by Cynthia Hand
" In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . . 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 (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy. 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 (literally), 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 less angelic 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. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny? Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart."
In honor of the last book of this trilogy (Boundless) coming out this week, I'll post a review on the first book - Unearthly. I loved this book, in fact, I read it in 24 hours on a work day (and no, I never read at work!). It was my second book about angels. I wasn't too impressed with the first one (Daughter of Smoke and Bone - a little too much sex and language for me), so I went into it not expecting much. Boy was I wrong! I absolutely loved the characters, the setting (Jackson Hole, WY - one of the most beautiful places on earth), and the plot. I appreciated that there was no insta-romance, as there seems to be in most YA books. There is the seemingly required love triangle, but since I can't decide which one I like best, I guess I can't blame the female protagonist for not knowing either. The second book in the trilogy, Hallowed, is a wonderful middle book - no sophomore slump here. I'm excited to see how it all wraps up. Our students LOVE this series!
Areas of concern: I read this 1 1/2 years ago, so I don't remember exactly, but I know I wouldn't have liked it this much if it wasn't pretty clean. I think there were probably a handful of mild cuss words, and there is definitely some kissing and violence. Nothing graphic. School Library Journal says: "A gentle, paranormal romance that is sure to appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight".
Publisher's Weekly: Ages 12+
School Library Journal: Grades 7+