Unearthly - Cynthia Hand

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
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?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart. 

Okay, I'd like to begin this review by saying that I do not care for angels.  There.  I said it.

I pretty much picked this book up because (cover-judger that I am) of the pretty cover (which is STUNNING) and the good reviews on other blogs.  But I wasn't expecting much.

I was so very wrong.

I adored this novel.  Hand's writing is lovely and it flows beautifully, the story itself was at a great pace and engaging, and I absolutely loved the characters.

Clara is an angel, well, part-angel anyway.  But instead of having the story be about her discovering this, it's about her trying to figure out her purpose.  All angels have a purpose they're supposed to fulfill, and at sixteen, Clara is just starting to have visions, and she, her mother, and her younger brother pick up their lives and move from California to Wyoming to follow it.  Clara has all the problems any normal girl would with having to move so far away at sixteen, plus even more as she's coming more into her powers as an angel, and is forced to try to hide them.

I loved Clara and I really enjoyed her relationships with those around her--the mysterious Christian, the attractive Tucker, and all her friends and family.  The relationships really rang true to me, and is was enthralling to watch Clara be torn between fulfilling her purpose as an angel, and falling in love.

Amazing read.  I need more angels now.

Happy Reading!