Unearthly - Cynthia Hand *No spoilers or plot rehash. Sooooo, Angels, huh? I was weary when I read the description, but then I saw the deluge of good reviews and I decided to give it a go. I'm so glad I did! I loved it so very much. Yes, it's YA. Yes, it's a teen protagonist. Yes, it's a high school setting. And yet, it's so much more. I love the way that Hand writes. She says it all without having to say too much. There's no endless litany of overly-emotional nonsense. I've read so many books (not just YA), where there's a runaway train of page after page of inner turmoil and we get taken on that annoying ride and are forced to watch the characters think and rethink everything, just to make stupid-ass decisions. That doesn't happen here and I love Hand for it.Clara as a female heroine is believable and likeable. She's not perfect and she is not all-powerful. Instead, we get to watch her come into her own - in time. She's a regular teen thrust into a role that requires her to take very serious actions. She's not a mushy pushover and she doesn't take shit from cute boys simply because they're cute. She's tough, but doesn't try to be and it's endearing. My one Clara complaint? She has the requisite unruly hair. That is the only clichéd thing about her, though and in comparison to all of her good qualities, it's not a huge deal. Did I mention that I read this in one sitting? Cuz I did. I was entertained from beginning to end and there were definitely swoon-worthy moments. The difference with the romance in this novel as opposed to many of the other YA novels I've read is that the relationship is healthy, as many others have mentioned. How refreshing not to see a teen girl throwing herself at the clichéd "bad boy". The last couple of chapters were nail-biting for me and had me on edge (in a good way). All in all, I'm thoroughly impressed and while I originally thought "4 stars" when I finished reading, I find that the more I mull it over, it's heading into 4.5 - 5 star range for not falling into the YA PNR mold.