Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review: Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Publisher: Penguin
Published: December 1st 2009

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.

Beautiful Creatures is an authentic southern tale, complete with old curses, strong family values, warm home cooking and scary town committees made up of narrow-minded housewives. Gaitlin is a small town where everyone knows everything and there is nowhere to hide. When Lena Duchannes moves into the Ravenwood Manor with the town hermit, Macon Ravenwood, people talk. She goes against everything the town says is normal and is immediately outcast, but when popular basketball player, Ethan, recognises her as the girl in his dreams, he steps out of his safety net within society to be with her.

Lena is counting down the days until her 16th birthday, the day she must decide to go Light or Dark. The ideas behind this novel are fantastic and different, though not what I expected. There is a lot of mythology to understand, which is equally interesting and confusing. As the novel progresses, pieces of information are revealed and slowly fit together to form a complex story line. You'll never be sure of anything so prepare for your world to be turned upside down!

Beautiful Creatures is insanely long, much longer than it really needs to be, in my opinion. With a shorter length, this novel could have easily had the same amount of plot and character development. Things sometimes dragged on unnecessarily and became confusing as a consequence. Lena has the ability to read Ethan's mind and at times, things were a little too convenient, regarding when she could hear him and when she couldn't. 

The romance, I must say, is very enjoyable. I'm a sucker for star-crossed lovers! The relationship has a nice build up and their affection is adorable. Overcoming their differences, they support each other and a magical connection forms, predestined centuries ago by their ancestors when everything first began. Lena's a powerful being with the ability to affect the lives of many. Ethan's a mere mortal, utterly powerless to stop himself from falling in love. Somehow, they found each other.
Lena’s eyes lit up. I was right; she not only wanted to be asked, she wanted to go [to prom]. In that moment, I knew I didn’t care what was on her regular-high-school-girl to-do list. I was going to make sure she got to do everything on it.
The second half of Beautiful Creatures is considerably better than the first. While the ending is slightly confusing, things are cleared up at the beginning of the sequel, Beautiful Darkness. Push on, soldiers! It gets much better. I recommend you to give this novel a try because the series has the potential to be a real winner.
Find Kami on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her blog and website.
Find Margeret on Twitter, Goodreads and her blog.
Buy Beautiful Creatures from Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and Borders.

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