Friday, April 9, 2010

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - Book Review #13

Friday, April 9, 2010
   Beautiful Creatures
by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

"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."

Beautiful Creatures is one of these books that draw you so deep inside of itself that when something or someone from outside distracts you from reading it, you need a couple of seconds to understand who you are, where you are and what are you doing here. Beautiful Creatures is one of those stories that you not only hear to be told to you, but that you actually live through, becoming one of the characters, or maybe an object, or maybe even an event – something that makes you part of the story.

I loved everything about this story. Old South setting was absolutely charming and mysteriously haunted – the way I imagine it in my head. Of cause, I couldn’t know how realistically it was described in the book – I never lived in the Old South, but for me it was everything and even more that enters my mind when I think about Georgia or South Carolina.

I loved Ethan. I know that he is a far from the realistic sixteen-year old guy as you can get. He is the boyfriend I would die to have when I was sixteen. He is polite, smart, thoughtful and caring – what else can you ask for. He is so ravishingly perfect, and I mean, the girl can dream.

I loved Lena. I loved how her darkly disturbed image shook up the small sleepy town, how it is contradicted with everything and everyone in that town. I really enjoy having a girl with the mystery in the story instead of a guy, for a change.

I loved Amma. She is the perfect Nana from the Old South family. She is strict, but equitable. She spends most of her time in the kitchen and there is always something cooking that smells deliciously in the entire house. And the last, but not least she has a secret of her own.

I loved Macon Ravenwood. I love how he was referenced to To Kill a Mockingbird’s Boo Radley, because I love To Kill a Mockingbird. He was probably the most interesting character for me. It was fascinating to discover his secrets one, after another throughout whole story.

I loved what role family history played in the book. I loved genealogical trees going as far back as Civil War. I loved Ethan’s great aunts who knew everything about everyone in the family and in the town.

I loved the originality of the Caster’s (Witches and Wizards) lore.

I loved the role of librarians and libraries in the story.

I loved mystery.

I loved magic.

I loved romance.

I loved…

I loved…

I loved…

I know, this book is full of clichés, but those are my type of clichés. They are clichés that I love and I never get tired of them. On the other hand I don’t think that Beautiful Creatures lacks its originality. I also know that some characters and situations are absolutely unrealistic, but so what? They are the way I want them to be, they are the way I dream them to be. So let me close my eyes and get away from the brutal reality of drugs, murder rapes, suicides, anorexia and gangs. And let me dream… This is what Beautiful Creatures story is here for.


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