Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Source: Bought on Amazon
Excerpt from Goodreads:
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.
I’ve known about this book for a while, before it was ever turned into a movie. What book reviewer, blogger, or booktuber hasn’t heard of Beautiful Creatures? However, I didn’t always hear positive reviews and was hesitant to dive into yet another series. Once I saw the trailer for the movie my curiosity got the best of me and I just had to find out what this franchise is all about.
Having grown up with Harry Potter as my imaginary best friend, magic is a concept I am all too familiar with. I did really enjoy the magical aspects of this book and thought they approached magic in a different way. I liked that each character had a different magical element and I think that gave the book more diversity.
I also enjoyed the characters, namely Ethan. He felt like a real, small town, high school boy trapped in a life he hated. His relationship with Lena is one most girl’s dream of, aside from the curse and other evil things that could potentially happen. He is so sweet, and funny, and charming, and adorable, and stubborn, and so willing to do anything for her just like any good southern gentleman. I mean really, who wouldn’t want a boyfriend like that? Also, a guy who reads! Ding ding ding, we have a winner! I could feel his anguish and boredom and felt his attraction for Lena.
My other favorite characters were Amma, Marian, Ridley, and sometimes Macon. I wouldn’t say that I disliked Lena because I don’t, but she didn’t cut it as one of my favorites. Ridley I have a love hate relationship with. She’s so awesome and badass but also so evil and frustrating but perfect at being a Siren. I almost wish I could meet her in real life, but know that if I did I’d hate her so I’ll just be friends with her in my head. That didn’t sound psychotic at all…
There were a few things that frustrated me while reading this book. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good length book, but there were parts where I just wanted to skip right to the ending. I felt like the authors included a lot of great details and there were a lot of mini plots happening that eventually created the ending, but it was almost too many supernatural elements in one book (hence it’s largeness). There’s the curse, the library, the mother(s), Amma, flashbacks, school dances, evil high schoolers, crazy family dinners, poetry, recluses, and much more. I commend the authors for making all of these things work together in one novel but it was just to much at times. It doesn’t seem like this theme of ‘over sharing’ stops though because all the books in this series seem to be about the same length (yikes).
I won’t say that I saw the ending coming, but I wasn’t shocked by much that happened. It wasn’t very unsettling or evoked any emotions from me, and it only intrigued me enough that I’m considering reading the next book in the series. I would like to know what happens next but I’m not sure how much I can take if the plot doesn’t dramatically change and throw in a huge, uncalled for twist.
From the last two paragraphs it may seem like I didn’t enjoy this book. I just felt like being a little extra critical this time and these were things that I thought about while reading this book. The first 300 pages flew by; I read them in a manner of hours. The rest of the book took about two more days to finish because I had worn myself out.
I really enjoyed the concept of the Casters and the curse and I do want to find out what happens next. I would recommend this book to people who like magic, Sirens, Incubus’, Seers, and a love born from destiny. This was the perfect book to get me out of my school-mandated-reading slump and I’m really glad I finally picked it up.