Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Series: Beautiful Creatures #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Dec. 2009
Welcome to Gatlin, a small town where there are never any surprises. Ethan Wate is following the rules of the "in" crowd, but longs for the day that he can break free and leave the town far behind. That is until Lena Duchannes appears and everything begins to change. The girl who has been haunting his dreams is now real and Ethan will do whatever it takes to get closer to her. Their connection and attraction is undeniable, but everything is not what it seems. Thanks to a locket, a curse, and a secret danger threatens to destroy them both. Will Lena and Ethan be able to solve the mystery in time or will they be just more victims to an old curse?
The Short of It: Loved it, loved it, loved it. So it may be a little massive and scary, but how could I not love a book that has a viola player in it?! Ok, ok, so even without the viola aspect Beautiful Creatures would be an awesome book. Garcia and Stohl hook you in from almost page one and draw you deeper and deeper into their world to the point that you feel like 600 pages is not nearly enough. So, um, yeah, book two now please?
Plot: Mystery, intrigue, magic, romance…what more could a girl ask for? Garcia and Stohl weave a twisted web that keep you flipping the pages to discover the answers. They do a good job at keeping a reader interested without frustrating you. There were many times I didn’t fully understand what was going on, but I knew enough to draw a close enough conclusion. I still feel as if there are some questions that aren’t answered, like the connection between Ethan and Lena, but I have faith that Garcia and Stohl will reveal the truth when the time is right. I can’t wait to see where their story goes.
Characters: Lena is a viola player, enough said, right? No? Oh, all right. Lena is one of those girls who comes off as aloof and distant on the outside, but once you get behind her wall you understand why she is the way she is. She truly is the tortured soul; yet, she still has dreams of being a normal girl-next-door. It was fun watching her bloom under the attention of Ethan. (And really Link, too!) I also loved that even though she was scared she wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself. Lena has true strength. I mean really, Bella-who?
Ethan. Well, what can I say about Ethan. He’s the all American boy, but isn’t afraid to loose it all for the girl he loves. Of course, Lena wasn’t the only tortured soul. I just wanted to scoop Ethan up and give him a great big hug. I think it would have been easy for Garcia and Stohl to have him buried in the grief surrounding his parents, but I’m glad they didn’t. I loved that he was able to focus on others that anchored him in the world and didn’t let him go too far away. I was glad that he stood his ground and didn’t let Lena or Amma push him away from what he truly wanted.
Romance: Lena and Ethan have a very awww relationship. Yet, at the same time it’s very push and pull. Lena is so scared of hurting Ethan that she continues to push Ethan away. Even when she knows it doesn’t work, she tries so hard to keep him way beyond arm’s length. But Ethan knows that they belong together and has no plans of going anywhere anytime soon. I love how he tries to give her as many normal high school experiences as he can, even if it usually does lead to trouble most of the time. Yes, Ethan is certainly perfect boyfriend material and I have a feeling their relationship will be hot, hot, HOT.
Writing: Overall, Garcia and Stohl have a nice writing style. There were a couple of times I had to go reread a passage because I didn’t understand what had just happened, but these were few and far between. And really could have been because I was up until after 5:00 am finishing it.
Librarian-Mode: Hmm, I think this could be an easy sell to all the Twilight fans. Most of them aren’t really after the vampires, but the romance itself. But with the paranormal aspects that Beautiful Creatures has it would easily please them. While the paranormal groupies will eat this up, I think it’s an easy sell to other teens as well. Teens should still be able to relate to Lena and Ethan on an every day level even with all the supernatural going on. Definitely an easier sell to girls, but I think some guys may be interested in it, but it’ll take a little more work!
Ok, Contest Time! I have an extra ARC for one lucky reader.
Edit: Contest now Closed…thanks for all who entered~12/09
So here are the rules, fill out the Beautiful Creatures Contest Form to be entered by Dec 8th. You must be a in the US (International if you have someone to ship in US that’s fine, too).
You can earn extra entries for the following:
+1 for being/becoming a follower
+1 for blogging/putting on blog
+1 for posting on social network (Twitter – make sure to include @awaitinserenity, Goodread, etc)
Good Luck and don’t forget to fill out the Contest Form…no comment entries will be counted!
And if you’ve read Beautiful Creatures don’t forget to leave me a comment to let me know what you thought!