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Beautiful Creatures

A book by Kami Garcia

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Rich, Wet & Full of Southern Elegance...

  • Feb 6, 2010
  • by
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, small-minded Gaitlan. Where he has been put in a box, a box where you have to date this sort of girl, you have to play this sort of sport and you have to think these sort of thoughts - or else.

Ethan can't wait to leave, he can't wait to break out of his little Gaitlan box and head to college, yet in the 2 years he has before college he knows he has to play the game - or else. That is of course, until a new girl comes to his small town and breaks down Ethan's little box with a bang.

Lena Duchannes does not fit in at all. Everything about her screams different, but Ethan can't help himself, he is drawn to Lena and he believes the feeling is mutual. His classmates and what he thought were his friends do not feel the same way as Ethan. Lena is different, Lena is weird, Lena is not right for Gaitlin. Ethan, doesn't care, he knows one thing - he belongs with Lena and he will give up everything and anything to belong to her. Just how much will he be asked to give up though???

The tone of the book is very rich and descriptive. I have to say that was the best part of the book. Descriptions were heavy and real. The entire novel breathed southern depth, reading this book I could almost taste the humidity the tone was so well brought to life. The love development was well-done, not one of the best I've read, but I could empathize with the emotional struggle. Characters were wonderful, even the secondary characters had rich development that had me enjoying their plights. The plot was compelling and original. Some side plots were dropped but nothing that was so obvious.

My only dislikes about this novel was that it might have been a bit much at times. When I read heavily descriptive novels sometimes I have to skim through the scenes, which I found myself doing in the middle of the novel, so some of that could have been left out and still maintained the integrity of the book. Some of the plot was also predictable, I had the "bad-guy" pegged early on. I also found all the secrecy very frustrating, I mean why would they lie to Lena sooo much?

The stereo-typing in this novel was also very frustrating. The novel oozed a message of closed-minded intolerance, but I think it was a testament to a reverse message of intolerance to small town southern conservatives. I believe yes, small towns can be a little behind in forward thinking, but I don't believe that in general they are as intolerant as they were portrayed in this book. The good guys were the liberal minded youth - the bad guys the religious conservatives, in life it is never that black and white.

Recommendations: I would pass this on to teens and adults. The story has an innocence to it that is suitable for young teens, yet it has a depth that adults will enjoy.

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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 . January 31, 2010
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 …
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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Rachel ()
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Book reviewer, reader, artist and overall paranormal junkee. Also known as Parajunkee and owner of parajunkee.com     
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About this book


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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ISBN-10: 0316042676
ISBN-13: 978-0316042673
Author: Kami Garcia
Genre: Teens
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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"A spooky, fresh read"
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