Unearthly: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Unearthly by Cynthia HandClara Gardner is part angel. Not a big part, but enough to make everything in her life different. She is smarter, stronger, faster than regular humans (and possibly prettier–at least until an unfortunate run-in with some hair dye). She also has a purpose–a reason for being, a task she was put on this earth to complete.

A task that moves Clara, her younger brother, and their mother to the wilds of Wyoming.

This is what Clara knows about her purpose: There’s a boy, there’s a fire, and in the end there is a crushing grief.

The more time she spends in Wyoming and the closer she gets to fulfilling her purpose, the more Clara wonders if this is all about the wrong boy. She knows her purpose is something important. She knows she should just follow the rules. But her heart might not let her in Unearthly (2011) by Cynthia Hand.

Find it on Bookshop.

I’m not sure I can adequately explain how much I love this book, but I will try.

Unearthly is the angel book I’ve been waiting for.

In a lot of ways, it’s the paranormal romance I’ve been waiting for.

Clara is a strong character. She has her ups and downs but at the end of the day, Clara is strong, capable and heroic. She’s also independent, questioning her place as an angel blood and–more dangerously–the entire meaning of her purpose. In short, she’s everything I always hope for in a Chick Lit Wednesday heroine.

The other characters in the book are just as charming and delightful*. Even though it’s a fantasy and a paranormal romance besides, Unearthly feels deeply authentic. The characters are well-developed and feel like real people.

Hand’s vision of angels stays true to some traditional lore without being too religious or unoriginal. Her interpretation of angels in clever and sharp. The first in a trilogy, Unearthly offers the perfect mix of set up, closure and unanswered questions to create a gripping to start to what I’m sure will be a stunning trilogy.

This book was won from @pitchdarkbooks through a Twitter giveaway.

Possible Pairings: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

*Can I just take a moment to say how much I love Tucker Avery? He joins Alan Ryves (from Sarah Rees Brennan’s The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy) and Sam Imura (from Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin) in the very exclusive Literary Guys I Wish Were Real Club.

Exclusive Bonus Content: Let me say again that this is the angel book I’ve been waiting for. I had my doubts about the angel genre in general after stumbling through Hush, Hush and Halo. This book really restored my interest in the genre. The tone, structure reminded me a lot of Paranormalcy, another book that disappointed me. Aside from being maybe the perfect angel book Unearthly is what I was looking for but didn’t not find in Paranormalcy. Oh, and I also love the cover for this book! If you can’t tell I’m even more excited about Unearthly after reading it than I was before. You should all go and read it right now.

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