Unearthly was a book that really surprised me, I initially thought it would be an average book that would have a angsty forbidden love story and that there would be nothing that stood out with the glut of other similar themed YA books out at the moment. But after a slow start I was really pleasantly surprised how the story unfolded in the second half and for me this made the book stand out among its contemporaries.Clara Gardner along with her brother Jeffery are actually not as normal or as fully human as they appear because they are part angel. Due to this they have powers as well as wings and like all angels are born to have a purpose to help others. Clara is haunted with visions of saving an unknown boy caught up in a forest fire and soon realises this is the purpose that she was born for. Clara finds herself drawn to Wyoming, along with her brother and her mother, Maggie where she tracks him down. Upon discovering the mysterious boy, who she later learns is Christian, is a student at the school she attends, and Clara soon tries to unravel the mysteries about why and how she has to save him from his tragic fate.Clara was a capable, engaging and determined character and she never fell into the pitfalls of being too perfect or entering too stupid too live moments despite her flaws which were believable. I really enjoyed the mythos behind the angels and demons and how Clara adjusted to this knew knowledge and her angelic abilities. I really liked how she struggled and developed her abilities and worked out her role while at the same time going through school. I especially found the demonic foes that angels have to mostly hide from were pretty scary and at the same time sad, and the scene where Clara has to tackle one was pretty chilling.However, I think the real highlight for me was how the romance developed in the book. Although the blurb suggests a love story with Christian but midway through the story, a wild-card option for her affections crops up. For me I found this secondary character popping up offers an interesting dynamic as well a love triangle of sorts. I really liked how the love story plot developed because very soon this potential love interest throws a curve-ball into the mix and I so did not see how this tied in with Clara’s quest. Moreover in this book the love triangle does not drag on, but is resolved pretty quickly because Clara deals with it by not leading on the guy who loses out which I found really refreshing although there is hints at the end that it may not be the end of the matter. But how Clara came to this decision and how the relationship panned out surprised me and I loved how that was done. It also showed how Clara was torn between duty and being led by her heart but ultimately made a human decision about her feelings for the guy she loves.I was really impressed with the mythology and the relationships Clara had with the people she loved. I was really expecting an average read for this book but Cynthia Hand’s multi-layered characterisation, deft plotting which had major twists and turns galore and an engrossing mystery which has definitely kept me hanging for the next instalment. Unearthly is a wonderful debut novel with a capable and relatable heroine that deals with the angels mythos in a fun and absorbing way!