Feb 18, 2013

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publishing Date: December 1, 2009
Pages/Format: 563, Hardcover

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.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Okay

This is another one of those books that didn't live up to the hype. While it wasn't bad, it had several issues that were constantly there. I was hoping I'd like this better a second time around (read it a few years ago, thought it was okay, reread for movie and to finish series) but I think my feelings are still the same: it's just okay.

I'm going to get my issues out of the way. First was the writing. Some of it was repetitious, but what really bugged me was the punctuation. Too many commas, not enough dashes and semi-colons. It drove me crazy, especially when I'd be rewording sentences in my head. Secondly, I think this book may have been longer than it needed to be. Some parts seem disconnected and unnecessary, and the story kind of dragged on. Even some dialogue was random, and didn't run smoothly--as in, why would someone say something and like that? Thirdly, some things--like the way people acted--seemed to be unrealistic, magic or no magic. All put together, I just had a somewhat hard time connecting to the story.

What's nice about the story is that it's told from a male POV, which I don't see or read a lot of. Ethan Wate is a Mortal who falls for Lena Duchannes, who's a Caster (witch) that will turn either Dark or Light on her sixteenth birthday. Once they meet and quickly become friends--then more--they try to find a way for Lena to choose her own fate, to claim herself. For the most part, I liked these two. Ethan was a good boy, but I never really fell in love with him, though I think I really like him. Lena had her troubles, but she was okay. I really liked some of the more minor characters, like the sassy Amma and the funny Link, as well as the protective Macon. Whether they were mean or nice, evil or good, Dark or Light, most every character had a reason to be in the story, and I liked that. The book also asked a ton of questions, quite a few of which I still want answers for. Several events happened, but they needed more of a BAM, WOW factor--something to make me kick my legs and scream. I wanted to feel more with this book.

The whole idea of Casters--aka witches--having a Dark or Light side is interesting, along with the romance (which I'd like more of) between Ethan and Lena. However, something just didn't work for me. However, I do plan on reading the other three books in the series (and I did go to the midnight showing of the movie). Hopefully, Beautiful Creatures will get better as the series progresses. For now, it's just one those books that's hard to write a review for.

Did I like it? For the most part.
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? Probably not.
Would I purchase it? Already have it.
Would I recommend it? Maybe.

Note: I saw the movie and here's a teensy bit of what I have to say. (Contains spoilers!) The first I-don't-know-how-many-minutes (not many) was really fast paced. Why did Ethan wake up with shoes on? How come they knew each other for like two minutes and were already all lovey dovey? Why did Lena's hand say 100-something then in the next scene 70-something? (And nobody's handwriting is that perfect.) One of the things that bugged me the most, though minor, was the car. You'll probably see why. Adaptation-wise, it's majorly condensed. They changed quite a few things--though it's still Beautiful Creatures--and cut a lot of characters. And the ending was...well, anti-climatic. As for the last ten seconds--broke my heart yet made it beat super heard. (The last word keeps playing over and over in my head.) Movie-wise, I'm not sure if people will understand everything. Several questions need answers--like the book--and viewers may be confused. Some graphics were good, some weren't. Acting wasn't too bad, and there was some excellent humor that was added in. I love Link. I'd say the movie was okay, maybe even good, but not great. (Though I really want to see it again.) Also, I really, really like the score. 


  1. I actually really like this series! But I know that a lot of people aren't huge fans. I haven't seen the movie yet. I can't wait though. I hope it's good? Sounds like you liked it, which is good!

  2. I still haven't decided if I want to try and read this series. I've heard mainly good things, but I've also gotten a few "meh" reactions from people whose book taste I trust as similar to my own. I do like the idea of a male POV though.


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