Scott's Reviews > Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
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's review
Jan 05, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2010, fantasy, favorites, first-half-of-2010, horror, older-teens, realistic, strange, suspense, younger-teens, young-adult-books, romance, supernatural, gothic
Read in February, 2010

Dear Hype Train,
I am glad you occasionally pick up a passenger that belongs there.

Scott Rader (and probably other Beautiful Creatures fans.)

Lena Duchannes is the new girl in Gatlin County, South Carolina, a place that hasn't changed much, and doesn't see many "new girls." Gatlin residents are still a little broken up about the Civil War. They don't care much for progressiveness. It's the kind of backwater town people want to leave, or that get trapped in and hacked to pieces by a lunatic. Ethan Wate is one of Gatlin's residents who would rather leave. His mother recently died, and since then him and his father barely speak. He reads to escape, something not many of his friends do. He does what is expected of him, although not with great pleasure. He's one of the basketball teams stand-out stars, but readers get the feeling he's only there out of obligation. He's even dated cheerleaders. But he wants more. And if you can't see where this is going . . . well, I'll tell you. Obviously, Lena and Ethan are meant to be together. Right? Well, as the back of the book says, "Some loves are meant to be . . . others are cursed."

This is the kind of book I never really saw myself getting into. I mean, it seemed awful Twilight-y from what I read. It is, indeed, a supernatural romance between a mortal and, because I don't want to ruin things, a not-mortal. It isn't, however, as girly or cheesesauce as that may sound. Part of that comes from the awesome decision to make Ethan the narrator. Sure, he's sensitive and falling head over heels in Nicholas Sparksian love, but he's also a guy and he isn't fawning, primping, gushing, and laughing in whispers over Lena. There's also a deeper mystery that shoots through the story, so 500+ pages aren't spent on how much these two love each other. There's danger, hatred, a wonderful cast of characters, which are real instead of quirky. Look at the slightly evil Uncle Macon, who looks like Cary Grant, but may be the most dangerous person in the book, except they spend time giving him more dimensionality. He isn't just written off as pure evil or as it turns out, pure good. He, even in his good moments, always seems like he may snap and kill the entire cast, giving his character an uneasy edge every time he appears in a scene. Also, the supernatural element in Beautiful Creatures is made more human. That is more human than a vampire. Vampires can die, but they don't seem real. It makes them hard, or creepy, to be attracted or connected to. Here, however, the supernatural character (it seems like that is supposed to be a surprise to I am bobbing and weaving from saying who or what) isn't ageless or immortal. So it isn't creepy. Also, they are always in just as much danger as the "mortal" character, making their power necessary to keep both characters safe. Ok. This is tricky.

What made me fall in love with this book was 1.)the believable, 3-dimensional (no relation to Avatar) characters and 2.)the beautiful writing. Stohl and Garcia have a way of intoxicating the reader with their prose. They take some of the girly away from the romance, and gave us an intense, epic thriller to grab on to.
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