8.13.2013 | Tuesday

Beautiful Creatures

category: Book Reviews

Beautiful Creaturestitle: Beautiful Creatures
author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
series: Beautiful Creatures #1
published: 8 January 2013
genre(s): fantasy, gothic, romance
pages: 592
source: bought
format: eBook
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | Goodreads

rating: five-stars | series rating: five-stars

the blurb

Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end?

In Ethan Wate's hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .

There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. 

Lena Duchannes.

There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it's been promised. 

And no one can stop it.

In the end, there is a grave.

Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided.

Ethan never even saw it coming.

my review

This book was already a movie by the time I began the series, which I have since seen and will talk about in a different post soon!  I really liked this book, more than I expected to.  For some reason, I went into it thinking it was going to be somewhat corny/sappy romance with the other elements to make it a truly well-rounded story.  But there is a little bit of everything in this book… secrets, mystery, angst, magic, and more.

There were two things that truly made a great foundation for this book, and really the whole series.  One was that it is written to be a somewhat multi-generational story, weaving in and out of family histories. There is a lot of richness to be had in that kind of family saga.  The other thing I liked was the gothic element that wove together the love between Lena and Ethan and the darkness that made up the paranormal elements of the story.

The story is set in a quintessential southern town, still reliving the Civil War and making it a deep part of the town’s culture.  But, even with the occasional trips back in time, this could not be labeled historical fiction.  Instead that history served as a backdrop for the story.

Things to love about Beautiful Creatures

  • The character of Lena.  I loved that she wasn’t created to be the epitome of teenage perfection.  She struggled deeply with darkness and that made her so much more believable and likable.
  • The alternate world.  I loved how the authors created a world for the Casters and laid it on top of our own.  The existence of the Caster Library is an example of this.  A magical library with a librarian that exists below the regular library.  The mythology of magic was thoroughly blended with that of the mundane.
  • The ending.  It left a fabulous opening for the next book.
  • The POV.  It was told from the POV of Ethan, instead of the usual female lead.  This was refreshing!

Things I wanted more of…

  • The mythology of the Caster world.  I am hoping that this is explored is explored more full in subsequent books.

If you like paranormal YA, I would suggest this.  I liked the characters a whole lot more than those of certain vampire fiction.  There is darkness and angst, but it doesn’t overload the teenage emo attitude.  I will definitely be reading the next book

About Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie released in theaters on February 14, 2013.

Kami is also the author of Unbreakable, the first book her paranormal solo series, THE LEGION (coming October 1, 2013.

Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in spiral notebooks. As a girl with Southern roots, she has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13″ on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist for 14 years. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

About Margaret Stohl

Writing has gotten me in and out of trouble since I was 15 (back then, mostly just in trouble.) For 10 years, I designed &/or wrote for lots of video games, one of which was nominated for “Most Innovative Game Design,” but I lost to a rapping onion. If you know games you get why my two bad beagles are named Zelda and Kirby.

School: I spent more years in it than a person ever should, because let’s face it, reading books is so much better than having a job. I fell in love with American literature at Amherst and Yale, earned an MA in English from Stanford, and studied creative writing under the late great poet George MacBeth at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. I taught Intro to Film as a TA at Yale and Romantic Poetry as a TA at Stanford. Don’t tell the people at Yale but sometimes I taught the section before I’d seen the movie it was about…

I live in Santa Monica, CA, with my family, most of whom were enslaved into working with me in one form or another on my first YA book for Little, Brown. I’m not kidding; when my daughters wanted to go to school I said “Why are you so selfish? Get back in there and edit,” and by said I mean yelled and maybe threw things, it’s all a haze. Now the Beautiful series has wrapped, but you can see the movie on February 13, 2013 or read my new book ICONS on May 7th. Nothing gold can stay, Ponyboy.

::spread the love::

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