Book Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

How Excited Was I to Read Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl?: Very. I saw the movie trailer was instantly curious. THEN I checked amazon and it had 972 reviews (now it has 1,105 and 7,447 on Good Reads with 69,762 ratings. woah!). It begs the question how did I miss this book??!! It just shows how out of the loop I’ve been recently (and I don’t even have the engagement excuse that my sister does…)

Book Rating: 4/5. I can see what all the fuss is about, and I liked it. However, I didn’t LOVE it by any means or really even love it (if you know what I mean).

Book Jacket:

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.

Review: Let me start off by saying that I liked both Lena and Ethan, but it is amazing how annoying they could be at times. However, I think a lot of that annoyance might stem from being a rule follower. I would not have done half the things that Lena and Ethan did because I would have assumed there was a reason we weren’t supposed to do them. My sister probably would have been right there with them on the other hand. Case in point, the locket… If I found a locket that caused me to have visions on top of the inexplicable dreams I was already having and an authority figure in my life reacted with fear and demanded I get rid of it, I would do it. I’m not sure if that says I have no sense of adventure or that I have too much common sense/self-preservation. Let’s just say I spent much of the middle to end of the book sarcastically thinking yeah, can’t see how this might end badly…

I would, however, like to commend the authors on originality. I like that this book handles witches differently than most that you see today. Go find more or less anyone ages 11 (or probably younger) and up and ask them if they want to be a witch. They’d probably say, sign me up and where is my Hogwarts letter. Bad witches aren’t unheard of obviously. Hocus Pocus comes to mind immediately, but probably only because I’ve been watching Rachel and Guy Celebrity Cook Off on the Food Network, which has Kathy Najimy this season.  Basically, I like that witches, like people, aren’t necessarily good or bad. And Lena, who is a good person/witch, desperately wants to continue to be good. If I were her, I would too. Therein lies the allure. As a reader, I couldn’t help but cheer for Lena and Ethan in their quest to find a solution and just in general too. I wanted her to finally be accepted at school. I wanted for them to find a way to be together. I will probably not read the second book in the series but I’m glad I finished this one. I had to know how they worked everything out!!

One final note: My favorite character by far in this book is actually Link. I couldn’t help but adore him. He kind of takes everything in stride. While the majority of Gatlin is ostracizing Ethan and Lena, he doesn’t try to stop Ethan or anything. He just continues to be a great friend and supports both of them. When Ethan needs to get away from everything, Link just hands over his car keys without question. The whole town is on a rampage led by his mother against Lena, but Link just kind of does what he wants. I just love characters and friends like that :-) .