Book Review; "Beautiful Creatures" by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

In the small town Gatlin, South Carolina everything stays the same.  The families that live there have always lived there, and the social ladder is set in stone.  Sixteen year old Ethan Wate can’t wait to get away – just as soon as he graduates high school.  He wants a change.  Lately, though, he has been having these dreams involving a very beautiful girl…  a girl he’s never met or seen before, but a girl that he begins to worry and almost obsess over.  So when the girl of his dreams literally walks into his high school, he doesn’t know what to do.  And then things start to get strange, even dangerous.  This girl opens up a whole new world to him – a world that has always existed in what he thought was just a sleepy little town in the South.

I always loved the cover(s) to this novel and the others that follow in the series, but I was always a little hesitant.  I’m not sure why, exactly, but I was.  Then the movie came out earlier this year, and people started talking about it again.  So I thought I’d give it a shot (what the hell, right?) and then check out the movie.  Well……

Let me start with what I liked – I did like that this was told from a male point of view.  I thought that was fun and a little unexpected.  But, I don’t know how “male” this narration really was.  I don’t know that I ever really bought into it completely.  I also liked that this was set in the South, though a lot of what made it seem like the south was pretty cliched.  I do enjoy history too, and I found the historical connections and flashbacks to the Civil War were interesting.  This was also an interesting paranormal world that the authors created.  Can I say ‘interesting’ some more?  It is such a boring and nondescript word, and exactly what this book has brought out in me.

But oh my goodness, this book is just way too long!  The book starts out very jumbled and is confusing almost for the sake of being confusing and thinking it is making mystery.  Just about every chapter recounts what happened in the chapters before it and it really makes everything feel sooo slooow.  Then there would be a reference to something else from earlier in the book that you are supposed to remember and I really found myself not caring.  I never understood the “love” between Ethan and Lena and didn’t really feel like it developed in any way – it just all of a sudden was.  Because of the dreams?  Because of the other experiences they ended up sharing?  I really didn’t feel like I got to know Lena very much at all.  Combine that with a plot that moves at a snails pace and I was mostly just bored through the whole thing.  And I did read the whole thing – even though I really wanted to put it down forever by page 300 or so – I kept going just in case something fantastic happened in the end.  I mean, I just don’t get how or why so many people are so nuts over these books?  Is it like The Mortal Instruments series where the writing gets better as the series goes on?  I don’t know, but I don’t even think I care at this point.  I’m just going to try not to think about all the books I could have read instead of slogging through this one.
*****
Beautiful Creatures
by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Little, Brown Company, 2010
563 pages
Series:  Caster Chronicles #1
Source:  Purchased New
*****
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11 thoughts on “Book Review; "Beautiful Creatures" by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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  1. I started this book in January and then abandoned it. It just dragged on and I had other books on my TBR list that I was DYING to read, so I let it go. It's always sad when you reach the end of a book and just feel like 'meh' though. I do hope you'll enjoy your next read a lot more. 😀

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  2. I listened to this one on audio and it was fabulous. I love the story but I have to agree with you – it's pretty slow going with a lot of repartition.

    I actually did the entire series as audio books. The narration and music is wonderful.

    When I recommend this series, I usually recommend the audio. I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much in print if hat makes any sense 🙂

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  3. 😦 I'm not sure if I'll check this one out or not. I got excited about it from the movie previews, but it left the theatre so fast I didn't get to see it. Hmmm decisions decisions.

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  4. I started reading this before the movie came out and still haven't finished. You're right it's just SO LONG. I found myself getting bored and skimming large passages. I just can't bring myself to pick it back up again

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  5. @Geoff – I'll probably still see the movie. Friends have said the movie was pretty decent, but for a pretty small target audience which may account for it not doing well there. It'll probably be on HBO or something soon enough!

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  6. I personally think that this book was flawless from page one. I found myself unable to put it down and finishe it in a day. I loved the storyline and how different it was from other books. I highly recomend this book to everyone who is into fantasy.

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  7. I have read all four of the books, and although they were good, they were not great.. Also I am from the south, and I am offended about how they pportrayed people from the south.. I'm sure their are people in the south that are like the people in Gatlin, but not everyone from the south is like that.. Also I honestly think the books would have been so much better if we saw more from Lena's point of view

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