynthia kept writing about unicorns anyway.

In middle school and high school, she and her friends formed a writing group that wrote fan fiction about their favorite novels and movies. Each person in the group invented a new character in the decided-upon world (they wrote about Elfquest, Vampire Hunter D, X-Men, Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series, Anne McCafferty's Pern series, Star Wars, and SeaQuest (anyone remember SeaQuest?) and wrote exclusively from that character's point of view, sharing their writing as they went, collectively shaping what happened to these characters. Early on Cynthia was appointed the "editor" of their work, meaning that she collected it all, typed it, and edited it. She loved and possibly abused her power with the red pen.

In middle school and high school Cynthia also, on top of all the fan-fic writing, took piano lessons, danced tap and ballet, raced on the Kelly Canyon ski team, acted or teched in every school play and several plays for the community theater, sang in the school choir, took AP classes, and somehow managed to find time to eat and sleep enough to stay alive. There was a period during her junior year when she arrived at school at 5:30 a.m. and didn't get home until around 10 p.m., five days a week. She took the words insanely busy to a whole new level.

Cynthia went to college at the College of Idaho, where she majored in English (because she still loved to read, dangit) with a pre-law emphasis. She kept writing, as a hobby, she told everybody (especially her dad, who wanted her to have a solid, well-paying job) but focused on classes in constitutional law and international politics. She kept this up until the beginning of her senior year, when one day, neck deep in the law section of the library, she had this thought: I don't want to be a lawyer. I want to be a writer. So she broke the news to her parents and her advisers, who were all dismayed but tried to be understanding (especially her dad), and started to work on applying to M.F.A. programs in creative writing. Cynthia was lucky enough to get on the wait list of Boise State University.

At Boise State, Cynthia was determined to become a "serious writer," to the point where she cut up pictures of her favorite literary authors (Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Alice Walker, Jane Smiley, Harper Lee, Tobias Wolff, Andre Dubus, Rick Bass, Joyce Carol Oates and many others) and taped them to the edges of her computer screen, so that she'd be reminded of greatness every time she sat down to write. No pressure or anything. It was in Boise that Cynthia fell head over heels in love with literary fiction, which she wrote exclusively for the next nine years, and with teaching. Just when she thought she was finally figuring out how to be a writer, she got kicked out (okay, not kicked out, she graduated with an M.F.A. in fiction writing). She wanted to keep studying, so she applied for Ph.D.s around the country, settling eventually on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In Nebraska, three hugely important things happened: Cynthia met her future husband, the writer and poet John Struloeff, she published her first short story, which she submitted to try to impress John Struloeff, and she connected with her agent.

Fast forward five years. Cynthia and John have married, graduated with their Ph.D.s, and had a son named Will. John landed a fantastic job as the director of the Creative Writing department at Pepperdine University, where Cynthia also had the pleasure of teaching one or two classes a semester. She has settled into "real life," but something is missing: writing. She's just not feeling it. This goes on for a couple years until one fateful night, the night that Unearthly first started stirring in her mind.

It's been a wild ride since then. . .

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Brandi Breathes Books on February 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Unearthly is a delightful read, focusing on Nephilim, or as they prefer in this book angel-blood. The writing is paced wonderfully and the story gripped me right away. Cynthia has created likable and easy to relate with characters, that I was emotionally invested in.

Clara, the main character, is a great narrator- I could easily understand where she was coming from with her actions and emotions. I liked that she wasn't fully informed on the whole angel world, and that I got to learn with her, and that I was questioning everything just like her. I was able to relate with her- her insecurities, fears and doubts. She isn't a perfect character and I love her for that- I can see growth in her, and I feel more connected to her through her weaknesses. Not that she is a doormat- she has some fiest in her, which is commendable. She has to face some hard situations- choosing between love and destiny.

Her friends, Angela and Wendy are fantastic- I would take them as my besties in an instant. They are funny, supportive, and they both have their own personalities. They both help Clara to grow in different but important ways. Wendy also pushes her brother, and Clara's love interest to her, and helps it to develop.

There is a love triangle, which is very well written. One is her love, and one she has a crush on to begin with but it seems that he is her destiny. I am firmly on team Tucker, but I can see the appeal of Christian as well. I like that Tucker and Clara's relationship grows through friendship first, unlike with Christian, even though she sees him in visions, it seems to be an automatic thing, built more from physical attraction. It is hard to judge there though, because Clara does have a bigger purpose- and she doesn't know all the details, even at the end.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Alistair Crowley on December 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I don't understand other people missing these points I'm about to make but they were repeated and blindingly obvious for me and I've never read a more superficial, selfish and incompetent character than Clara. Clara is an angel-blood, faced with a "purpose" that all angel-bloods must accomplish to .... NEVER EXPLAINED really. Except, if you imagine angels are holy/divine/supernatural well you'll soon realize Clara only thinks about: her own looks, people's status at her school and BOYS. Her purpose in life revolves around BOYS. You'd think that angel-bloods have better things to do than get embroiled in the petty world of worrying about boys but you'd be wrong. This book is more of a teenage first romance disguised as a supernatural book. If Clara was more likeable, that would be fine but she's intolerable.

1. Clara whines about her dyed hair because it's "orange." Charming when Anne of Green Gables does it, not charming when an angel-blood who KNOWS EVERY LANGUAGE, is stronger, faster and "smarter" than mere mortals does it. What, you're leagues better than other humans but all you can focus on is your own hair color and what boys think when they see you? She also envies her friend Angela for having normal hair. Her observations are entrenched in petty superficial observations, whining about her LIFE IS THE WORST and how she HATES HER SAD LIFE all because her hair isn't a nice color. Seriously?

2. When she talks to her brother, "And I'm ticked off, ticked off at everything, at my whole crappy life..." all because of her hair color and some other insignificant events I can't help but think she's the most ungrateful character in any book.
-HER FATHER buys her a Prius at the drop of a phone call, he buys her brother cars.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Steph Sinclair on May 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Hush, Hush, who? Halo, what? Fallen, huh?

After reading the catastrophe Hush, Hush, I had pretty much given up on reading any more books involving angels. As far as I was concerned it would be my first and last angel book. I resisted the urge (mostly thanks to my dear Goodreads friend's reviews) to pick up Halo and Fallen, even though they still remain on my TBR shelf. At first glance I thought, "435 pages?! This means 435 pages of misery or 435 pages of awesomeness." Needless to say, I was not very optimistic about this book, demoting it all the way to the bottom of the library book pile. But, I decided to give it a chance. And I can honestly say I'm glad I did. Unearthly will make you forget all about those sad, pathetic excuses for a book about angels. Unearthly is the real deal.

Unearthly tells the story of a 16 year-old girl, Clara, who is 1/4 part angel-blood. The book opens with her discovering her purpose in life. It appears she is destined to save a young boy from a forest fire. So, together with her mother and brother, Jeffery, they pack up their house and home and move from California to Wyoming.

At first glance, you think you have this book figured out. You're thinking, "Ok, I know what's going to happen. She is going to save this dude and they are going to fall in love, yada, yada, yada." And just when you're feeling really clever for single-handedly predicting the outcome of the book, Cynthia Hand shatters your preconceptions. I love a good plot twist and this book exceeded my expectations.

A few things I LOVED about Unearthly:

1. No disappearing parent syndrome. Clara's mother was very much apart of her life. Albeit mysteriously, she is always there to help Clara with succeeding in fulfilling her purpose.

2.
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