The premise caught my attention from page one. An angel with a purpose - yes! I was instantly intrigued, eager to learn more about Clara's purpose and how she might accomplish it. My excitement grew through the first few chapters while Clara and her mom deciphered clues from her visions to uncover the location where Clara would ultimately serve her purpose as an angel-blood (nephilim).
Once reaching this fateful destination however, the pacing of the novel started to stagnate slightly. Clara enrols in school, and quickly meets the subject of her visions and purpose - Christian Prescott. Seeing how her brother Jeremy foresaw her reaction (of fainting) to meeting Christian, I was able to laugh off her weakness and assumed, being now prepared, she would react better in future interactions. Unfortunately, Clara suffers from the same unnamed epidemic that afflicts many YA heroines, who's symptoms include weak knees, the inability to form coherent sentences, stalkerish tendencies and a general inability to function as a normal human being. Each time she meets Christian, Clara remarks often on catching herself staring at him and feeling dizzy in his presence - all because of how good-looking he is. We're subjected to countless re-tellings of the fall of his hair, the chisel of his cheekbones and the definition of shoulders - and are left feeling like Clara is completely unable to function because his beauty leaves her dumbstruck (thus leaving me feeling like she needs a good shake!)
Once Christian leaves for the summer, Clara returns to a functioning member of society, and begins training for her purpose - only to be completely derailed by golden-haired, blue-eyed, bronzed skin Tucker Avery. This led to my favourite part of Unearthly, and the reason I will be continuing with this series - the development of Clara and Tucker's relationship. Where I felt the tension between Clara and Christina was forced, the chemistry between Clara and Tucker was written with ease. It was easy to see the progression of playful banter and teasing turn into hidden compliments and the blushing beginnings of a crush. I was envious of their summer together, and completely taken by cowboy Tucker and his gentlemanly ways. The only thing that got in my way of enjoying this section was the nagging voice in the back of my head asking what had happened to Clara's all-important purpose, how suddenly Clara decided she was in love with Tucker, what had happened to her mother and the constant reminder to stay focused, and why had Christian been so easily forgotten?
Speaking of Clara's mother, I could not stand the woman! I hate being left in the dark without a valid reason, and I hate when there's conflict that could very easily have been avoided had certain conversations taken place. I'm going to assume that the reasons for her secrecy will be revealed in the next two books, but I really don't like feeling like she was intentionally vague just to create suspension - and since she was never able to give Clara a good reason for being so secretive, that's what I'm forced to conclude.
I enjoyed the ending, although I wasn't surprised by the twist, as I felt like it sufficiently tied up loose ends. We're still left with an inkling suspicion that Clara's purpose might not be completely fulfilled, and the twist opens up new doors for the rest of the series, but everything that had to be resolved was and I was left feeling satisfied. So while I didn't love Unearthly, I am walking away with a new-found hope for angels as credible content for a YA paranormal series.