Review: Beautiful Creatures (Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl)

The Deets:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 563
Publisher: December 1st 2009 by Little, Brown and Company           
ISBN: 9780316042673
Genre: paranormal romance/ mystery
Source: personal copy

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Why did I let this series sit on my bookshelves so long before I read it? WHY?! This blew me away. The setting, characters, and plot were phenomenal. Loved every page.

I'm a Southern girl, so when I find a (good) YA book set in the South I get giddy. Plain and simple. Some of the descriptions were spot on, but some were a bit cliche. I was able to overlook the insulting depiction of Southerns since the authors are not from the south. I figured, what do they know really? I mean, we aren't all ignorant an incapable of putting a grammatically correct sentence together. Unlike the "Southern Belles" in Beautiful Creatures. I'm just going to tell myself that the authors made them over the top to make a point. I'd also like to know what small town in South Carolina have a rich voodoo culture. Seems like the setting for this book would have been better in Lousianna somewhere than in South Carolina. I was also a little surprised by the point of view of the narrator. It was told from Ethan's perspective. Now, I love a good male narrator, but this didn't feel like a typical teenage boy. It felt more like a highly emotional girl was telling the tale. Not believable at all in my opinion. That was a drawback. But, like I said... I was able to over look all of this because the descriptions and amount of detail that went into building the setting was so fantastic.

The characters were also great. Ethan and Lena were interesting, even if they fell helplessly in love right from the start. I really have problems with that type of story, but that's for another time. It actually worked in Beautiful Creatures since their love story was based on a family curse from long ago. I would be wrong though, if I said they were my favorites. I really enjoyed Macon and Amma. They were my true favorites. I loved Amma's quirks and the mysteriousness surrounding Macon. I also loved the dog named after Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird. Priceless.

If you love a good paranormal romance/mystery, then this is for you! It has all the spooky elements of a paranormal read with just the right amount of mystery to keep you turning the pages.


Anna @ Literary Exploration said... .

I did really enjoy this book, but the major issue that I have with the whole series is that the first half is super slow and boring, and then the second half really picks up and leaves you hanging so you HAVE to pick up the next one! Oi vey. Great review!

Literary Exploration

January 2, 2013 at 5:22 PM
The Flashlight Reader said... .

Yeah. I'm on page 300 of book 2 and just now getting to the good stuff. Slow for sure.
January 3, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Sarah (The Brazen Bookworm) said... .

I just saw a preview for the movie the other day (before Silver Linings Playbook, which rocked!) and it looks super intense. It has an amazing cast - Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, Viola Davis. Definitely going to have to read this one before the movie comes out! Also, I had no idea it was a series.

January 3, 2013 at 11:49 AM
The Flashlight Reader said... .

It seems like the story gets better as the series continues. Book 2 is better than book 1 so far.
January 3, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Hidden sadness said... .

I really enjoyed this book!! But I have to agree with you about the voodoo in South Carolina. Being from the south I found some of the "slang" kind of hard to am so excited to read the 2nd book and can not wait for the movie to come out!!

January 21, 2013 at 7:21 PM

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