Beautiful Creatures

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Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Publication Date: December 1, 2009
Pages: 536
Genre: Paranormal romance
Source: Giveaway via Book. Blog. Bake.
Rating: 5/5

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.

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Based on Goodreads reviews, people seem to either hate or love this book. I am definitely on the love team. I devoured this book in a couple of days and had to take a break from reviewing just so I could enjoy it for a while before analyzing it.

I wouldn’t say the writing is anything amazing at this point in the series, and would in fact say some of it is rather cliche, but it was all cliches I enjoy, so I didn’t mind. I love a story set in a small, small-minded southern town like Gatlin (did anyone else keep wondering when He Who Lives Behind the Rows would appear?) and dreams involving mysterious people the protagonist has never met. Beautiful Creatures has plenty of both, right away setting up the building blocks to a story I would love.

I really liked reading about Gatlin. I thought the authors did a great job of incorporating real southern history and events into this paranormal romance, and I liked how the magic and history were tied together. I felt Stohl & Garcia just did a really good job building this world and I liked that I could see it so vividly in my mind. I feel like sometimes YA writers, particularly in the paranormal and dystopian genres, focus more on world building and action than characters, but these authors pulled off both very well.

On that note, let’s talk characters, starting with Ethan. Oh, Ethan Wate, how I love thee. He is definitely one of the most swoonworthy YA men I’ve ever read. He was a very multifaceted character with varied interests that made him believable and loveable. I particularly liked how the authors dealt with Ethan’s place in Gatlin. Even though he doesn’t feel he belongs there, he is still technically one of them, and that’s something he deals with throughout the book. He wants so much to be different, but everybody, including Lena at times, has a preconceived notion of who he is and what he should be, and he spends a lot of time trying to change that. Oh, and he likes to read. How much more perfect can a YA guy get?

Now on to Lena. I feel like she played a bit of a manic-pixie-dreamgirl role in the story, which bothered me a little bit, but in general I felt she was a pretty strong female character though she mostly acted as a love interest, at least in this first book.

I also loved Ridley, even though I’m probably not supposed to. She was sexy and sassy and made quite the colorful addition to the story. I wish we’d gotten to see a little more of her relationship with Link, who was also adorable, but in general I just really liked Ridley and thought she added a nice, dark twist to the book.

All in all, I was very impressed with Beautiful Creatures. It was dark, romantic, and mysterious, definitely a new favorite. I am so happy I own the entire series, because I don’t think I could stand the waiting. Beautiful Darkness, here I come!

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4 thoughts on “Beautiful Creatures

  1. samuel says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this website needs much more consideration. Ill probably be again to read much more, thanks for that info.

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