Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Creatures

Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Series: The Caster Chronicles #1

ISBN: 9780316042673

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
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.

I am extremely proud of myself that I read this book before going and seeing the movie that was just recently in theaters. While movies are often good at depicting the brief storyline of a book, skimming over the unappealing attributes, and condensing what may have took 8 hours of continuous reading into 2 hours of visual entertainment, they most definitely are never as good as the books.

This book surprised me by having the prominent character being Ethan instead of Lena. Normally love stories are told through the girl’s perspective since girls are normally more emotional and can convey a love story in a more romantic fashion that appeals to the readers (who are most often females themselves). Surprisingly the love story between Ethan and Lena told mainly through Ethan still presented a highly romantic feeling. Even while Ethan was confused by Lena, the reader could tell he had feelings for her and his determination to explore those feelings was swoon-worthy.

The mystery of the Casters and Lena’s destiny was interesting to watch unfold within the nearly 600-page monster of a book. I found myself reminiscing on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series where there were so many plot twists and new magical developments that just simply worked perfectly and flowed effortlessly.

The book touches on not just paranormal fun and a teenage romance, but on more somber topics such as bullying. My heart broke for those in the crosshairs of the bullies of Gatlin. I found myself wishing I could conjure some magic to strike down the foes of the characters I had come to love. The mark of literary genius is in the way the reader connects with the characters the author has created. Well, Garcia and Stohl, are literary geniuses because I fell hook, line, and sinker for all of the characters in this book (even the protagonists! Fancy that!).

In conclusion, this book was highly enjoyable. Although the length did cause the story to hit a few lulls throughout its intricate storytelling, it was still something I would highly recommend to any of my bibliophile buddies. Trust me when I say, read the book before watching the movie. It is always better to go into a movie with the entire story firmly pressed into your mind.

Purchase: Amazon  »  Barnes & Noble  »  Book Depository

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