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Series Review: Unearthly 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.

By: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Unearthly #1
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Reviewed: e-book

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

By: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Unearthly #2
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Reviewed: e-book 

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a riveting original novella (available only as an ebook) set in the world of the Unearthly series.

Clara is desperate to get away—from the memories that haunt her in Wyoming and the visions of a future she isn't ready to face—and spending the summer in Italy with her best friend, Angela, should be the perfect escape. . . .

For as long as she can remember, Angela has been told that love is dangerous, that she must always guard her heart. But when she met a mysterious guy in Italy two years ago she was determined to be with him, no matter the costs. Now she must decide whether she can trust Clara with her secret, or if telling her the truth will risk everything she cares about.

Alternating between Angela and Clara's perspectives, Radiant chronicles the unforgettable summer that will test the bounds of their friendship and change their lives forever.

By: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Unearthly #2.5
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Reviewed: e-book  

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

By: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Unearthly #3
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Reviewed: e-book 

This is my first series review. I can’t think of a better series to start with than Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly trilogy. I’ve loved the books since day one. Clara, Tucker, Christian, and Angela were all amazing characters. It was a little disappointing that the series was ending but then it also brings closure to the characters.

This series is about Clara Gardner, a teenager who learns that she, her brother Jeffrey, and her mom are part angel, known as angel bloods. Clara’s hybrid status gives her superhuman abilities and an undiscovered purpose to fulfill. Clara dreams of a young man and a forest fire, and eventually Clara meets the boy in her visions named Christian. Clara meets Christian at her new school, since her mom moved her away from California to Wyoming. In Wyoming, she also befriends another angel-blood named Angela, who starts the Angel Club. Clara also becomes best friends with a girl named Wendy, who is human and Wendy’s brother is Tucker. Through this story, Clara becomes romantically involved with both Tucker and Christian, she is immersed father into the world of fallen angels and she tries desperately to figure out her purpose for being on Earth. “Unearthly” was such a neat story about Clara. The reader gets to take an entire journey with Clara as she learns about whom she is and what she is becoming.

Hallowed is the continuation of Unearthly and in Hallowed, Clara finds out that someone she loves is going to die. Like most people would do, Clara goes into protective mode trying to protect everyone because she doesn’t know who is going to die. She just wants to protect everyone. I can definitely relate, I wouldn’t want people I love to die either, so I would do anything I could to try to protect them. “Hallowed” stills have the love triangle that was in “Unearthly” about where Clara should be with Christian or with Tucker. I honestly didn’t like Hallowed as much as I liked Unearthly, I think my expectations were just too high.

I wanted to add Radiant to the review also because it is a short novella that takes place between Hallowed and Unearthly. This is about Angela’s and Clara’s trip to Italy to visit Angela’s family. Radiant is told by Angela’s point of view, and I though Angela was way too winy of a character in Radiant. Angela was all about the poor me point of view rather than looking at the big picture. I don’t like how Angela only thinks about herself; she spills Clara’s secrets way too easily. Clara is a way more loyal friend and Angela ends up treating her like dirt.

Boundless is the final book in the Unearthly series. I liked Boundless way better than Hallowed but I still didn’t like it as much as I liked Unearthly. The continuation of this series was hard to beat out the first book. Boundless takes place in both California and Wyoming. Clara, Christian, and Angela have moved to Harvard’s campus for college. While they try to figure out what they want to go to school for, the trio is also trying to figure out what to do about their purposes. Did I mention that they receive a new purpose in every book? Clara also has to prepare to fight a black wing in this book also, as she prepares for this battle; she worries about what the outcome will be. Clara finally makes a choice of who she wants to be with.

I really liked this series. I thought it was well written and that the characters had so much depth to them. It was hard to fall in love with all of the characters. I will be completely honest with all of you. I was team Tucker until Boundless. Once I started reading Boundless, I changed my mind. I liked Christian a whole lot better. I finally came to the conclusion that I really didn’t care who Clara chose, as long as she chose somebody. She had two great guys that wanted her attention; she just needed to pick the one that she wanted to be with. I will miss the characters, but I think the story ended pretty well. Maybe not the ending I would like but when do we ever get what we want. If you haven’t read Unearthly definitely give it a try, I think you might fall in love with it like I did. The characters are such great characters, sometimes it is hard to find really good characters in books and I think that Cynthia Hand does a fantastic job.

I give the whole "Unearthly" series four out of five bookshelves.

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