Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Review by Alex- Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

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.


First Impressions: With a slew of praises from many prominent YA authors and reviewers, Beautiful Creatures seemed like a good book to read. However, following Lauren's review, I decided to proceed cautiously and not get my hopes up.

Perhaps it was good that I didn't.

While Beautiful Creatures is no where near a terrible book - it's actually reallyreally good- I'm a little undecided on how much praise it can receive from me. Yes, I did like it a lot. It's interesting, and a nice break from vampires. A teen witch is nothing new, but this clan is different and diverse, strange but likeable.

One of the downfalls for me, are the main characters. Lena seems like a fascinating character on the outside, and she is, but her constant confusion and the way she expressed it- staying away from Ethan- was awfully annoying at times. Ethan, while not a bad guy, isn't that exciting. And he throws away his whole life for Lena. I like my relationships with a little less obsessiveness, a little more independance. Not quiting the basketball team, where he could be great, not skipping school constantly, not caring about anyone else. This may be my own personal quarrel though, and getting over that, it could be considered sweet, how attached the young lovers are.

Not coming from the south, or even from the US, I have almost no back history on the South or the Civil war, so that atmosphere of the novel didn't have as much of an impact on me that it might have on others. It was interesting, yes, but I don't care for reinactments enough, or know much about them, to appreciate it. I did like how the “popular” girls are the ones who wear big old-fashioned poofy dresses that I imagine as a cross between a peach and Bo Peep. The town itself, Gatlin, is beautifully created though, to make it so that the setting comes alive.

It has a great plot. While not super original, it flows well and packs quite an amount of suspense. The point of view from Ethan's perspective, the male and the outsider, is wonderfully different, though a switch at the end throws the pace off.

Final Impressions: Though maybe not worthy enough in my mind, Beautiful Creatures is nonetheless an excellent supernatural novel that has all the elements to please YA fans.

Favourite character: Going with Lauren and saying Uncle Macon. I do like Sarafine and some of the bad guys too though. I'm hoping they'll get a little more attention and personality in the next novel.

Add to Shelf: Well, I did. It's a nice big book too, so if you like this sort of book, definitely worth the buck, even though it's a hardcover.

4.5/6











5 comments:

  1. Cool review. It seems everyone loves this one, so it's nice to read a review with a few reservations.

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  2. I actually could understand why Ethan would leave the people he did leave behind. They weren't good people. The only good one was his BF and he didn't leave him behind, not really. But yeah, I can see where you would see the lack of independence.

    I loved this one, can't wait for the sequel! Good review ^^

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  3. Love hearing your opinion! I enjoy when someone is willing to be honest in a review. Great job!

    Sincerely,
    Emma

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  4. I'm glad you gave such a honest review. It certainly gives a fresher view on the book. Can't wait for your next post.

    -Beryl

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