I’ve given up reading YA paranormal romance because I’ve discovered that it’s not something that I enjoy. However, Unearthly received positive feedback from many reader friends last year so I thought it would be a good idea to give it a try. Readalong buddies Holly and Janice agreed to pick up Unearthly as our next read. Can I just say that I love that our readalongs have become a regular thing? Thanks again to my book BFF Celina for my copy of Unearthly.
Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
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 placeand 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 makebetween 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 was a pretty easy read for me. I was surprised by how fast I went through it and I apologized to my readalong buddies that I wasn’t able to pace myself to read it in chunks for our discussion. It’s just that I kept wanting to find out more about the angel-bloods and Clara’s purpose (basically her mission in life as an angel-blood). However, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t enjoy reading Unearthly as much as I expected. I don’t know if it’s because my expectations were raised based on all the glowing reviews that I’ve seen or it’s really just a case of YA paranormal romance not being a good fit for me. The things that put me off the genre were present in Unearthly – girl chasing after a hot guy who seems perfect (even if it’s supposedly tied to her life’s purpose), love triangles, the story focusing more on the romance than on the worldbuilding. Clara is a smart girl and I wanted to tell her that she can find out more about her purpose, without having to go crazy over a good-looking guy who is already in a relationship with someone else. I wanted to whack her in the head with something. By the time a more reasonable love interest came along, I was too annoyed to find the romance swoon-worthy.
Did I regret reading Unearthly? No, I’m more frustrated than anything else that I don’t have the gene present in other readers who loved this. Like I said, Unearthly was easy to fall into. It’s just that I wanted the story to have a more solid foundation – maybe a concrete history of angel-bloods or deeper friendships between Clara and her new buddies. It felt like the mythology was a bit flimsy and I wanted something other than the romance to hold on to. If paranormal YA is your kind of thing or if you find the premise intriguing, then I have a feeling you’ll love this more than I did. I’m still curious about the sequel (and I already borrowed a copy) because I want to know more about Clara’s purpose – maybe her mom will reveal more details about her past. But I’m definitely not getting my hopes up. I have a feeling I’d find Hallowed easy to read but I don’t think it will end up in my list of favorites. Unearthly reminded me a bit of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, which I thought was amazing but didn’t work for other readers. So you never really know unless you give the book a try. Heads up, this post from Heidi of Bunbury in the Stacks shows pictures featuring the setting of the book – it might give you a better idea of how everything looks like.