There has been a change in the world of young adult fiction. Vampires have ruled the bookshelves for the past few years but they are losing their place. In are coming the wave of angels, kicking vampires back into the darkness and stepping into the limelight. Cynthia Hand's yet to be published novel joins this fleet of angels. Due out early next year, Unearthly, the first book in a trilogy, is certain to create a great fan base.
The story follows Clara Gardner, an almost typical teenager who is forced to move away from her childhood home with her mother and brother. Most would assume she has to leave because of her mother- a job change or something typical like that. However, the move is entirely because of Clara. Being a quarter angel (her mother is half, her father is a regular human being) Clara begins to see visuals of her purpose= to save a boy. (I refuse to go anymore into it with risk of giving out too many facts! You need to discover all of this for yourself!)
Being unable to fly (she has wings mind you) and seen as an invisible within her new school, Clara finds that completing her purpose might be harder than she assumed it would be. But quickly Clara discovers that things aren't always as they seem and nothing can be planned.
Developing feelings for two boys, learning her powers, and trying to still maintain a relatively normal teenager existence Clara has a crazy year ahead of her. But there are twists to everything that she does that she, nor her knowledgeable mother, have foreseen.
The book was a fast read and I appreciated the use of teenager slang through Clara's thoughts. It wasn't grand words and descriptive sayings. This isn't a book whose literary prose could be compared to Dickens or the Brontes. But that's a good thing! Great, even. Clara is more believable as a character and I was convinced through her inner dialogue that she was normal and real- she just had a few differences from you and I.
Picking up the book I wondered, will this be heavily religious? This was my first angel-themed YA book I've read because I've been holding out on the craze. But I've always wondered, angels are religious figures, there has to be a very thin line you must tread which could make the YA books seem stupid or turn them into religious fiction. Cynthia Hand walks this thin line with success. I didn't feel like religious ideas were being crammed down my throat. I do feel that people who do not necessarily believe in a God could enjoy this book as well.
The end of the book left me wanting to know more and luckily, there will be more. Unearthly is due out in early January so be sure to pre-order your copy now or be at your local bookstore when the book is officially released. Seeing that this is my first time experience as a YA angel-book reader, I was pretty entertained and I did not hate it. Way to go, Cynthia Hand, you can bet that I'll be reading the next book in the trilogy.