Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Goodreads link here
egalley from netgalley (thank you)
Wow. It is so much harder to write great reviews than bad ones. What can I say besides WOW. This novel is beautiful. It is unputdownable. Clara is wonderful. Wow. I lack a good adjective for this book. Wonderful just isn't powerful enough.
I read this in one shot because I just couldn't put it down. The writing is stupendous. I was sucked in right away.
So, how to write a spoiler-free review and still prove to you that you should stop what you are doing and run to the bookstore? Hmm. I will point out my 3 favorite things.
One. Clara has a Purpose (don't we all, but her purpose is a purpose with a capital "P"). She never waivers about having a purpose, but instead grapples with how to remain true to herself while accomplishing her purpose. Clara is very mature.
Two. Clara is already on task when we meet her. Thank God, no angst about "OMG I'm an angel and now my life is ruined". We are spared all of this...big change crap. This adjustment period, when focused on for too long or not handled correctly has ruined more books for me lately. We have none of this with Clara. She is okay with being who (what) she is.
A quick comparison here. Clara is great in the same way Rose is great in Vampire Academy-they are both comfortable in their own skin and have pre-set paths to follow. Clara is not as violent as Rose, but they both have gumption.
Three. This the best mother/daughter relationship I have read in a while. Yes, they fight in the book. It would have be unrealistic if they did not, but Maggie and Clara have this incredible bond. Maggie is a great mom, not perfect, but great and that is probably why Clara is so great. PS BECAUSE the relationship between Maggie and Clara is so great readers are spared the whole "hide my secret identity from the parents" bit which has also been weighing stories down for me.
My only issue is that I want more, like, NOW. I feel like hopping in the car and driving to Jackson Hole and knocking on doors until someone tells me what will happen next (or they lock me up for raving about angels in the mountains). Whatever. It will be a long wait for a sequel, and I can't wait.
What a great read to start 2011 off with.
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