Patty (woodycakes) wrote,

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Page Turner: Unearthly & Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Two boys? [Goodreads]
In my quest to read more YA books this year, I got suckered into this wonderful series by Cynthia Hand as recommended by famouslyso and beeeeej. Though I'm actively trying to stray away from books of the supernatural persuasion (real kids have interesting issues too without all the magical drama), I couldn't say no to this one thanks to the stellar reviews of awesome friends.

And I'm glad I didn't stay away. I'm not the biggest angel-buff (I've read Hush Hush and enjoyed it but didn't exactly love it to death. This one though? This one was actually pretty awesome and a really easy read too -- or maybe I just needed a break from the heaviness of all the other books I'm trying (and failing) to finish.



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? [Amazon]
Because of my poor imagination, I can't visualize how exactly Clara, Tucker and Christian look but something tells me Christian is more of a perfect looking guy and Tucker is the more rugged, down to earth boy. Sounds familiar? Slightly but it's okay because it seems like every other book now contains a love triangle. It's not unlike other books where one is so perfect and one is more real and imperfect but it's all good because the setting is different albeit in high school and both boys are gaga over the girl. I should be annoyed by this plot but I'm not just because Clara has so much going on without the boys adding to the drama.

She just found out she's an angel and that she has a vision/mission (how high school indeed!) she has to fulfill and she's not sure what it is just yet. Then there's her mom, who's being very cryptic and her brother, Jeffrey who's going through an awkward period in life. Added to being the new girl, she's got so much to contend with, I actually feel bad she has to decide over two boys on top of all of this.

And yet, it's fun to tea how high school she really is. It's nice to see her struggle through class (and actually attend class) and how she's discovering her new surroundings and also her new powers. I feel for her as she tries to master glory and flying and making new friends (and enemies). I wish I could just take away her powers and let her tackle her problems one at a time, but unfortunately for her, she has to deal with it all at once, complete with a time bomb ticking underneath her -- her fire-starting vision.

Still, in the end, I'm glad she gets some sense of normalcy with Tucker. I'm glad she gets to defy her destiny (even just a bit) though this obviously will have consequences. I like that she chooses the regular guy, because Tucker really is kind of adorable. Though, I'll admit, I do find Christian sort of alluring. I'm still on the fence on which 'team' I'm rooting for but let's just say I'm happy there's a Tucker who gets to break Clara out of her 'good girl' mold. Come on, live a little. I like it.



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. [Amazon]
And because I'm lucky, I didn't have to wait at all for the sequel. It was nice that I didn't have to try to remember what happened in the first book before reading the second, though it did give a pretty good summary in the start without rehashing every single detail. It's good to know that Tucker and Clara are still happy together (complete with spending every waking minute together) and that Christian is still silently pining on the side.

It was nice that they didn't make Christian too desperate to be with Clara either. Sure, he did his thing but I liked that they didn't make him all about getting together with her. He still had his thing with his uncle and his own vision but with some Clara pining thrown in. I hate it when they focus everything on the love triangle just because someone gets to look like an idiot when he doesn't get his way.

I like that we get to see more of Angela (though I'm still curious about her Italian paramour) and that we see Jeffrey a lot more. It's also interesting to see the triangle more hashed out now. Sure, the vision is new and disturbing but I'm proud to say I saw through the initial fake out of who the 'dead' person is. It's sad to know that Clara's about to lose someone really close to her, but it's great we also get introduced to new people in her life.

It's convenient of course that we get to meet Clara's dad suddenly and realize she's much more ~special than she initially thought she was. Half the time though I was afraid they'd reveal that Jeffrey was actually a black wing, so I'm glad they didn't go that route. And still, despite the build up to the death of the loved one, it still hit me pretty hard. I admit to being a little teary eyed there.

And so now that I actually have to wait for the next book, I'm wondering how they're going to do this now that Clara and Jeffrey have their dad in the picture and their missions sort of out of the way. I'm sure Samjeeza will be back and they'll probably thrown in another baddie to contend with. And of course, I'm excited to see how Christian and Tucker do a last minute ditch effort to win Clara over to their side. This should be interesting. Till then, I'll have to wait.

Even More Page Turner:
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Tags: books
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