Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Posted March 8, 2013 by lockhartbecca in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

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Beautiful Creatures 

Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Series: The Caster Chronicles, Book One
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre:Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 563 pages
Release Date: December 1, 2009
Source: Mid-Columbia Libraries

Synopsis: 
  

All Ethan wants to do is move far, far away from the small,
Southern town of Gatlin that his family has been trapped in for decades. Haunted
by a very realistic dream of a girl that he can’t save, he thinks he’s going
crazy. Until Lena Duchannes moves to town. Lena is like nothing the small town
of Gatlin has ever seen. All she wants is to have as normal a life as she can
while desperately trying to conceal her power and the curse that haunts her
family. She needs to stay under the radar, but Ethan is drawn to her and
desperate to know what their connection means. Lena’s secret may not be able to
stay hidden and may change the town of Gatlin forever.


My Review: 
 
Okay, so I have been waiting for
this book from the library for what feels like forever! (Ok, maybe it was just
a few weeks…) The second that I went on my library account and saw that it was
waiting for me, I dropped everything I was doing, jumped in my car and
immediately went to pick it up. I got there so fast it wasn’t even on the hold
shelf yet. I had to ask for them to get it for me from the back. Let me tell
you, it did not disappoint.
I have wanted to read this book
for a while, but then when the movie started getting heavily advertised, it
kicked me into high gear. I have to read a book before I see the movie. It’s a
compulsion. Well now I am dying to see the movie. The action begins right away
and never lets up in this book. From watching the movie previews, I expected
the book to be written from Lena’s perspective, but it is actually written from
Ethan’s perspective. At first I was upset about that, but I actually loved it
once I got into the book. This book was so well written. I loved how
descriptive Kami and Margaret were. I felt like I could see the scenes
unfolding before my eyes. I loved slowly discovering more and more about
Casters and the different powers they can have. That’s one of the reasons that I
loved that the book was written from Ethan’s perspective. You, as the reader,
don’t know much about Casters and their way of life so you can really connect
as Ethan learns more and more about things that he never thought was possible.
There were so many twists in this
book. Some of them I guessed, but others just smacked me in the face and I was
all “What?!?!? Omg…” I felt fear during this book, wonder, excitement, anger,
sympathy, love, sadness, and so many other emotions. I felt what the characters
were feeling because I was able to connect with them. They are going through
things that are supernatural, but they are also going through things that every
normal teenager does.
Ethan was such a hero in this
book. Let me tell you, I went to high school in a small town where everybody
knew everybody else’s business. I have felt exactly how Lena felt at many times
during the book. Not once does Ethan leave her side. He stands up for her the
whole time and that kind of love is priceless. It takes a lot of guts for a
sixteen year old boy to turn his back on all his friends for not just a girl,
but a girl that he loves and believes in. He knows that he will become an
outcast just like her, but he does it anyway. He even goes so far as to stand
up for her in front of the whole town. He is definitely her knight in shining
armor. I think his mom had a lot to do with the kind of young man he grew up to
be. Even though she is gone, you can still feel her presence throughout the
entire book like she is helping Ethan through all of the obstacles he must
face.
Lena is such a strong individual.
She tries to hide her emotions, but deep down all she wants is to be normal if
only for one night. She loves Ethan and desperately wants to protect him from
what she could become. Her whole life is shrouded in mystery. I can’t begin to
imagine how frustrating it is to know next to nothing about your own life. Not even
your own first name. I loved watching her struggle through her emotions to find
out the truth about the curse and about her powers. She scared me, but also
lured me in. There was just something so beautiful about her that made me want
to know more about her. There were times when I wanted to scream at her though.
Times when she felt like giving up when I knew that she couldn’t. Even though
she feels like giving up at times, she continues to fight until the bitter end.
At first Amma, who is Ethan’s
housekeep/cook but more like an adoptive mother or an aunt, weirded me out with
her chicken bones and garlic and salt circles, but then as the book goes on I began
to have a lot of respect for the woman. She loves Ethan like her own son and
only wants what is best for him. Which is the same thing that Macon, Lena’s
uncle, wants for Lena. Yes, he’s a little creepy. But deep down he is truly a
good uncle and a good person. He is fierce and slightly terrifying if he’s
angry, but if you’re on his good side you’re safe.
Ridley, Lena’s cousin, is a scary
picture of what Lena could become. She is so deceptively charming and good
looking. If you don’t know anything about her, of course one would be
awestruck. But if you do know her and the power that she has, you should be
staying as far away as possible. I liked that she had that bad girl vibe. I
think that there is more to her than that though. I think that deep down,
Ridley misses her family and longs to be accepted by them once again.
Ethan’s best friend Link is such a
good friend to both Ethan and Lena. Whether it’s loaning Ethan his car or just
sitting by them at lunch when the rest of the school has shunned them, he is
always there for Ethan and, in turn, Lena. He is innocent though, and knows
nothing about what’s really going on. Although I believe if he did, he would
still stick by their side and not go running like most people would.
Sarafin, an evil dark Caster, is
definitely the scariest character in this story. Although we don’t get to know
that much about her in this book, we learn enough to scare the heck out of me.
She is so strong and could easily destroy so many things and people. One of
things that make her so scary though is how mysterious she is. I look forward
to learning more about her in the next three books.   
Overall, I was blown away by this
book. One of the best books I have read in a long time. The love story was so
powerful and so beautiful it could easily bring a person to tears. The characters
each have their own individual strengths that they develop throughout the
story. The tale that Garcia and Stohl have written is intricate, dark, and
breathtaking. I can’t wait to see the book brought to life on screen. (Although
I sincerely hope they don’t ruin it…I’m always apprehensive about books made
into movies.) However, I am more excited to start reading the second book Beautiful Darkness, which is sitting
next to me on the couch as I write this. 

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