Monday, February 18, 2013

Reader's Choice Winner: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1) This past month, you guys picked Beautiful Creatures as my next read. I agree I needed to read this book eventually with all the hype going on with the movie coming out. And I can also see why you guys liked it... but I'm going to have to say I wasn't a big fan, and I won't feel a need to pick up future installments or see the movie. But that's okay. I now know that, and didn't before, and now I can talk about it relatively intelligently :-)

Goodreads Book Description: 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.

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars 

My Review:
Because of the movie coming out and also its number one pick from last month’s Reader’s Choice poll, I knew I had to read this book next. I can see why people liked it, but I just didn’t have the same reaction to it.

Beautiful Creatures was co-written by Kami Garcia and Maragret Stohl. This book takes place in the deep South and is mostly from the perspective of a teenaged boy, Ethan, who falls in love with a strange new girl, Lena, who is the niece of strange Mason Ravenwood, the town recluse, whom no one has ever seen. Ethan falls hard and fast for this girl that he realizes represents everything other than Gatlin, the small Southern town that he lives in. Soon, he finds out there is a lot more to Lena and her family and that danger lurks everywhere.

I agree with other reviewers, that the mood and setting is very nicely done. You really get the feel of a sleepy, southern town where things seem to be moving backwards instead of towards the future. I felt the small mindedness of the townsfolk but at the same time saw how tightly they stuck together. That was probably the strongest aspect of this book.

But every book also needs movement, plot, and great twists with compelling characters. I felt that Lena and Ethan were like any other stereotypical teenage romance, and it felt like a Twilight with witches instead of vampires. I also felt myself waiting, waiting, and WAITING for something to happen. I was still waiting at 80% and even at the end, which I felt was predictable, I still felt like the book hadn’t really gone anywhere.

Overall, nicely written Southern setting, but lacks good plot twists, and characters that have depth.

What did you think about this book? (Don't lynch me!)


  1. I didn't care for this book either - the plot was so slow-moving and I thought the characters were boring. :/ The movie looks good though!

    1. I totally had the same issues! The movie has some great actors/actresses in it, but I think I'll wait to see what the reviews say before thinking about seeing it.

  2. After reading the summary (and seeing all sorts of Twilight comparisons), I was pretty sure this book wasn't for me so it's nice to see your review confirm that. I will not bother to pick this up.

    1. And the fact that I thought Twilight was MORE entertaining than this book, makes it even worse :-)

  3. I love your review! I tried reading this one long before I knew there was a movie coming out and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't stick with it.

    After reading other people's reviews, as well as yours, I am glad to see everyone confirm my own suspicions.

    Oddly enough, I will probably see the movie eventually, even though the fake southern accents from the previews make me cringe.