Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

“The right thing and the easy thing are never the same.”

There were no surprises in Gatlin County. We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere. At least, that's what I thought. Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong. There was a curse. There was a girl. And in the end, there was a grave.

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.

I'm one of those people that always reads the book before I see the movie, and so when I heard that Beautiful Creatures had started filming, I moved the series up on my TBR list so I could rightfully support a YA movie adaption when it hit theaters.

This is, I believe, the first YA paranormal book I've read that's from the point of view of a guy—and it's definitely the first one I've read that's written by two female authors. I think just writing outside of such a basic perspective is a huge jump, and it's always interesting to read.

There was something I really appreciated in this book that I haven't seen in too many other books: the main girl wasn't invincible. Lena hadn't had the normal teen girl life, and she was insecure about it. She wanted all those typical experiences, even when it didn't make sense, and even when everyone thought it was crazy of her to want it. I got a little aggravated with her sometimes, especially when she'd go around breaking rules for something stupid (I'm too much of a good kid to understand), but it's important that every character have their flaws and shortcomings, and I think that Lena was nice and filled out because of hers.

I also want to note that there wasn't insta-love—I thought, for the YA world, there was actually a good amount of a relationship built up throughout the story. 

This is probably something that bothers only my English-loving self, but I have to point this out: there were a lot of badly written sentences. As in, sentences where I stopped reading my book, grabbed the nearest human being (be it family, friend, or stranger), and had someone else read it to make sure it wasn't just me being crazy. But no, there were definitely some grammatical errors. Here's one such sentence, when Ethan's teacher tells him when he's late for school:

"I'm busy fillin' out your detention slips, which is where you'll be spendin' this afternoon." 

Notice how she's talking about detention slips, not just detention. The way that sentence is set up, it sounds like Ethan will be spending his afternoon in detention slips, not detention. Now here's another one—this one is when Ethan explains why he doesn't have a southern accent:

“Professor parents, and a jar full of quarters every time I dropped a G.”

There wasn't a jar full of quarters every time he dropped a G—there was a quarter every time. I was sitting there saying: "It's from. A jar full of quarters from every time you dropped a G."

There were other similar errors that I just simply don't understand how they made it past editing for a published book. 

Another problem I had: scene skipping. That's probably not the official term, I know, but it's just that call something that is mentioned, but the readers don't experience. In the book, Ethan and Lena talk for a bit once, and then he says they talk for three hours...but doesn't say what they talk about.

Also, the scenes in the book tended to end at odd moments, like in the middle of a conversation. It just felt off-kilter.

Mostly, I wasn't too impressed with this book. It wasn't really funny, really romantic, really action-packed or really plot-driven. While it had its highlights, it was just a mediocre read for me.

Read more reviews for Beautiful Creatures at:


  1. Thanks for this review. It is in my TBR pile and at least I have been warned.

    1. You're welcome! It wasn't the book for me, but I hope, if you read it, you enjoy it more than I did. (:

  2. I didn't know this was getting made into a movie! I had it on my TBR for awhile, but the more I heard about it the more I realized it wasn't the book for me.

    1. It is! Filming started not too long ago, so I'd expect a release sometime next year.

      The book had really mixed reviews, so I was hoping I'd be one of the people who liked it.

  3. Hi Cheyenne,
    I keeps seeing these books on the shelves, picked them up read the covers, put them back. I just haven't been sure about them. Thanx for your input, they may stay a little while longer!!
    Congrats on 414 followers!! A little more than 250 now, I decided to enter the contest, cos why not!!
    I love your blog, and I was just at Cover to Cover, you have two fab blogs!!
    Anyway, swing by and visit me sometime, (however I hope my reviews get as good as yours someday!!)
    Nomi's Paranormal Palace