Sunday, June 2, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures

Title/ Author:  Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publisher/ Year: Little Brown and Co., 2009
How I read it:  Kindle
Why I read it:  My favorite booktuber highly recommended it, and the movie was coming out.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is the first out of 4 books in the Caster Chronicles series.  I read this a long time ago back in February, but I wrote a review for it back then as well.  I wanted to read it before the movie came out, which I did!  The funny thing,I finished this book on Lena's birthday, which just so happens to be super significant in the book.  So I was pretty excited.

Summary from Goodreads:  Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small 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 down 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.

Quick Review for those who have not read it yet:
This book was full of mystery and adventure and romance and it was just a hit out of the park.  Overall, I LOVED this book.  The setting was perfect, the characters were awesome, and the plot was absolutely amazing.  Honestly, this is such an original and unique plot than other things I've read before.  My only criticism is that some of it kind of dragged, and I felt that some parts were unnecessary...but otherwise, if you're looking for a good read, I recommend this book.

The Review:
There were many things I enjoyed about this book.  First of all, the setting.  I love that the setting is crucial and important for the whole book.  It's not like you could take the characters and the plot and put it somewhere else.  This setting was brilliant:  small town in the South obsessed with the Civil War, Greenbrier, Ravenwood Manor, everything.  A lot of the events that happened in the book were awesome.

I'm such a sucker for fictional characters that read books.  I mean there's Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices series), Ky Markham (Matched trilogy...even though it was poems but), Dash (Dash and Lily's Book of Dares), and now we welcome Ethan Lawson Wate.  His character was awesome and I loved him as the narrator.  I didn't expect it, but I was happily surprised.  I love how he chooses to be with Lena, even if it's impossible for them to be together.  He shows her love before the storm happens (like A Walk to Remember).  He is such a GREAT protagonist.  Lena was awesome as well.  She didn't want to get herself involved, but then she met Ethan.  She's such a strong female character and I wish there were more characters like in in YA.  I thought the idea of her being a Caster was pretty awesome.

The thing I loved most about Ethan and Lena was the connection they had:  the dreams, the speaking in each other's minds, and especially the flashbacks with the locket.  It was almost like the past was repeating itself near the end.  Like with the locket, you see how the Duchannes get cursed.  Why on the 16th birthday of female Caster (hey there Lena), she gets claimed by either the Dark or the Light.  But at the end, the reality basically was the past (almost) repeating itself.  Except, Ethan didn't die (PHEW!) and I guess Lena is part dark/ part light?  Cause at the end, it says one eye is green and the other is gold?  I'm still a bit confused to be honest, but I guess I'll have to read the other 3 books to get that question answered!

The action was so amazing.  It wasn't just some romance novel.  It was an action novel.  The fight between Dark and Light, all the villains. YES.  I loved the villains in the book.  They're such good villains and their characters were awesome.  Ridley.  She's so bad a!  She's what I imagine Lena would be if she turned dark.  And her role in the plot made her a really interesting character.  I honestly kept telling her to go away, because she kept on showing up at the most opportune times. Haha.  Then there's Sarafine.  FREAKING SARAFINE.  I thought the idea of Lena's mother being the darkest Caster that ever lived (I think...right?) and being her number 1 enemy was a great idea.  And the plot twist with Link's mother being Sarafine for like all those months?  Wow. Just wow.  I really didn't expect that.  She's so good at being evil.

My only criticism is that some of it kind of dragged, and I felt that some parts were unnecessary.  Like I felt like the plot could have still progressed and have been the same if some parts were taken out, but either way, I love Ethan and Lena and the book overall.

Kami and Margaret, this story was brilliant and different than most books I have read.  I loved Amma's character and Macon's character and the part they played in the story.  That goes the same for Marian and Boo Radley.  I think my favorite scene is when she breaks the windows.  Before the movie came out, I was most anticipating that scene.

Well, I can't wait to read the next book!  What do you guys think?


Nancy @ Tumbling Books said...

From your review, the book sounds SOOO much better than the movie. I haven't read it, but I went to see the movie and I HATED it. ABSOLUTELY HATED IT! haha Really… I wrote a whole post about it. I just could not get into it.

I'm glad that you liked the book so much, I can definitely see how the setting would be a huge thing (as it was in the movie). Oh, and Ethan's the narrator? That sounds pretty cool!

The movie dragged at parts too, so I guess they kept that "awesome" part just so that movie-goers can experience it too. lol

I'm not sure if I'll ever read this, because I think the movie kind of ruined it for me, but if I do it'll be because of your review! :D

Sarah Kliora said...

Hi Nancy! Yeah, I didn't really like the movie either. After reading the book, then seeing the movie, it was just a really bad time. The movie messed up on so many parts of the book including the last few chapters of the book. That was a big one. Then there were a lot of little things as well, but it wasn't as close to the book as I hoped.

Yeah, the book was great. And yeah, Ethan was a killer narrator! That's one of my favorite things about the book. When I first read it, I thought it was Lena, but then I was like, "woah."

I definitely recommend the book. Like if you don't have anything to read, you should read it :)It feels great hearing a comment like that from another book blogger! :)

PS I hope you'll get to see this, because my blog doesn't have a reply button! *sighs* still working out the kinks (;

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