This is an emotionally charged, moody, and atmospheric novel that is very reminiscent of how YA fiction was in the 90's and early 00's, before TwilighThis is an emotionally charged, moody, and atmospheric novel that is very reminiscent of how YA fiction was in the 90's and early 00's, before Twilight came along. By that, I mean it is full of quirky, average, outcast-type characters who drive the plot line along through their unique and easily pictured personalities.
I've heard people complain that Ethan is unrealistic. That makes me upset because I relate more to Ethan than I ever have with any other male character in history. He tries his hardest to treat others with dignity and respect, doesn't use women for sex (gasp! You don't say!), has a strong sense of fairness and compassion, and a passion for old-fashioned things such as literature. You can almost call him an "old soul", in a way. I fail to see what's so unrealistic about him. Plenty of guys are like this! Everyone is different. You can't categorize people into little boxes because of their gender. I'm a 19 year old male and I found their portrayal of an insightful boy with good morals who was raised to be polite and courteous to be refreshing and realistic. Meanwhile, if I would dare to say that Katniss was unrealistic because girls aren't that tough and don't usually enjoy hunting, I would be called a sexist. But saying Ethan is "not a guy" because he likes reading and acts chivalrous isn't? Talk about a double standard!
Lena is another intriguing character, as are her family. They're Casters, and many of them are full of life and zing. Like her time-traveling Aunt Del, or Macon, who behaves as if he belongs in a Tim Burton film. Link is also easy to like- I like how loyal he is to Ethan, and I also like his post-grunge personality & sense of style.
The story itself is steeped in Southern decadence and eeriness. At times, the story was slightly biased in its attitude towards Southerners and Christians, but I understand why the authors wrote the town in this way: they were trying to tell a story of what it is like to be an outcast, to be hated and feared for what you are. The Sisters are deeply religious and so is Marian, and they are all portrayed in a very positive light & are shown to have a profound influence on Ethan.
The only pet peeve I had was the way the authors sort of "threw in" Sarafine near the end without much of a warning as to what was going to happen. I would've appreciated if we were given more of a feel for her character.
Overall, Beautiful Creatures is tied with Mortal Instruments as my favorite YA series of all time. If you want to get lost in a story with vivid characters and powerful imagery with meaning, then I would strong suggest reading this novel and its sequels. Can't wait for Beautiful Redemption and the movie!!
"The right thing and the easy thing are not always the same."...more