Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Review: Beautiful Creatures

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.

Title: Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles ~ Book 1)
Author: Kami Garcia | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog
Author: Margaret Stohl | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: December 1 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 0316042676
Length: 576 Pages
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Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: I love this cover.  The font is beautiful and the scene sets the mood for the book.
Point of View: 1st person, following Ethan

My Rating: 4 Stars

“There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
I never even saw it coming.”

My one and only regret is why, oh why, did I not read this series earlier?

“No, I'm too busy trying to deflect your Power of Stupidity. But I don't think I'm strong enough.”

I know there are a lot of mixed reviews to be found but I can easily say that I enjoyed Beautiful Creatures.  I don't know what it is about a 'popular' series but there are those that go into them with the mindset that they aren't going to like it.  Well, when you start out thinking like that there is very little chance for you to actually like it.

When I am reading a book I ask myself two questions.  Am I being entertained and do I care what happens to these characters?  If I can answer yes then I will enjoy the book.  It really is that simple for me.  I don't try to compare the book I am reading to other books or try to think of how I could make it better or 'more original'.  I am not a writer and have never dreamed of being one.  Why would I waste time thinking about how I could write it any better?  As I just said...  Am I being entertained and do I care what happens to these characters?  Thankfully while reading Beautiful Creatures the answer I had for both of these questions was yes.

“There were only two kinds of people in our town. ―The stupid and the stuck― The ones who are bound to stay or too dumb to go. Everyone else finds a way out.”

Being that the story takes place in South Carolina that truly sets the mood for the entire book.  Not to say that South Carolina is creepy or anything (I have actually never been) but you quickly become submersed in the history, the architecture and the over all feel of the places that surround the characters.  Ethan has always felt trapped by his life in the small town of Gatlin and those feelings of everybody watching you and knowing your business does come to life as you are reading.

Anybody that reads my reviews will know that I adore a book being told from the male point of view.  So many authors choose to tell the story from the female point of view and it is a refreshing change to have it the other way around.  Ethan is no exception.  He is a strong character and stands up for his relationship with Lena.  Be that going up against his family, friends and everybody else in Gatlin who thinks it their business to have an opinion on the matter.  Yes there is an instant attraction/love in this book and that didn't bother me in the least.  I loved being able to see them grow as a couple and there is always that feeling of it being forbidden because of Lena being a Caster and Ethan being a Mortal.  It is also clear from early on that the branches of their two family trees were intertwined long before Ethan and Lena were born.

“I never loved you any more than I do, right this second.  And I'll never love you any less than I do, right this second.”

The side characters really complete this book.  I loved Ethan's best friend Wesley 'Link' Lincoln.  As Ethan and Lena got closer Ethan's friends moved further and further away from him, Link never did.  He continued to be both of their friends and even stood up for Lena against the others.  I also loved Amma who has practically raised Ethan and Uncle Macon who has looked after Lena.  They both brought a level of mystery, suspense and laughs.  Uncle Macon has to be a favorite though.

“Mortals.  I envy you.  You think you can change things.  Stop the universe.  Undo what was done long before you came along.  You are such beautiful creatures.”

He is a larger than life character and is fiercely loyal to his family.  He will do anything within his power to protect Lena.

It is clear to me why this book has been chosen to be turned into a film.  There are so many wonderful scenes that will play out perfectly on the big screen.  I do plan on going to see the film on opening night and after finishing the book I am pretty excited about watching it.  It is rare that I have ever enjoyed the film version of a book better than the actual book but I can at least hope that they do it justice.

"She leaned into my shoulder. "Maybe you don't have to be a Caster to have power."
I pushed her hair behind her ear. "Maybe you just have to fall for one.”

I actually feel bad about giving Beautiful Creatures only 4 Stars... the reason being I really did enjoy it however with there being three books and a novella left in the series I wanted there to be room for the series to grow.  Maybe that sounds a little odd and I should probably give it 5 Stars but I just have a feeling the series is going to get even better.

“She looked up at me, and the whole world disappeared.  Like there was just us, like there would always be just us, and we didn't need magic for that.  It was sort of happy and sad, all at the same time. I couldn't be around her without feeling things, without feeling everything.”


  1. Great review. I read this one years ago. Part of me loved the concept. But, honestly, the pacing felt off. I have yet to continue with the series, but may one day.

  2. I'm with Kate B. The pacing was way too slow for my liking, but my friends loved-loved it.


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