First things first, this book has some serious HEFT to it - coming in at 626 pages, it is quite the undertaking. That being said, it's good. The writing really pulls you in and the descriptions give you a very vivid picture of Gatlin. I loved the Southern Gothic tone of the novel and the setting. There is something inherently supernatural about the South. It seems like the best ghost stories are from down there. I don't know if us Midwesterners and the rest of the North are just too pragmatic or what, but the South is a great place to set an otherworldly story.
The fact that the narrator of this supernatural romance is a guy was interesting. I haven't read a book like this that was told almost entirely (we get Lena's narration for a few pages towards the end) from the male perspective. Ethan is from one of the oldest families in Gatlin and is very much an insider. He's on the basketball team, dates the popular girls, and has lots of friends. Until he starts dreaming of a girl he's never met, a girl who moves to town and turns his life upside-down and inside-out.
This book has more twists and turns then most mazes. Every time I thought I had something figured out something else would pop up and mess up my theories. I like books that keep me guessing all the way until the end. The secrets of the narrative allow the reader to forget the length and just get completely immersed in the story.
This is a very well written, creative book that I would definitely recommend to teens. Ready, here's the inevitable Twilight comparison that all supernatural romances have to endure. This is a good read alike for Twilight and fans of that series will enjoy Beautiful Creatures. It will be an interesting contrast for them to read a book set in the chilly, always rainy Northwest and then one set in the warm, historically aware South. Librarians, buy multiple copies, this is going to circ...a lot.