Release Date: 1 Dec 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Magic
Summary: 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.
Buy It: Hardcover or Kindle eBook
Review: I meant to read Beautiful Creatures for ages but never seemed to get around to it; toting around a 550+ page book is just as inconvenient as it sounds. Now that there's a movie, I knew I needed to quit procrastinating and just read it. Every book lover knows the book needs to be read first. Beautiful Creatures sounded like something I would enjoy and I was excited for a film adaption even if I'm not crazy about southern accents.
Beautiful Creatures has been reviewed to death so this review isn't in my typical style. I would consider this to be more of a 'general thoughts' post.
The beginning of Beautiful Creatures blew me away. Amazingly enough I didn't know much about the book when I began reading. I had no idea it was told from a male point of view which I love in general but Ethan was especially a pleasure to get in the mind of. I loved it. The setting was perfect. I thought the ominous quality was brilliantly written. I actually loved the writing style itself too. It flowed much more smoothly than some of the other PNR YA I've read.
I was sixteen years old, I was falling in love with a girl who didn’t exist, and I was slowly losing my mind.
The characters were so refreshing. Ethan was utterly adorable and I had so much fun watching the female character get to be the mysterious one. Maybe I'm just picking all the wrong books but I rarely see the ladies as paranormal beings. They're almost always the weak human damsels in distress. Lena was still a damsel in distress to a point which put her more on even footing with Ethan but she began coming into her own by the end of the book.
I turned to Mrs. Lincoln and looked her in the eye. “‘Good for you, Ethan.’ That’s what my poor mamma would’ve said. Ma’am.”
I liked Ethan's character a lot but the moment of a true choosing of sides in Gatlin... I could have hugged him to death. I can't imagine how difficult small town life must be but to stand up against popular opinion as a kid? Definitely a character worth admiring.
“Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures.”
Overall I really enjoyed Beautiful Creatures. I enjoyed the story, the characters, the premise. I was disappointed with the ending though. It felt contrived, like a cheap trick to get out of making a choice. Perhaps I will feel differently as I continue on in the series. I felt a little cheated though. Rating: 4½ Bites (Phenomenal, loved it -- Really enjoyed it)
What are some other YA paranormal books narrated by males that you'd recommend?
Are you happy with the casting? Who would you have picked? I never would have thought of Emmy Rossum for Ridley but I love her so much in the trailers. I'm suddenly feeling the need to rewatch The Phantom of the Opera...