TITLE: Beautiful Creatures
AUTHOR: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2009
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.
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES was a mixed bag in my mind. There were aspects that I loved and other aspect I had mixed feelings about. One of those points that I had such a hard time with was the fact that Ethan, the male protagonist, seemed to have such a superiority complex. He was always better then everyone else. I think this wasn’t the intention of the authors. I think what they were trying to convey was how different he was.
Another point I couldn’t reconcile myself with was the stereotyping of small town Southerners. At the same time I think this was done to emphasize the feeling of Us vs. Them. There were times when I felt this was accomplished and other times when I felt it was overblown and contrived.
One of the things I loved about BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, is Ethan. Yes he was flawed but I loved him because he was flawed. It may seem contradictory of me to state something I disliked about him then state that I liked him because of the things that were wrong, but people are contrary and volatile. There’s no rhyme or reason to them and that’s exactly how it is with Ethan and me at times.
Another thing I loved about this book was the Southern gothic feel that it exuded. There was a lot of atmosphere from the ever changing Ravenwood to the stormy town of Gatlin. Macon Ravenwood, with his mercurial temper also lends to the book’s ambience.
Although Ethan had been dreaming of Lena for months, the romance itself was rather sudden in a way. I still enjoyed it. I felt it started off as an infatuation and grew into love. They both had exactly what the other was looking for so it wasn’t unrealistic for it to happen.
A lot of people didn’t care for this book but I found a lot to recommend itself to me. I loved the romance even though it was a a little bit like insta-love. The plot itself intrigued me and kept me up as the clock ticked down for Lena. But what I loved most was the atmosphere the book evoked. I realize there will be a lot of disagreement over my rating of this book but I’m going to stick how I truly feel about it.