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Beautiful Creatures

A book by Kami Garcia

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One monster of a book, and not in a good way

  • Jan 31, 2010
  • by
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Ethan Wate has been counting down the months until he can escape small town Gatlin and the thinking that goes along with it. He hates that everyone knows everyone else's business and that the only thing to look forward to each year is a Civil War reenactment. But everything changes when Lena Duchannes moves to town. From the start, Lena doesn't fit in, and from the first time Ethan sees her, he knows that he shares a connection with this unusual girl. But the closer the two get, the closer Lena's secret gets to being exposed. Though Ethan doesn't understand at first, there's a reason Lena is so different from all the other girls he's met. Soon, Ethan becomes entangled in an ancient family curse and what could only be called magic. There's only one thing he knows for sure now: there's no turning back.

Beautiful Creatures is one monster of a novel, and I mean that in terms of length rather than content, although that wouldn't be incorrect in describing certain characters in this story. I have many problems with this novel, and length is only just one of them. I don't ordinarily mind long stories that exceed the 400 page mark--as long as they're worth reading. Unfortunately, Beautiful Creatures was not original enough to keep this reader satisfied. I feel as if I've heard all of this before, and I'm sure even the most reluctant reader has too: the battle between light/good and dark/evil regarding the usage of magic and especially including a generally doomed romance. There weren't even particularly interesting or vivid characters, surprising plot twists, or other unique elements to make up for the lackluster storyline. In addition, sometimes it became confusing what the real battle was about, good magic versus bad magic or the outsider against small town hate. This only helped draw the story out with the constant shuffling between the magic using world and the mortal world. Should I even be surprised that the ending leaves plenty of room for a sequel? I almost groaned upon seen that; I don't know how I could stomach another drawn out 600 pages of something that wasn't all that enthralling to begin with.

Beautiful Creatures may still be enjoyed by fans of Wicked: Witch & Curse by Nancy Holder and Debbie ViguiƩ, Swoon by Nina Malkin, and The Hollow by Jessica Verday.

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More Beautiful Creatures reviews
review by . December 29, 2010
I have mixed feelings about this book. I'll start with the positive. The story was very unique and compelling, there were a lot of wonderful background characters, the setting was great. My favorite aspect of Beautiful Creatures was the dark and mysterious southern gothic feel to it, the scenery, the overall "feel" of the south was beautifully expressed in every chapter. Both the mysterious air of the cypress and magnolia filled landscape as well as the small town snobbish nature of …
review by . August 06, 2010
Review: Beautiful Creatures is a lovely debut, and a great example of two authors working together almost seamlessly.    Ethan's voice is very impressive, and I'm in shock at how well Stohl and Garcia write together. At times I almost forgot that two authors even wrote BC.     The story all starts when Lena moves to town, but it doesn't really get going until Lena and Ethan start hanging out and slowly become friends. Everything gets interesting when the town …
review by . May 07, 2010
With the recent influx of young adult fiction that centers around romance and the supernatural it's hard to know which book to grab first, this was a decent read but nothing that stands out from the pack. Those who rarely read will probably enjoy it more than people who pick this genre all the time rather than readers who read a lot in general. This book is perfect for young teens but older readers ( 20 and up) might feel a bit babied, I certainly felt that it read like an ultra light version of …
review by . May 05, 2010
Beautiful Creatures was a very addictive read. I truly enjoyed reading through Ethan's point-of-view. I found it very refreshing considering that most YA is written through a females perspective.    I was taken in by the star-crossed lover-esque feel of the story... girl is a Caster - boy is just a mere human. What will they do? I enjoyed the Southern feel of the story - as you read it you can hear that southern drawl. The setting was well-defined and very fitting to the story. …
review by . February 06, 2010
PJV's Quickie POV: Beautiful Creatures paints a captivating picture of young love and heart-break that had me engrossed from the beginning. The tone is rich and wet and full of southern elegance. While not the best YA novel I've read all year, it did live up to the hype. Very much enjoyed this book and you definitely should mark this as a must read if you haven't already.    Review: Ethan Wate is stuck in a world that he desperately wants to be rid of. The world is Gaitlan, small-town, …
review by . December 08, 2009
Only two kinds of people live in Gatlin, South Carolina: the stupid and the stuck. The others move on to better places. The Wates live there because they always have. They live there even though recent years have brought the family more bad memories than good.    Ethan Wate isn't stupid and he has no intention of being stuck. Gatlin isn't a complicated place. The neighbors keep watch from their porches in the unbearable heat, but nothing ever changes because there are no surprises …
review by . December 06, 2009
Beautiful Creatures encompasses a variety of things from a historic small southern town, to some great family stories to a romance to the supernatural. I would say my favorite things about the book were the setting and history, and Lena's family.    There is a passage in the book that describes the town preparing for their Civil War reenactment that I really enjoyed. I love learning the rich history of old towns and seeing a community come together over something. I also loved …
review by . November 02, 2009
Gatlin County, South Carolina is perhaps the dullest place on Earth, and Ethan Wate cannot wait to get out it. To him, it's as familiar and ordinary as a shoe. But then Lena Duchanes arrives to stay with her uncle Macon Ravenwood, the town's shut-in, and her uniqueness is met with opposition. But Ethan feels as if he knows her, and knows they have an inexplicable connection. It's as he and Lena grow closer that Ethan discovers that Gatlin is harboring a lot of secrets, and that by getting involved …
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Rachael Stein ()
Ranked #798
THE BOOK MUNCHER is the reviewing alias of a prolific teen reader. She is guilty of several overflowing bookshelves in multiple states. Her literary diet is mostly dedicated to the young adult fiction … more
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Wiki

Ethan Wate is struggling to hide his apathy for his high school "in" crowd in small town Gatlin, South Carolina, until he meets the determinedly "out" Lena Duchannes, the girl of his dreams (literally--she has been in his nightmares for months). What follows is a smart, modern fantasy--a tale of star-crossed lovers and a dark, dangerous secret.Beautiful Creaturesis a delicious southern Gothic that charms you from the first page, drawing you into a dark world of magic and mystery until you emerge gasping and blinking, wondering what happened to the last few hours (and how many more you're willing to give up). To tell too much of the plot would spoil the thrill of discovery, and believe me, you will want to uncover the secrets of this richly imagined dark fantasy on your own. --Daphne Durham

Amazon Exclusive Interview with Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Authors of Beautiful Creatures

What does your writing process look like? Is it tough to write a book together? Did you ever have any knock-down drag-out fights over a plot point or character trait?

Margie: The best way to describe our writing process is like a running stitch. We don't write separate chapters, or characters. We pass the draft back and forth constantly, and we actually write over each other's work, until we get to the point where we truly don't know who has written what.

Kami: By the end of the book, we don't even know. The classic example is when I said, "Marg, I really hate that line. It has to go." And she ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 0316042676
ISBN-13: 978-0316042673
Author: Kami Garcia
Genre: Teens
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
First to Review

"A spooky, fresh read"
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