Title: Beautiful Creatures
Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
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.
Ethan- When I first started reading this book, I though it was going to be from the point of view of Lena, not Ethan. So, when I finally figured out that it was a boy’s head I was in, I was a little excited. Not only do I hardly ever read books told from the point of view of a male, but I hardly ever read supernatural books from the point of view of the non-supernatural. So, I was pretty pumped for this! Reading from Ethan’s POV was nice since he knows the area. However, I was a little worried for a second that he was going to start talking with a deep Southern accent. I was worried that it was going to be like reading Huckleberry Finn in high school- I had to read most of that one out loud to myself so that I could understand the dialect. But, I was pleasantly surprised with this one, and they even gave an explanation as to why he doesn’t speak that way- his parents were both professors and were always correcting him when he dropped a “g.” I love that. Ethan is a gentleman and he isn’t an idiot, and he loves genuinely. And he is most of he reason that I liked this book.
Lena- I think that everyone has a certain section of the supernatural genre that they like the most- mine is witches. I love reading about witches. Maybe it stems from my deep connection with Hermione from Harry Potter, who knows, I just love reading about witches. Lena is pretty much a witch. Her formal title is Caster, but she is pretty much a witch. I liked that Lena was one of those characters that doesn’t try to fit in. She isn’t really defiant or angsty about it, she just does not change herself to suit others. I LOVE THAT. Too often I read books where the main character moves to a new school and spends most of her time trying really hard to fit in, or to not fit in. Lena just takes her own road. She is sometimes a little too moody for me, but if you read the book you will realize that she kind of has an excuse for all of her moodiness.
Amma- Amma is Ethan’s sort of live-in nanny/housekeeper. She has been around his whole life, and for most of his father’s, too. She seems to act as the mother figure for Ethan since his mother passed away, but I really like that she doesn’t try to be anything like his mother. She just keeps on being Amma- just a little bit stricter. But, Amma has some secrets. It’s nice when all of the secrets don’t fall to one main character, I think it makes the story a lot richer when you find out little secrets along the way that might change the way you feel about some of the characters. Amma is one of those people. At first she is just Amma, and then I was like “Oh, Amma is up to something!” and then I was mad at Amma for butting in, and then I was back to loving Amma. She’s a strong lady, and books need strong ladies.
Macon- Macon Melchizedek Ravenwood is the mysterious owner of Ravenwood Manor, which is believed to be cursed. Macon is also Lena’s uncle. He is also the one person in the world that Lena loves most, and for that reason, we have to love him. Because honestly, that guy is creeeeeepy for most of this book. You don’t know if he is some crazy magic man, or if he is just eccentric, and it takes a while to figure it out. However, I love when books have creepy parts every so often. If an author can creep you out or make you nervous, or give you butterflies just with words- then you’re reading the right book. Every book should do this to you at some point (hopefully several).
These are the main characters, but there are a couple important almost main characters but not quite minor characters:
Link- Wesley Jefferson Lincoln is Ethan’s best friend. His mother is the head of the DAR, and one of the biggest Lena haters in town. But, what I love about Link is his fierce loyalty. Every person deserves a friend as loyal as Link. Link is also really goofy and most of the time really annoying, but we can’t have everything!
Ridley- Ridley is Lena’s cousin, but she is a Dark Caster. She has the power of persuasion (she is a Siren) and she isn’t afraid to use it. Unfortunately, people with that power usually aren’t the most trustworthy.
Conflict: This book is pretty long, so naturally there is a lot of conflict. The initial conflict is just Ethan trying to figure out who Lena is and why she seems to be so important to him, and her being difficult and not letting him in. But a lot of the conflict surrounds Lena’s condition and how everyone in town is reacting to her. A lot of this makes you angry, because people can be really mean. I don’t mean insults mean, but we-hate-everything-that-isn’t-us mean. There are a lot of Caster issues, and an equal number of Mortal issues that plague these two.
Things I Liked: I was a big fan of the characters. I loved that they were imperfect, but believable. They have strong qualities, and weak qualities, but they aren’t shallow characters. You get to know these guys. I loved that parts of this gave me butterflies. I loved that it was told from a boy’s POV, and that that boy was smart. I also liked how intricate the conflict was, and that there were many unsuspecting people involved, and that those people were selfless and concerned.
Things I Didn’t Like: I didn’t like that the book took a little while to pick up. After reading the second one, I think it might be a recurring thing in this series. However, once they pick up, you’re hooked. I think that things are a little slow to start because there is so much that needs to be set up ahead of time for the conflict to be as intricate as it is. But, I’m alright with that.
Overall: Usually when I read a book and look back, I don’t like it quite as much as I did right after I finished it. This book was the opposite for me. As I am writing this review, I am remembering things that I really liked about it and I am not lingering on the stuff I didn’t like. It was a solid book and a great start to a series.
Cover Art: I usually like to get the original cover of the book, but this time I happened to pick up the movie-cover copy. I’m not always a big fan of the movie covers, but I think I like the mover cover better than the original cover for this book. It is more exciting, but I think only because the other is so plain.
Rating: 4 stars