Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures is an interesting story in a wonderful setting with characters that  I can relate to.

Lena has moved to Gatlin - a town in the South, but I'm not sure we're ever told which state. Anyway, she lives with her weird uncle, who is the hermit of the town, and no one ever sees him because he never comes out of his house. So, understandably, there's a lot of interest in Lena. Gatlin NEVER gets new people. Everyone has lived there forever, and their family has lived there forever. Including Ethan, who can't wait to escape from Gatlin.

As Lena experiences ridicule from pretty much everyone in the town, Ethan somehow becomes attracted to her, and wants to protect her. He also has been having strange dreams -- and it turns out Lena has been the star of them. He's somehow trying to rescue her in the dreams.

So, there's more to Lena than meets the eye, and Ethan gradually figures it out, and of course, falls in love with her. She's got powers -- she's called a Caster -- and she's also about to turn 16 -- a very dangerous time for Casters because that's when they can either go to the Dark or the Light.

There are a lot of great supporting characters. Ethan's best friend, the librarian, Lena's Uncle (and the rest of her crazy family) all are intriguing and useful to the plot. The southern setting really adds a lot to the story -- more so than any other story I've read, at least recently. It's almost like a character, because of the mores that these people believe in.

Beautiful Creatures is a bit on the long side, but the plot moves fairly well - there's always some new development that keeps your interest.

I enjoyed Beautiful Creatures and I'll read the rest of them eventually. I just didn't LOVE it. I didn't feel my pulse quickening very much -- I didn't get as emotional as I do while reading some books. The only real problem I had with the book itself, is how stupid Lena is sometimes. For example, one minute she's so afraid that she won't let anyone near her -- she's cloistered herself in her room. Then when Ethan talks her into coming out, she immediately decides she wants to leave the house "just for a few minutes" to go to a party. Really? How in the world can you forget about all the danger you are in just because you've never been to a high school party. I really couldn't buy that.

I'm still recommending this one to my teens. Those who enjoy Twilight, Hunger Games, and those types of stories will definitely want to check out Beautiful Creatures. My question to you is, should I see the movie? I've heard such mixed reviews. What do you think?

Published by Little, Brown BFYR, 2009
eBook, purchased
563 pages

Rating: 4/5





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5 comments:

  1. If you can totally divorce yourself from the book, then yes, go see the movie. If you are a stickler for movies following books, then I'd say give it a wide berth - they amalgamate Amma and Marion for goodness sake! Good music and special effects, but I think you'd get more enjoyment out of the audio book - it was fabulous.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the advice. I'll probably watch it "some day" but it's not going to be on the top of my list.

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  2. This was the very first book that my book club read way back when it had just come out! If I remember correctly none of us really loved it that much either. I can't wait to see the movie though

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  3. Great review, Annette! I felt the same way about this book. I loved the premise and I loved the writing style and gothic feel...but it just wasn't a book I couldn't put down. It wasn't a book that I HAD to read the next in the series. But I did like it. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  4. I had the same problem with this book. It was alright...but it wasn't great=)

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