Cynthia Hand’s debut young adult novel Unearthly is a captivating tale of destiny and free will. Clara has known for sometime that she is part angel. Her mother has been preparing her for her vision which will lead her to her destiny; for all angels (full blood or partial) have a vision which they must then follow to the letter. This all seems fun and exciting to Clara, until she finds out that her destiny is in Wyoming and not her home-state of California, making her feel the true pressure of her task. The entire family packs-up and moves in order for Clara to piece together the puzzle of her vision and then make it a reality.
Hand did a great job of bringing in new character voices and creating a setting that was easy to imagine. I found myself really liking Clara, except in the beginning I thought her relationship with her mom was too picture perfect. Hand has already developed a strong main character in her first book rather than slowing developing the character over several books. As a reader I appreciated seeing Clara start to mature in the first book, it makes her seem more realistic. This novel does have a romance component between Clara and two boys, and I have to confess I was cheering on the underdog to capture her heart. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and all it’s quirky characters, and the end left me craving the next book, which to my dismay isn’t due out until 2012-hopefully in January as it has been predicted.