January 22, 2013

Latest Read: Unearthly series

Here are the basics ...
Unearthly (#1) & Hallowed (#2) by Cynthia Hand
Publication date: Jan. 4, 2011 / Jan. 17, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Category: Young Adult - Paranomal
Source: Purchased

Summary: 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, but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. 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, 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 human 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. Will Clara be ready to face her destiny? (Adapted goodreads.com
My thoughts…
The good: I've heard a lot of people say that they're sick of dystopians but personally, I've been feeling pretty wary of the paranormal. I mean, how many times can you read about vampires, werewolves, fairies and angels and still feel like it's new? That was my fear going into this series. But Unearthly completely took me by surprise. Because as much as it focused on angels, there was also an emphasis on Clara as a girl struggling to figure out who she is and what she wants. I think that balance between the two sides of Clara's world was what made it stand out for me.

Clara is part angel and aside from having supernatural powers (ability to feel people's emotions, can speak any language and oh yeah, wings that allow her to fly!), it also means she has a purpose. A reason for why she's on earth and the only clues to that purpose come in the form of visions. It's up to her to piece it all together and fulfill her destiny. But what if.. she doesn't want to accept her destiny. That's one of the major (and my favorite) themes throughout the series. Clara, who is a strong-willed and kind protagonist, is constantly struggling with questions about her life and the person she wants to be. Angel or not, I think that's something we can all relate to. She follows her heart, even when it sometimes led to some painful decisions. What I loved about her character was that as much as she wanted to follow "the rules", she also wanted to make her own choices. Which leads me to the other important aspect of the book...

The love triangle. I know I know, usually I'm all anti-triangle myself (even Clara pokes fun at the cliche) but this one worked. There's Christian, the boy from her visions, someone she feels an undeniable connection to. And then there's Tucker. Their relationship starts off on the antagonistic side (he teases her mercilessly and calls her Carrots - which is so Anne of Green Gables!) but it slowly develops into something more. We get to see both relationships progress in each book and it's a really tough choice. Because who she chooses isn't a question of who's good, who really cares for her or who could she depend on. Both Christian and Tucker are good guys, they're just different. Instead each guy represents a side of her world. Is she going to embrace her destiny or is she going to forge her own path? That's really the question here. At first I was all about Tucker (who I do love!) but Christian grew on me too. Usually I'm firmly on one team so it's a nice change to feel as undecided as Clara.

Honestly, there's so much more I want to say. There's Clara's amazing relationship with her mom, her best friends, the well thought out mythology, the twists I didn't see coming. But this review is already getting too long and I think I've gushed enough for you to figure out.. I loved this series.

(No) reservations: None come to mind although I will say that I enjoyed the second book more.

Do I recommend?: Definitely! I feel like I need to admit this. As much I love my fantasy/dystopian/paranormal books and get swept up in them, they practically never make me cry. The last time was The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa. But Hallowed actually had me shedding some tears and I didn't expect that. If you enjoy this genre, you'll want to read these books.

Happy reading!

8 comments:

  1. Oh man, you make me want to read this book like RIGHT NOW. Seriously. I have no excuse, as the book has been on my shelf for a while...

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    1. I already said this to you earlier but read this! Now! haha :)

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  2. I'm a bit over both dystopians and paranormals, more so PNR because they all feel so samey. And usually angel books really put me off but I have been seeing a flurry of reviews and opinions of this series in the last week and my interest is piqued!

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    1. I agree about paranormal, so that's why I was hesitant to start this book too. But in the end, I ended up enjoying it a lot! I think it's worth giving a shot!

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  3. I'm kinda sick of the paranormal myself, and definitely tired of angels. But this is one angel series I actually really like and have looked forward to each book so I'm glad you liked it too! And surprisingly I didn't hate the love triangle either!

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    1. There are a couple angel stories I really like. This one, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Angelfall. But I've also read a couple of "meh" ones too. If you're interested in trying more angel books, you should check those out :)

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  4. LOVE this book! I'm waiting for Boundless to come in the mail so I can read the whole series start to finish. There seem to be so many angel books out there that are just horrible but this one is so incredible. I love the idea of angels so I'm so picky as to what I read about them and this is the only book I've found that is so legit. And I agree about the love triangles! I usually am firmly on one side, too but I seriously LOVE both guys. Eep! It's like Clockwork Angel. I CANNOT decide who I like better. Good luck Clara. Great review!

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    1. I just bought Boundless last night! I can't wait to start it today. And yesss, I agree about Clockwork Angel. Both guys are so great but I have to say, I'm definitely Team Will haha. But I don't want Jem's heart to get broken either. It's a tough choice!

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