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Caster Chronicles #1

Beautiful Creatures

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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.

563 pages, Hardcover

First published December 1, 2009

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About the author

Kami Garcia

118 books16.7k followers
Kami Garcia is a #1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author. She is the coauthor of the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series, which has been published in 51 countries and 37 languages, with over 10 million copies in print. In 2013, Beautiful Creatures released as a feature film from Warner Brothers. Kami is a cofounder of the YALLFEST kid lit book festival and the author of five solo novels, including her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novels Unbreakable and Unmarked (THE LEGION series) and The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos. Kami’s first graphic novel Teen Titans: Raven, with artist Gabriel Picolo, is the first book in her TEEN TITANS series for DC Comics and the adult series JOKER/HARLEY: CRIMINAL SANITY, from DC Black Label.

Find Kami online at kamigarcia.com, on Facebook @KamiGarciaYA, and on Twitter and Instagram @KamiGarcia.

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5 stars
194,738 (33%)
4 stars
169,623 (28%)
3 stars
144,526 (24%)
2 stars
55,469 (9%)
1 star
25,596 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 22,868 reviews
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,406 reviews11.7k followers
February 10, 2017
Ugh, another overhyped paranormal YA creation. When will I learn not to buy into hype? Just like so many readers, I gave into the favorable internet buzz and opened the book with an expectation of it to be something special. Unfortunately, "Beautiful Creatures" was just another painfully boring overlong dud.

Having finally finished this book with a high level of irritation and disappointment, I decided to check out the favorable reviews to see what people liked about the story. Turns out the most appreciated aspects of the book were: an original love story told from a male POV (compare it to those other romances told from whiny girls' POVs), truly original paranormal lore, and small town Southern setting. I personally found none of it particularly striking. Allow me to elaborate:

The story follows same old dead-beat formula: a paranormal/human pairing, uncovering of the "mysterious" partner's true nature, teens drawn to each other for some unknown reason (even my hope for some kind of reincarnation "twist" didn't quite work out), constant i-can't-be-with-you-cause-it's-dangerous back and forth, the inability to "be together" physically...

Male POV is also not successful. I think the book would have been better if told in 3rd person, at least the writers' inability to channel a voice of a 16-year old boy would have been somewhat concealed.

As for Southern small town feel, I am pretty sure even Charlaine Harris writes it better in her trashy vampire books. In "Beautiful Creatures" it never rings true and is based on old tired cliches of narrow-mindedness and drawl.

But even all these issues aside, the book is simply a too long, often pointless concoction. Yes, the world of Casters (witches) is fairly new, but it is never too interesting or believable and can't justify the book's 600-page length.

I am still willing to give the writers some credit for their apparent effort to write a better book than the majority of YA writers, with a more intricate back story and better developed characters, but for me personally this book was just an excruciatingly long and boring read. The chances of me ever reading the sequel are non-existent.

Note to those who loved the book and feel compelled to leave me comments explaining to me why I am wrong disliking it: Spare me, I know exactly why you loved this book. This is only my opinion and I have a right to express it. I don't go to your 5-star reviews and try to convince you you are wrong liking it. Move on to your next paranormal romance instead. I have a handy list for you of the books you are sure to love:

Shiver, Hush, Hush, Evermore, Fallen, Marked, Blue Bloods, Jekel Loves Hyde, Personal Demons, Angel Star, Halo

You can thank me later.
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 14, 2018
oh my god, shusshify with all the loving on this book! this is another example of the world conspiring to tell me untruths. like, that sarah jessica parker is really hot.

"yeah, i don't know, she's kind of got a weird face, i am just not attracted to her"

"no! she is hot!! look at her dress!!! look at her shoes!!"

"yeah, no - i get it - her clothing is expensive, but she's just so oddly skinny and she has devil eyes."

"noooo - she is hot - here i made you a drink. you will like it, it is like hawaiian punch."

but this time i am not drinking.

here's the deal - two authors, one book. rarely works in practice. one lady said "i want to write a paranormal romance!" the other lady said "i want to write a civil war-era southern love story. well, let's smooosh them together! it is a great idea!!"

it's not a great result. it is a huge book that is very densely plotted, for teen fiction, which would ordinarily be a good thing if it weren't so shallowly conceived. it seems bloated with plot, but shy on the details. i had several "wait, but what?" moments.

and much of it seemed so... familiar. two teens in love, but both of their families are trying to keep them apart because of some ancient and unresolved family squabble. but also because she has powers, (this is the part shakespeare dropped the ball on)powers which might complicate her relationship to a mortal boy. but when they are together their kisses are like thunder and their embraces cause furniture to break and a teenage heart attack (cured by supernatural means, though. phew)

i worry for kids growing up on the new crop of teen fiction. the relationships always seems to have one paranormal participant, and it's hardly fair for actual teens. how can they compete with these? do kids get all sad after they lose their virginities and it is not as magical as they have been led to expect?? when beds do not rotate and literal sparks do not fly and they are not transported to the past?

it just seems like a lot of pressure to be put on them.

on the one hand - it is cool to have a male protagonist in a teen love story; most of then ones i have read are still goofy girls pining after unworthy boys. this is also the second book i have recently read in which telepathy occurs between the lovers. see - this i think is a bad idea. especially in teen lovers. i don't care how in love i am - once i find out you have the ability to read my mind, i am out. it is too creepy. no one will steal my inventions.

this is such a popular book, and it has such attractive cover-colors, i want to understand its appeal. conceptually, i thought it was a great idea, and with some adjustments, maybe it could have been better. i just thought there were too many loopholes, too many missed opportunities. and i hate this title. i kept calling it a combination of

i know i am no longer supposed to use pictures in my reviews, because it makes them too awesome, but

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
January 16, 2019
Phew, I am so glad that's over. I have read some dismal books in the young adult paranormal genre, books that have been boring or annoying or have offended me, but I think I can honestly say this is up there with some of the worst books I've ever read. Everything about this book aggravated me in one way or another, from the ridiculous length of it to the supposedly male protagonist. I couldn't even concentrate on the story for the most part because I kept picturing Ethan as a thirty-something woman.

There are some things I'm going to rant about that may not have bothered me several years ago before Twilight came along, waving its cliche banners. Well, unfortunately, I can only tell you what I thought of this book now, not speculate on what I might have thought if I'd read it a few years earlier.

So, let's get the whole "this is like every other paranormal young adult book" thing out of the way. There were one or two additions to the witchy aspect of it that felt somewhat original but the general pattern of this novel with the romance and the carbon copy characters was predictable and boring. No one likes a boring read and it's especially annoying when the book is nearly 600 pages long. Shall I check the usual paranormal YA criteria off for you? Small town... check. New girl... check. Boring holier-than-thou protagonist... check. Everlasting love after a very small amount of time... check. I don't know if this counts as instalove but it certainly counts as instaweirdobsession, full of laughable musings like "there's just something about her that makes me know it's meant to be" (hopefully, it's obvious that this is not a direct quote).

I thought that this book might be a little more original because of the uncommon choice to have a male protagonist, but everything is still exactly the same. Now, though, instead of a girl-next-door type, you have a boy-next-door type who sails along in his faultlessness, constantly comparing himself to the less intelligent and morally-questionable beings he must interact with every day. Ethan even treats us to a rare bout of what I can only call male slut-shaming; he criticises his male peers for having one-track minds and wanting to get off with girls when he is looking for something more meaningful... good for him, but why does that make him any better than the rest? He is actually an exact male version of many paranormal YA protagonists who criticise the popular girls for being more relaxed with their sexuality.

Not only that, but he also insults the other members of his Southern US town. The novel plays heavily on Southern stereotypes and portrays almost everyone but Ethan as being incredibly stupid. Ethan sneers at everyone. He is obviously smarter, has his morals in the right place, and is just downright awesome in comparison. He makes it no secret from the very first chapter that he considers himself above them. He even goes so far as to announce that he doesn't have an accent because he was raised by intelligent people.

And it was predictable. We don't even need to meet Lena or even hear her name to realise that she is the one Ethan will end up with. As soon as one of Ethan's classmates asks "have you seen the new girl?" and Ethan begins to wonder if she'll be hot, we know from that point where the whole thing is heading. Sometimes, I'll admit, there's some fun to be had watching a couple angst it out together, even though you know they'll be together eventually, but before we even knew her name? I can't even say that I stopped caring because, truthfully, I never even started. This whole book was just... not good.
Profile Image for Cara.
279 reviews720 followers
July 14, 2014
"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."
Doesn't that line just give you the shivers?!?!?!?

I doubt that they are people who will read this and not have a big impression. What am I saying?! I mean a HUGE impression. You know when you read a book and just immerse yourself in it? I'm sure most of you know the feeling. I kept reading into the night having no semblance of sleep,and staying awake on interest alone. I could not believe my eyes when I looked at the window when I finished the book to see light peeking out. Suffice to say I'm hooked.

This book is told through our male protagonist Ethan Wate, which was refreshing. There isn't any real good way to describe him other than devoted I think. Ethan lives in the boring southern town of Gatlin, where nothing changes and the Civil War is called the war of Northern Aggression. Nothing of note happens and there aren't really any secrets but really nothing can be further from the truth. This town is hopping with secrets, really really juicy ones. Ethan doesn't come to realize this until a new girl, Lena, comes into town. Now this is where our story begins...

Gosh there is so much to say but I doubt I could get it all done. This book has mystery (a lot of it), Southern culture (a character in itself), magic (like you have never seen before), and one of the best romances I've seen lately (no joke). Can you tell I like parentheses a tad too much? Don't answer that. Any who I have to commend the authors of telling a story that I could no way tell it was written by two people. The writing is seamless and draws you in no matter what is happening. Reading this is a bit of an undertaking because it is a 500 some odd pages and has a lot of back story, but it's totally worth it. My favorite character would have to be Amma (Ethan's no nonsense fill in parent since his mother died). What makes this story work is that there is such rich descriptions of the characters, their lives, the surroundings, and even the minor characters jump out at you. One little teeny irk: I doubt Ethan would notice way too much about what everybody was wearing, but I guess how else were we suppose to know? The ending clearly indicates there will be a sequel, or there BETTER be one! I kept trying to guess how to solve it, but I didn't get it till the end. Some things I could see coming because you know it really could never end another way.

Basically this is a story of a boy who loves a girl but it's with the extra touch of magic.

Later note: Found out there is a sequel! Check out Beautiful Darkness. It looks like the first one is being made into a movie! And on another later note here is a link to the trailer. Looks smashing!
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
June 3, 2021

Teenagers. Everything is so apocalyptic.
Truer words have never been spoken.

Ethan lives in Gatlin and which is just about the most boring town in existence.

Well...until Old Man Ravenwood's niece shows up in the company of a wolf and driving a hearse. Things suddenly got a lot more interesting.

There's just something so...ethereal...about Lena. The way she moves, the way she talks, her hopes and fears and loves - Ethan knows right away:
Lena wasn't just some girl you took to the last three rows of the CINEPLEX. She was more than that.
Well, hot damn. Isn't that a stunning endorsement. (Okay, okay. Sarcasm aside, I was actually really taken with this story.)

Within a few days Ethan finds himself falling hopelessly and helplessly in love.
I never loved you any more than I do, right this second. And I'll never love you any less than I do, right this second.
But this isn't solely a love story. Lena is a caster - belonging to a magic race - and there's a horrible fate looming over her.

On her sixteenth birthday, Lena will be claimed as either the light or the dark. And if she goes dark, she's powerless to stop it.
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.
Unusual for YA lit/romance, we have a love story from a guy's perspective. And we are blessed with lines such as:
You're so full of crap, you could pass for a toilet.
Utter brilliance.

Where do I even begin?

The rating is so low because it took me three tries to get through this novel and I'm not going to go attempt it again.

Ethan felt so over-the-top mellow dramatic that he actually turned a rather cool concept into something that needed to be slogged through.

There was so much emphasis on the will-they-won't-they aspect of Ethan and Lena's relationship that I honestly completely detached and didn't care one whit whether they would ever get together.

The only thing that kept me going was Lincoln - Ethan's deeply southern best friend.

Lincoln made the entire book worth it - and if he would've starred in this novel, I would've five-starred it in a heartbeat.

He's off-the-cuff hilarious and provides a much-needed break from Ethan's lovesick musings.

Audiobook Comments

The reader had the slowest southern accent I've ever had the displeasure of listening to. I've stopped listening to this book twice now solely cause it was just draggggging.

I had just about given up hope of ever finishing...when I've discovered that my newly acquired reading app lets me listen to books on 2x speed. Success!

Another note: The song "Sixteen Moons" floats in and out of this book several times and the audiobook went above and beyond.

I absolutely motherfreaking love it when I listen to audiobooks that takes lyrics and creates songs for us. Now, every time I read the lyrics, the melody goes through my head.
Sixteen Moons, Sixteen Years
Sixteen of your deepest fears
Sixteen times you dreamed my tears
Falling, Falling through the years

The Finer Books Club - 2018 Reading Challenge: A book on your DNF list

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Heather.
295 reviews13.9k followers
February 2, 2010
It has taken me a small eternity to write this review. I was down a hand for I had to use my left index finger to clamp down on my left eyelid in order to stop the twitching that began around page 65 of Beautiful Creatures. Meet the culprit.
“As I lay down, she sat up, I sat up, she laid down, I laid down. Awkward.”
Hell, now the right one is doing it.

To quote Hawkeye, from the 1991 movie version of Last of the Mohicans, Beautiful Creatures is “a breed apart and makes no sense” therefore making it nearly impossible to describe. It’s a contradictory mess and filled with 600 pages of driveling, hyperbole, that attempts, and yet fails miserably, at being cerebral. I’ll take it from the top.

Ethan. Who knew that 16 year old boys had so much in common with my great grandmother? Big granny could tell you everything there was to know about Southern style architecture, felt the world would end if she ran a few minutes late, and loved Gone With the Wind. Coincidentally, she and Ethan could have been soul mates. Even more amazing, Ethan is popular. Had he gone to my school (which was in a small southern town I might add) he would have been beat, both before and after school, and mocked mercilessly during class.

Lena. Can’t really say anything about her, she is that flat and dull.

Amma. She must have fallen out of the crazy tree and hit every branch on the way down. She would dominate at a staring contest, could probably teach me a thing or two about setting the eye on someone, and if I ever needed to intimidate a guy by sharpening my pencil, she’d be the first person I would call. But as a character, she sucked arse.

Plot. Can’t say much about it as there isn’t one. I’ve seen it mentioned more than once in various blubs, that Beautiful Creatures is a memorizing Southern Gothic tale. To be frank, these women would be hard pressed to describe a south that didn’t appear in Gone With the Wind. This was truly driven home when another granny in the book stated that she wanted to be buried with her Bible so that she would have something to read once she passed. Any southerner worth their salt knows that statement would never be uttered south of the Mason Dixon line for two reasons. One, we all know that you will your battered family Bible to the least liked family member so that they are coerced by post mortem guilt to display it among their treasures once they have written your death date in it with a 10 cent pen they find buried in the back of a drawer and second because grannies don’t read Bibles, they just quote from them in order to brow beat you into submission. Basically, this entire book spits out clichés, cites works of literature that far surpass this one, Lena worries that she is evil, and she and Ethan hunt for a book that is rendered useless.

I wish I could have told Lena not to fret, because the real spawn(s) of Satan are the people who are responsible for publishing and/or advertising this book. Beautiful Creatures was blogged, blurbbed, and podcasted for at least 6 mos. prior to its release. I’d given them props if I weren’t so mad at them for their treachery. Had I been in their shoes, I would have quoted Bill Nighy from Love Actually, “Please boys and girls, buy this festering turd of a book so that someone can finally knock Stephanie Meyer off the best seller list.”

Lastly, for those of you who read my review thus far, I must apologize. I have pulled a Garcia and Stohl and have gone on too long. I bid you my blurb.

“Beautiful Creatures is freakishly weird, nonsensical, and plot-less tome that will leave your eye twitching long after you have turned the last page.”
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,192 reviews2,901 followers
December 4, 2013
Three words; unique, epic & addictive

Wow. I mean really, wow. I have no words. I really have no words. It's so much more easier for me to give reasons why I don't like something, rather than try to explain why I do. I mean, I don't know why I like something. I just do!

But let's see if I can explain this coherently. It took awhile for me to get into the story. Initially you get a lot of information, and I wasn't exactly sure where it all was headed. However, you needed that back story. You needed to understand the history of the town the history of Ethan, otherwise the vibrancy of the story would be lost. The history completely compliments and enhances the rest of the story, when you get to the end, you'll get it.

The atmosphere of these book was incredible. I had this insatiable craving for grits and sweet tea..... It really was like you were there, Garcia and Stohl cover even the smallest of details. Characterization was phenomenal. These characters were fantastically portrayed, three dimensional, I had very strong feelings toward each and every one of them and that's something that doesn't happen often. Something that's not evident a lot in YA fiction, is family involvement. The parents or guardians are always in the back ground, there, but not there. Beautiful Creatures has a lot of family involvement, which I loved.

Maybe I do know why I liked it! Writing was outstanding, pacing was right on, I could not get through the pages fast enough! The whole story was just fascinating, I just loved it, every small aspect. It just worked.

I can not wait to read more. I demand a sequel! Which I'm happy to report.... is coming!
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews33 followers
May 19, 2022
Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1), Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures is an American young adult novel written by authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and the first book in the Caster Chronicles series. The book was published on December 1, 2009.

The story takes place in a small town in Gatlin, South Carolina with a boy named Ethan Wate. The town isn’t one of those storybook towns you read about in fairy tales, it’s, as Ethan describes it, isolating and suffocating because everyone knows everyone. Ethan dreams of escaping after high school to the farthest college away he can get to. Ethan’s mother was killed in a car accident and after that his father became a withdrawn, absent dad, holed away in his study. Though Ethan does have the company of his housekeeper Amma, who had been there to raise his dad when he was growing up. Amma has the gift of foresight, and she is in some ways the town considers her the modern day witch. Ethan had repeatedly had a dream about this girl falling, and he tries to catch her but is always just slightly out of reach. When he wakes up, him and his sheets covered in dirt and mud, he smells rosemary and lemons, and on his iPod he hears the song, “Sixteen Moons” a song he has never ever heard up until the dreams started.

Later that day at school Ethan meets a girl named Lena Duchannes, the new girl who is the niece of the infamous Macon Ravenwood. Macon is a reclusive, mysterious owner of the Ravenwood Manor, an grand old plantation house from the times of the civil war, maybe even before then. At school, Ethan suddenly hears “Sixteen Moons” and follows the sound to a music room where he finds Lena playing the song on the cello. He recognizes her as the girl he has dreamt about saving and is shocked to smell rosemary and lemon. He cautiously approaches Lena and tells her about his dream he’s been having about her. She denies knowing about anything, when Ethan tries to point out the scratches on her hand coinciding with the dream. Over the next week Ethan slowly gains Lena’s trust by supporting her when students start teasing and bullying her. They end up getting close and making a real connection, even so close that they start to develop the ability to communicate telepathically, no joke.

Lena later tells Ethan that her whole family, including her, have special powers, referring to them as casters, originated from their ability to cast spells. Ethan eventually learns to accept and even appreciate this fact after a while, because it’s a part of Lena. Ethan meets a girl who approaches him at the convenient shop and introduces herself as Lena’s cousin named Ridley, who takes Ethan to Ravenwood manor. Ridley’s real motives to taking Ethan to the manor is to sneak in and gain access to the house. Ridley becomes angry at her family and declares that Lena will soon be “claimed” on her sixteenth birthday. Lena knows Ridley speaks the truth. The worst part of it all is that she will not have any say over if she will be claimed by the dark or the light. Ethan ends up losing consciousness but not before he hears Lena tell Ridley to leave her “boyfriend” alone, or else.The story takes place in a small town in Gatlin, South Carolina with a boy named Ethan Wate. The town isn’t one of those storybook towns you read about in fairy tales, it’s, as Ethan describes it, isolating and suffocating because everyone knows everyone.

Ethan dreams of escaping after high school to the farthest college away he can get to. Ethan’s mother was killed in a car accident and after that his father became a withdrawn, absent dad, holed away in his study. Though Ethan does have the company of his housekeeper Amma, who had been there to raise his dad when he was growing up. Amma has the gift of foresight, and she is in some ways the town considers her the modern day witch. Ethan had repeatedly had a dream about this girl falling, and he tries to catch her but is always just slightly out of reach. When he wakes up, him and his sheets covered in dirt and mud, he smells rosemary and lemons, and on his iPod he hears the song, “Sixteen Moons” a song he has never ever heard up until the dreams started. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دهم ماه فوریه سال2016میلادی

عنوان: موجودات زیبا: کتاب اول از سری تاریخ نگاری کستر؛ نویسندگان: کامی گارسیا؛ مارگارت استول؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

موجودات زیبا رمان فانتزی نوجوان، نوشته ی: «کامی گارسیا» و «مارگارت استول» است؛ این کتاب نخستین کتاب از سری «تا��یخ نگاری کستر» است؛ داستان «ایتان ویت»، پسر نوجوان ساکن شهری کوچک به نام «گتلین» را پی میگیرد؛ او شیفته ی «لنا دوکنز»، دختری با جادوی توانمند، است؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 20/04/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 28/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Corey Edward.
Author 2 books27 followers
January 28, 2013
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 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."
Profile Image for Marie Lu.
Author 47 books134k followers
July 26, 2011
Gorgeous, dark, lush, and gothic. It's so refreshing to read a paranormal romance told from the point of view of the guy, and Ethan is a fantastic narrator. Through his eyes, Gatlin comes alive in all its small town glory, full of whispers and secrets and prejudices (the Civil War tidbits are so interesting). Ethan + Lena makes for sexy and sweet romance. Amma, Ethan's no-nonsense grandmother, is an awesome character. And this line gives me goosebumps every time I read it: "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." Agh, love. <3
Profile Image for Roohdaar.
165 reviews1,806 followers
December 9, 2012
This was one of the worst books I have ever read. Even with two authors it failed to satisfy me. The story is overloaded with cliches. The characters are all... nothing. Ugh... I wish Goodreads had a "Hated it so much that a part of me just died" star. A "Didn't like it" star ridicules my feelings towards this... book.

Utter nonsense.
Profile Image for Annalisa.
547 reviews1,379 followers
July 15, 2010
From some of the reviews I've read, I was sure the writing was going to be atrocious. It's not. Sure there are times when it's repetitive and there's quite a few inconsistencies (where someone would say or do something and then contradict it a few pages later) and there were times when I had no idea what was going on (like where Ethan maybe almost had a heartache I guess and I thought it was some psychedelic love scene until it was explained at the end), but there are also moments of brilliance, in writing. The description was often vivid and I appreciate that it isn't uber-cheesy. I liked the Southern goth thing, especially Uncle Macon and Boo Radley and the changing house. In the beginning, I loved the setting of a Southern town and some of the quirky humor with which it was described. By halfway through though, I was sick of the over-stereotypical Southern town and over Garcia's and Stohl's mockery of it. I wish they hadn't wasted so much of the book making fun of the South.

Some issues I had with the book:
1. I didn't believe, not for one second, that Ethan was a guy. Forget a teenager (which I didn't see either), there was nothing masculine about him. I can appreciate the lack of male protagonists in YA fiction, but if you're female writing a guy, you better make him more male than a guy would. You can't make him distinguish the smell of rosemary and then go on for a page an a half about the dresses girls wear to dances and then all the decorations to the dance and make him overanalyze the behavior of the girl he likes. And you absolutely cannot make your protagonist disgusted that other guys appreciate a girl's body and want to distance yourself from such crude behavior. Whether you want to believe it or not, all guys notice those things, even the goody-goodies. Guys have this thing about being one of the guys and blending in. They don't like to stand out. And if they do (and if they're as well read as a college graduate who hangs out with his great aunts on the weekends), there is no way they would be popular. Even the way they described the way he packed away food sounded like the way girls are appalled that guys eat so much. The only way I could read Ethan was as a personification of the authors as a teenage boy with all their girliness. I know that doesn't make sense either, but it worked for me, except for those moments when I was surprised to remember Ethan was a guy. Sometimes he couldn't be anything but a girl.

A few technicalities about guy things: Basketball. Centers aren't the stars of a basketball team. They don't get fouled every few second and they aren't the ones making the bulk of the shots. Garcia and Stohl could have meant regular baskets instead of fouls and mis-worded, but even then a center wouldn't be shooting from the free throw line. They're the big guys in the center who get shots off rebounds, not the ones dribbling up and down the court and making shots from the outside. And a guy who is on a sports team is ultra-dedicated to his team and the game and the season, especially if he's the star of the team. Guys don't let girls get between them and their game or their friends like girls do. Bands. This was worded vaguely, but I got the impression that Link, who is a drummer, was the main vocals in his band. Never going to happen. Lead singers are guitarist, bass players if you want, or just vocals, but not the guy in the back on the noisy drums setting the rhythm for the whole band. Like I said, it was vague and Link could have just been introducing the band, but I always wondered where the vocals were coming from when Ethan heard Sixteen Moons play on Lena's viola or anywhere that wasn't his iPod. Mysterious, supernatural vocals.

2. I had trouble suspending my disbelief in this one. When it opens with Ethan waking from a recurring nightmare and his reaction is "oh, there's mud on my bed again from my dream," it was a little jarring. I wanted him to freak out that his dreams were something more than dreams. I wanted him to freak out that someone could talk in his head. I wanted him to freak out that all these weird supernatural stuff was going on around him. (Not girl freak out, guy freak out.) And if he's getting mud and water in his bed, why isn't snoopy Amma, queen of the superstitious, who is up in the night way too often realizing something is going on while he sleeps? Nobody really noticed how crazy their small town got. I wanted a reason to belief that all this crazy supernatural phenomena had been going on in the world and nobody noticed before. It was too much. But my biggest issue with the supernatural elements is that I'm not a fan of black magic, not a fan of people with too much invincible power (especially power that is hidden but obvious), and more than anything, I'm not a fan of stories where people don't have a choice whether they're good or evil (our ability to chose is about the only thing we can control in our lives, without it, what are we but robotic extensions of someone else?). This book had all three, so while the suspense ended up being decent by the end (after a lot of dragging), I wasn't crazy about where it was going.

Speaking of freedom of choice, I never felt that Ethan and Lena fell in love. It was this sense of "oh, you're the girl from my dreams that I'm supposed to be madly in love with. You're hot; that's cool, let's be intensely, maddeningly in love beyond what mere mortals experience." Garcia and Stohl tried to backtrack with this sense that they were taking it slow and just being friends, but the damage had already been done. They had already fallen irrevocably and eternally in love solely because they were destined to without ever getting to know each other. And from then on, Ethan automatically understood everything Lena was thinking and feeling, which had nothing to do with the supernatural element. He just described her facial expressions or body language and told us exactly what was going on in her head. She may as well have been a secondary POV.

3. Which brings me to my next issue, writing issues. There were several instances where the authors tried to take something back or add something that should have been happening as an afterthought or most annoying made Ethan play the stupid girl to keep the suspense going. This is most frustrating in the climax scene where it takes four pages after Ethan realizes something is off to figure out what the rest of us already have. I think we were supposed to be surprised by the revelation of who is waiting for them in the garden, but I don't see how you couldn't get it. And then Ethan makes this statement: "She had the power to destroy. I had only seen the power to love." Really? Really? All those broken windows and storms and pandemonium and he hadn't noticed the power to destroy? What story was he in?

Going into the climax, I was annoyed with the book and the characters who were just sitting around waiting for the climax. Before that, I kind of liked the book, but I got so frustrated with the stilting of Ethan and Lena's characters that I almost closed the book. If they don't care about their destiny, why should I? Time is running out and they have the book that maybe has the answers they're looking for and what do they do? They go to a dance (where Ethan describes the dresses and decorations). Pages and pages of a high school dance with doom waiting at the door. And then, they go to school and do homework and make out and take on the town and ignore the big clue given to them a hundred pages before the climax. We're later told that they spent so much time pouring over the book that they're sick of it, but other than the one scene, I didn't see it. Even if they didn't get any answers, I wanted to see Ethan and Lena in a panic trying to stop the inevitable, not waiting around for it to show up. And I'm not even going to go into the tantrum Lena pulls on the big day. The authors wanted certain scenes in so they forced them on the characters and the story when they didn't fit.

I think the book was too long and the details focused on the wrong things. If it were an intense page-turner or the sexual tension powerful, then the 563 pages would have flown by. But it read like a book that was 563 pages. I can see why girls like the book, but not why anyone would give it 5 stars.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,114 followers
January 7, 2019
3.5 ⭐️

"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."

I picked this one up when I spotted it in the charity shop after watching and enjoying the film adaption. I thought the magic system was incredibly intricate and exciting, but I did have a few issues with other parts.

Ethan has lived in Gatlin his entire life, a small South Carolina town full of small minded people. After the death of his mother, Ethan's father shuts himself away, and Ethan can think of nothing but leaving Gatlin and never returning.

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere."

The arrival of Lena Duchannes throws Ethan's entire world into disarray. Niece to the mysterious Macon Ravenwood, of Ravenwood manor - the local 'haunted house'. Ethan and Lena are drawn together right from the beginning, we soon find out that Lena is a 'caster', and on her 16th birthday she will find out whether she is 'dark' or 'light'.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Filled with history, secrets and magical powers I loved finding out about the Caster world and Lena's family. I didn't like the way Ethan would talk about the other people in his town though. Fat shaming, slut shaming and just generally looking down on them all, I didn't appreciate at all.

I liked seeing the differences between the book and the film version.

Overall it was an enjoyable read and I think I will continue with the series.
Profile Image for Lena.
199 reviews92 followers
May 12, 2023
Don't excpect much and you won't be disappointed - the moto of this twilight-type young-adult. To give this book a justice, it does have everything genre requires: moody teens, school ball, dark dangerous romance and magical mystery. Southern states setting makes it a bit intresting, but characters are too childish for an adult readers. Like, the fight with the school bullies takes way more pages than the battle against the supernatural evil. And the narrator here is a boy who falls for a witch-girl not vice versa, which is quite unusual for such novels.
Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,701 followers
November 17, 2014
4 stars!!


This is another one of those cases where watching the movie motivated me to read the book. I loved that this book didn’t have the typical paranormal creature (vampire, werewolf, etc…) and I was even more intrigued by the deep family and town history that played a huge role in the story, so needless to say I had to read this one. Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely, and I found the two main characters to be endearing, down-to-earth teenagers just trying to find their way. The pace of the book is pretty slow, but does move at a steady pace and since I’m a reader who appreciates it when historical elements are weaved into the story, I didn’t find the book to be boring or the tone monotonous at all.


The book is told almost entirely in the hero Ethan Wate’s POV, and from the beginning it’s known he’s plagued by dreams of a mysterious girl and an ominous, foreboding song that only he seems to hear. And in his small hometown of Gatlin where secrets become common knowledge and unspoken agreements become law, Ethan wants nothing more than to escape this stifling place and explore the world.

When he returns to his high school, he and everyone else is shocked to hear that there’s a new student, and the new kid is none other than Lena Duchannes, the niece of the town’s most abhorred resident and rumored ‘devil-worshipper.’ And even though he knows he shouldn’t, Ethan is hopelessly drawn to Lena and her to him. What ensues is a tentative friendship turned relationship where the romance is pure and heartfelt.


But what they soon learn about each other is that they really can’t be together without facing the dozens of obstacles in their way. Lena’s a Caster, a dignified term for witch, and on her 16th birthday will either be Claimed by the Light or the Dark based on her true nature. With Ethan being mortal and not knowing how to break the spell before Lena’s sixteen, conflict and danger are constantly threatening to separate the two, along with both of their families not approving of their relationship and of course, time.


This book was such a delight to read. I think this is one of the very few PNR books I’ve read where an action-packed plot isn’t the main thing driving the book. It’s very character-driven, and the pace is slower than expected but not to the point of boredom, at least not for me. There is sarcasm and dry humor sprinkled among the pages, and with some Civil War history and family dynamics in the background, this book engaged both my mind and my heart. The only reason why I didn’t give it 5 stars is because it did take some time for the book to really grab me and wasn’t unputdownable, plus I feel like this first book only gave me a taste of what could be a magnificent PNR series. I have a feeling that the following books will be just as good or even better than this first one.

Beautiful Creatures is the first book in this YA paranormal series and while it’s designed to have the story continue on in the next few books, it technically can be read as a standalone. The ending is not a cliffhanger and concludes on a high note.
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,010 reviews4,154 followers
February 9, 2012
It's not often that a book has me cringing, wanting to throw it down in frustration and never to return to it again. Unfortunately, Beautiful Creatures was written so badly and unconvincingly so that's what I would have done, if not for a reading challenge I was trying to complete.

You'd think such an interesting and unique premise about witches and warlocks would be difficult to get wrong. Unfortunately, the book was written in such a bland, boring manner that it failed to grab me at all. Not to mention that some of the writing is just plain bad. It was contradictory, involved one too many broken sentences, and was rather confusing at times, making it a chore to understand what the author is trying to get at.

Unlike most YA books, it is written in the point of view of a teenage male, but the authors trying to put themselves in a teenage boy's shoes mostly involved talking about how hot some cheerleaders were at the school. There's barely any character development and you're just meant to accept that Ethan just falls in love with Lena, because he's been dreaming about her all of this time.

The plot (or lack thereof) just seemed to drag on and on forever. So much so that at the end, I wondered why I bothered wasting my time on reading this book when there are so many other more interesting things to do.

Also at the most crucial moment when the plot is meant to take off, the authors throws us into a random, unimportant, and rather frustrating side track in the form of a surprise party. Who cares about the other school kids when you are meant to be finding out what happens to Lena after ramping this up for the ENTIRE book?

Save yourself the trouble, and skip this title.

Check out Happy Indulgence for more reviews!
Profile Image for Kristin Hackett (Merrily Kristin).
215 reviews3,663 followers
January 10, 2020
Beautiful Creatures is one of those classic YA series that I somehow never got around to picking up until now. I am so glad that I prioritized it this year because I ended up really enjoying it! I had previously seen and loved the film so I didn't go into it completely blind, but I'm happy to report that the story held up after all of these years. One of the most refreshing elements of the book is that it's told from Ethan (the powerless mortal)'s perspective. At the time, the majority of YA paranormal and fantasy fiction were from female perspectives and the females weren't typically the powerful ones. It was really interesting to experience our narrator's helplessness as he's forced to react to the decisions of those around him instead of being the one faced with the tough choices. There's no doubt that the two reasons I enjoyed this book so much are 1) I found the Caster lore to be really interesting and 2) I loved the Southern Gothic setting. I thought all the characters were well developed, and I especially loved Lena's uncle Macon. The one thing I wasn't totally sold on was the romance. I did appreciate how focused Lena seemed to be on her future instead of pining after Ethan and so, I never felt a very strong connection between the two of them (though I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops in the future installments). I also enjoyed the illustrations and that two of Amma's recipes are included at the end of the book. I'm definitely going to be making her cookie pie at some point!

Buddy read for the Paranormal Book Club with Alexa, Rachel & DJ
Profile Image for Melissa Marr.
Author 107 books12.7k followers
November 9, 2009
My blurb (sent to the editors of the book): “Beautiful Creatures is gorgeously crafted, atmospheric, and original. I devoured it.”
Profile Image for P .
691 reviews327 followers
March 15, 2017
“The right thing and the easy thing are never the same.”

I don't know why I read this book. Beautiful Creatures sounds promising at first just like Twilight, a forbidden love story where two souls find each other in the darkest moment of their lives. But I didn't like Ethan, he's uninteresting and can't even deliver the story properly. That made this book so boring and I didn't want to continue around the half way through it. Anyway, I wanted to know about that little riddle about the curse and why everyone seems to be alerted by this cause, so I kept reading. And I was doomed.

“Darkness, real darkness, was more than just a lack of light.”

What I found out at the end was very disappointing I didn't want to continue this series. I asked myself about why I read BC in the first place if I read it in vain and my mood was ruined.

For Lena, your power was very interesting but when you get involved with Ethan, it exactly goes downhill. I now understand why the movie isn't popular, because of many things being so messed up and unbelievably scattered.

“Even lost in the darkness, my heart will find you.”

Will I read the next book? No way. Even though I already bought the first three books, I feel like this is a bummer and I don't want to waste my time on this series anymore.

“You're so full of crap, you could pass for a toilet.”

2 stars for reminding me of Twilight. Thank you!
Profile Image for Sandra .
160 reviews375 followers
July 19, 2014
How the heck is this book turning into a movie?! I'm telling ya, reading this THING is like walking through mud that has some sharp stuff in it. It's slow and painful.

But, before i'm gonna go all ballistic, and talk about how much i didn't enjoy reading Beautiful Creatures, i'm gonna say what this book is about for those who don't know. So the main protagonist is Ethan, he dreams of this girl that he doesn't know ( more like has nightmares). Then one day he goes to school, and hears there is a 'new hot chick', when he sees her, he somehow knows it's the girl from his dreams. But as they grow closer together, Ethan 'realizes' that she hides a dark secret, and is not whom she really seems she is.

I would highly suggest you keep on reading my review if: A. You'v read this book. B, You never finished it and are NEVER planning to, or C, You are NEVER EVER planing to pick this up and don't mind people swearing ( cause i'm gonna). And also, there are GOING TO BE SPOILERS.

Fist things first, doesn't the plot sound somehow similar? I swear i'v read at least 2 books about the same thing - boy/girl dreaming about a stranger, and then they meet them and fall 'helplessly in love'. I'm seriously getting tired of that same old crap. The only reason why i was even thinking about buying this book was because of the movie. I'm sure lot's of people had the same reason that i did.

Let's go onto the characters. Gosh, i'm actually shivering of detestation when i think about them. I think they were the most unrealistic characters i had the misfortune of ever getting to know. They were described and developed ok-ish. But i actually don't give a damn about that most of the time, it's the REALISTIC thiny i'm looking for. I could not connect to the characters AT ALL, any one of them, well if you count a dog as a character, then yeah. I couldn't care less if all of them died on the next page. Ethan was the worst. He was just so damn STUPID! I wanted to punch him in the face, or strangle him to death most of the time. Here's my prove -

( Ethan getting ready to leave for prom).
....? A little protection never hurt anybody - not even you, Ethan Wate." ..... She gave me a bone crushing hug, and i ran down the steps and into the night. " You be careful, you hear? Don't get carried away." I had no idea what she meant, but i smiled at her anyway.
"  photo tumblr_lqe1xwTCMK1qcr1px_zps9f80f7bf.gif

K, let's talk about this. What kind of stupid teenager wouldn't understand what she meant by that?! Even fucking 10 year old's would know what she meant! What is he, like 4 years old? Maybe he should go back to school for toddlers. It was SO obvious she was talking about him having sex and carrying protection just in case it happened.

( Lena breaking up with Ethan)
..... Then she turned and fled down the hallway that was so quiet you could have heard a pencil drop. ' merry christmas, Lena'. But there was nothing to hear. She was gone,........

Who the hell would think/say ' Merry Christnas' to a girl that have just ripped you'r heart out?

( Ethan and Lena having a fight. Then she goes into her house and slams the door).
'I heard the door slam behind me as she went back into the house, her cellblock, whatever. I hadn't had a girlfriend before so i wasn't prepared to deal with all this - i didn't even know what to call it. Especially not with a caster girl. Not having a better idea of what to do, i stood up and......'

 photo whatthehelllook_zps93c9ff3a.gif

Errmmm.. i don't know. Maybe like try and talk to her. Show her that you actually bother and care about her. TRY to understand. Not leave like you don't give a fuck in the world, and go back to school like nothing happened.

 photo exhousted_zps45e05e36.gif

So, yeah. As you can see, i wasn't very 'fond' of Ethan.

The characters weren't the only reason why i didn't like this. It was also because of the slow pacing. Ahhh! I despise slow paced books! And Beautiful Creatures? Was not only slow from the beginning, but also practically throughput the ENTIRE fucking book. However, i have to give this book the credit of making me want to fall asleep. I usually don't fall asleep very easily, but with this book? Not a damn problem.

The very ending sucked as well. I actually YAWNED at the end, that's how much i didn't give a shit about what's gonna happen. I can't believe i even finished this book. WOW! I should damn well get some reward for that! I hated it especially when Ethan was trying to save Lena, and went searching for Granny, Ryan and all that. He had like, what? 20-15 min till she would either turn Dark or Light, and guess what? He was walking cautiously and taking his damn time. He even had a nice chat with 1 or 2 people. Like no worries! My beloved girlfriend is just trying to not get killed by her own mother and turn into some kind of monster. But who cares right?

Overall, Beautiful Creatures wasn't a big disappointment to me, because i had a feeling i wouldn't like this book. Turns out i was right. I'v very curious as to how in the world this book is turning into a movie, since most people seem to hate it. I will most likely not buy the second book any time soon, although i might give it a go since i'm a nice person who gives 2sc chances. I will definitely see the movie, because it looks like a million times better than the book, and i want to see what they changed about it. I don't think i recommend Beautiful Creatures to anyone. And just in case one of the authors is reading this review ( happened to me more than once!) i am very sorry if i disrespected you in any way and said pretty bad stuff about your book, i'm just being honest here!. :)

Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,743 reviews5,283 followers
December 29, 2021
This has some Issues™ and I didn't expect to like it this much, but honestly... this is just exactly what I needed right now and I had so much fun with it. Also, tbh, I'm glad I saw the movie first because Alden Ehrenreich is literally the perfect Ethan and I can't be convinced otherwise.
Profile Image for Marnie  (Enchanted Bibliophile).
849 reviews123 followers
October 26, 2017
This was FUN!

I vaguely remember seeing the movie many, many years back. Thinking the primes was awesome I got myself all four books; but never got around to reading them.
Now I'm kind of glad it took me so long to get around to them. I know, most people say the opposite thing, but I'm glad I can't recall everything form the movie, it made the book so much more interesting. I knew the ending, but all the other details were fussy, so this was kind of like a refresher - just way more detailed and so much better that the movie.

I really enjoyed the narration - the fact that this book was written by two women and still the male protagonist was so true and realistic just blew me away!
The humor and the writing style was so addicting, I caught myself a few times mimicking the sarcasm.

I must say this was an unexpected jewel.

And quoting my friend Deedi: "Do not watch the movie!!" "Ugh the movie murdered this book"

Profile Image for Kerry.
849 reviews
July 21, 2009
I acquired a copy of Beautiful Creatures at ALA from a teen who was my super hero. She had an extra copy and gave one to me and so I have to say Thankyouthankyouthankyou to you (I'm sorry I don't know your name) for your random act of kindness that I will pay forward.

I haven't been able to put this book down. It's absloutely fantastic. The combination of tension, humour, mystery and the paranormal have made this a real page-turner. I love the style of writing and the authors have created characters that are real and people you want to care about. I'm a little more than half way through and I'm getting concerned because the book is going to end soon!!! I just don't want that to happen. I really hope this team puts out another book really soon (like tomorrow :)) so I can read it!

The other thing about this book is the role of the library and librarian. It's made me laugh becuase these ladies have it dead on especially when the Aunts discover there are computers at the library. I laughed out loud! Genealogy also plays a part and it's made me think about getting back into it and tackling my own family tree again.

In the end all I can say is everyone needs to pick this one up.
Profile Image for Alethea A.
587 reviews168 followers
April 10, 2010
SUN, APRIL 18 at 2 pm - Meet Kami & Margie at Borders Glendale (CA)
RSVP here: http://bit.ly/grbeautifulc

Beautiful Creatures is exactly what I aspire to be as a human being: pretty, funny, and smart all in one package. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl have written a seamless and utterly absorbing tale of a cursed romance: a Mortal boy who falls for a Caster girl in a small Southern town. Meaningful thoughts about love, loyalty, and prejudice unfold from this intricately parsed novel: those who love books will delight in the literary references, those who love love will swoon over the star-crossed couple, and those who love good writing will greedily devour every carefully chosen word.

Better yet, get the print version and the audio, both. The music and sound effects (particularly for the dream sequences) in the audiobook version add yet another dimension to the Gothic atmosphere the authors have built.

Another book for the loaner shelf*.

- - -

12/7/09 observation... BC is on about 73% more to-be-read shelves as a week ago. Let's see what # they hit next week (currently 1733 with 128 currently-reading)
12/9/09 watching it... up by 100 tbrs in 2 days!
12/11/09 I think it'll hit 2000 tomorrow. Man, I love watching things trend. Like birdwatching.
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,678 reviews5,253 followers
June 21, 2013

so i just watched the movie adaptation last night and i liked it! certainly superior to the book, and way better than the Twilight adaptations. i wonder why the movie was so unpopular? it was cute, the effects were good, the sets for the magic mansion were pretty cool, and the whole thing flew by and was over before i knew it. Viola Davis & Jeremy Irons were amusing. the lead actor had the corniest, most syrupy Southern accent possible yet was a goofy delight to watch - that kid was great, whoever he is. the lead actress had a good look. she was potentially annoying but in the end, not so annoying after all (although not the most amazing actress). my favorite part about her is that she's the daughter of phenomenal filmmaker Jane Campion and for that she has my automatic positive regard. but the best part of all was awesome Emma Thompson. she was pure fun. what an actress!

okay here is my fascinating & epic original review from 8/25/10:

supernaturally-themed YA offering, with an unusual central character: the protagonist is a perfectly regular teenage male, not an outcast or outsider nor a young lady meeting the sexy supernatural stranger of her dreams. the atypical audience identification point is striking and both this central characterization and the atmosphere of a decaying southern town are thoughtfully rendered. the love story is at times surprisingly intense and is also at times more absorbing then the often strangely flimsy mystical elements.
Profile Image for Kimberly Derting.
Author 32 books5,041 followers
July 7, 2010
It took me longer than it should have to read Beautiful Creatures, mostly because I kept re-reading passages (and sometimes entire sections) just to savor that southern *feel* that the authors captured so incredibly well. From the language to the characters to the settings, I felt like I was part of Ethan and Lena's journey as they navigated their way toward her 16th birthday.

I relished every moment I spent with this lush gothic tale.
Profile Image for Kristen "Kirby" .
60 reviews25 followers
February 9, 2010
Got to page 110. Here's my beef.

Ethan sounds like a woman--or a very, very, feminine man. He notices things like pink finger nails, too dark tans, whether someone is too fat for their skirt, or what kind of purse she has. And, tell me, what 17 year old boy has a thing against blondes? Now, I'm not a guy myself, but I really doubt teen boys are that observant. To me, he sounded like a petty woman.

Ethan hangs with old ladies. I understand he has to take them to church and all, but why does he come to them for gossip? Sure, they're old so they must know everything, but why not ask his jock friends about the new girl? Golly knows it's a small town and secrets are impossible to keep secret.

My buddy Ethan accepts talking voices in his head. Automatically he knows that, hey, Lena is communicating with him. They talk back and forth in their heads and even share a vision together. Ethan doesn't doubt anything for a minute and thinks everything is normal and dandy. (If I started seeing and hearing things, I would be freaking out and stay away from the source. Maybe I'm weird.)

Ethan wants to be buddies with Lena, even though she tells him to get lost(via planting message in his head). When she gets upset at school, it's in his place to run over to her house and go on in. He doesn't know her, but that's fine, why not go trespass?

Wonder how many more complaints I would have found had I read 400 more pages. Good thing I called a quits, right?

Kristen (:
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,520 reviews8,993 followers
June 1, 2010
Beautiful Creatures was a fascinating first novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The focus of the story was the romance between Ethan and Lena - a mortal and a Caster, two star-crossed lovers separated by their predetermined fate and a small southern town trying to tear them apart.

The last hundred pages or so of this novel were amazing. The writing was beautiful and the pacing was tight. I absolutely loved the descriptions and how everything prior to the climax came to a point; it pretty much made the entire four hundred pages beforehand worthwhile. While the beginning and middle of the novel were terribly slow, they ultimately contribute to the flawless ending - I would recommend bracing through the first half of the book just to reach the ending.

I also thought Ethan was written a bit unrealistically, especially at the beginning of the novel. I don't know any straight, male adolescent who would critique a girl's blond hair, fingernail color, or promiscuous clothing choices. They might exist, but I think the authors went a bit overboard in attempting to make Ethan the perfect boyfriend.

Looking forward to the sequel, Beautiful Darkness.

*edit as of 2/17/2013: I regret my choice of words when I first wrote this review, because it makes me sound sexist and stereotypical. I don't think Ethan was unrealistic (now) because of his actions, rather, merely because he was seemingly perfect. Just wanted to make that clear.
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