Unearthly tells the story of Clara, a teenage angel blood who is set to discover her purpose for being on earth. When she consistently has a vision of saving a handsome boy from a forest fire, she and her family move to the town where it will take place, hoping that doing so will also help the kinks in Clara’s vision iron themselves out so she knows exactly what she has to do.
After a slightly mortifying first meeting – she faints in the school hallway – Clara finally meets Christian Prescott, the school’s resident heart-throb and the boy from her vision. Unfortunately Christian has the stereotypical jock set-up; beautiful, popular, and slightly mean girlfriend Kay. Clara also meets annoying but, increasingly charismatic, Tucker, who calls her carrots because of her dyed orange hair, kicks the back of her chair in class and consistently teases her. Despite being the brother of one of her close friends Wendy, Clara doesn’t see much in him other than annoyance.
She continues to get to know Christian and when he breaks up with his girlfriend she invites him to prom, despite insisting she wasn’t going to go. You can see Christian and Clara’s relationship start to bloom but is constantly hit by road blocks. For example, at prom he leaves Clara to take Kay home after she’s abandoned by her date, which see’s Tucker step in and take Clara home. Then Christian goes on an out of town internship over summer leaving Clara alone; Wendy also gets an internship and Angela – a somewhat quiet but intense girl who Clara makes friends with when, working on their history project together, Angela reveals to Clara that she knows all too well about the existence of angels, and that Clara is one – goes to vacation with her family, even Clara’s mother goes away for work. Leaving Clara with only her 15 year old brother Jeffery for ‘company’.
That is until, for her birthday, Wendy gives Tucker to Clara for the day to take her hiking and make sure she has a good day. From then on you see a different side to Tucker and see their relationship start to develop.
I really really enjoyed this book and the story had plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested. At the beginning of the book you do think that, as standard, Clara will fall in love with Christian and it will be heart wrenching when her purpose is over and she is yanked away from him. Yet there is so much more to this story than that. While you can see the chemistry between Clara and Christian and really want it to work out, when Tucker comes in to the story as a potential romantic interest I found myself rooting for him, because of his loveable character and how easy their relationship is, whereas Christian comes with all the complications of the purpose and maybe still being in love with his ex.
There are little hints that Tucker could become a potential love interest but at the beginning Clara’s not concentrating on anything but Christian, so you do kind of over look it. Whereas, when Christian is taken out of the picture and you see Clara spend time with Tucker I for one found myself really liking Tucker, and feeling as though he is the one she should be with.
However, this book did leave a lot of questions unanswered so I’m pretty glad this is the first in a trilogy. Clara’s mother is always so secretive of her past purpose and is very reluctant to let Clara fully into the world of knowledge of angels, so when she starts spending time with Angela she becomes wary. She’s always very cryptic and you get the sense that there is something bigger at play here than Clara knows yet, and I can’t wait to see what that is. You get a glimpse of it nearing the end of the book in a, kind of, battle between a black wing (or a fallen angel) and Clara’s mother whom already knows him, yet it is not revealed how or why she knows him.
The ending of the book had a final twist to do with Christian that I was just NOT expecting, and when it’s time for Clara to fulfill her purpose it’s a heart wrenching race against time as you read on to find out what she will do and what choice she will make, and what she does find out about Christian is very much a “I totally didn’t see that coming” moment.
I also really liked the way Cynthia Hand wrote. For instance the description of the arch the family stand under when the tourists take their picture, the way Clara’s hair is described the first time she brings glory is also, just beautiful – it made me want to dye my hair that colour. The book was described so vividly that I could picture what was going on in my head so clearly which also, I think, made me fall in love with the story even more because you feel like you’re there experiencing it all in that world. I’m very excited to get my hands on Hallowed, the second book in the trilogy, to see how the story progresses, because there really is no telling.