Monday, January 4, 2010

Review of Beautiful Creatures


Beautiful Creatures 
by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Pages:563
Published: 2009
Genre: Young Adult (Fantasy)
My rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

 In my blog  entitled “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly,” I mentioned this book and all the buzz it was receiving.  I knew that I had to read this book over Winter Break. Even Entertainment Weekly, one of my favorite magazines, was praising it and claiming this series to be the next big thing.  Warner Brothers bought the movie rights to it BEFORE it was published!  People were “tweeting” about this novel.  There was an article in Teen Vogue commending it and it’s currently a NY Times Bestseller! Need I say more? I assumed that this was going to be a young adult book that I loved. Well, not so much. You know what they say about assuming. 

    This book is from a male point of view, specifically a sixteen year old boy named Ethan Wate.  Ethan lives in a Gatlin, South Carolina and can’t wait to move away as he is bored of his town and the small minded people.  Just like any cookie-cutter young adult novel, Ethan’s life is changed by the entrance of a new girl, Lena Duchannes. Of course, Lena is unlike anyone he has encountered before.  She is a “caster” (pretty much a witch) and has come to live with her eccentric Uncle Macon--think Rhett Butler meets Professor Snape from Harry Potter.  Ethan finds out that he is psychically connected to Lena as they share dreams, nightmares, thoughts, etc.  To make a long story short, Lena and Ethan find out about a curse on her family that could destroy their world and threaten their very existence.  

    I will admit that Garcia and Stohl write beautifully- especially their descriptions of the southern plantations and landscape.  They used an elegant tone and rich imagery; I felt the Old South really came to life.  Some connections that come to mind are True Blood meets Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil meets Twilight --except as a young adult gothic novel, of course. I also applaud Garcia and Stohl for having Ethan as the narrator as there are too many novels with female point of views. For me, this was a welcomed change.  Lastly, I really enjoyed the authors’ allusions to To Kill A Mockingbird.  I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE the classic TKAM! I even named my dog, Scout!  This was a nice touch.

    With that said, there were many aspects of this novel that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy.  For example, the male point of view. Yes, I realize I said I loved it; however, by page one hundred, I started to question the authenticity of the narrator. Ethan didn’t sound like sixteen year old boy to me at all. Seriously. I don’t know any sixteen year old boy that gives such detailed descriptions of clothing or hair.....you get the idea.  Next, this book was simply too long.  Could the authors have said what they needed to say in half the amount of pages? Yes. There were pages and pages of questioning and self-indulgence. I felt disengaged at certain parts; essentially, the middle of the novel dragged on. I even found myself wondering what would Katniss do? (By the way, if you live in a bubble and you don’t know who Katniss is, please read my blog from December 12th!)  

    Many claim it to be one of the best young adult novels of 2009.  Do I agree? Nope. Do I think it’s a decent young adult novel? Yes, but I feel it doesn’t live up to its hype.  I find myself questioning all this hype. Could it be because Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter movies are ending soon and they need a new hit? Perhaps.  One things is for sure. We will see more of Ethan and Lena as this is going to be a five book series!  After reading this book, you may disagree with me, but lets be honest. There is only one female “caster” that my heart belongs to and that’s my girl, Hermione. 








2 comments:

  1. I didn't love-love this book either. I thought it was just okay. Got bashed over it with my Amazon review. ;) There were other books I loved way more.

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  2. This one is getting repeated mixed reviews, however also repeated is the fact that TKAM is alluded to in the book. I feel that and the fact that and it's acclaim provide me reason enough to check it out. I figure I will enjoy it, even if I don't love it. Thanks for the review.

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