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Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl / Paperback / 576 Pages / Book is published 2010-02-04 by Puffin

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    8 Reviews
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      19.10.2013 02:25
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      On the sixteenth moon on the sixteenth year Lena will face the day her fate is decided.light or dark

      Beautiful creatures written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohol

      Price :- I paid an amazing £1.00 for this book from a charity shop in my high street which is why I like to browse for books, they are cheap and money goes to a good cause. The amount of books I have yet to read is well in the hundreds but one day I will get around to it.

      563 pages.

      First released in:- 2009

      A lot of people have been talking about beautiful creatures, the movie and well I like to read books before I see the films because I like to have an in depth understanding of the film and like to imagine the characters for myself before seeing them on screen. I have always been like this from a young age.

      The book follows young Ethan Wate through the ups and downs of school life and falling in love with well, not a mortal. Ethan starts having vivid dreams of a girl that he's trying to help in some way, he thinks nothing of these dreams at first and just brushes them off as well nightmares even though he's waking up covered in dirty or freezing cold. It all becomes a little clearer when Lena Duchannes moves to Gatlin. Lena is the niece of Mr Macon Ravenwood who has lived in Gatlin for a very long time although no one seems to see him about, he likes to keep himself to himself within the town. Ethan discovers that Lena is the girl he has been dreaming about and as time goes on he starts to fall rather quickly for this girl. Lena is an outcast she has no friends when she moves to Gatlin and none of the students are willing to get to know her or be friendly towards her, whenever a problem occurs at the school Lena is the first co be accused and is left feeling very upset and lonely. Not only does she have to face school kids being horrible to her on a daily basis she is on count down to the biggest day of her life. Lena is a caster, a powerful caster In fact and on the sixteenth moon on the sixteenth night she will be claimed as either Light or Dark. Good or evil. Lena is scared and her and Ethan try to find a way of stopping the claiming which has been identified as a curse upon her family which stared many years ago.

      The main characters Lena and Ethan are very likeable but in schools I am pretty certain that a popular basketball playing guy who would usually date a cheerleader wouldn't talk to a loner and outcast like Lena I know it's harsh to say but kids at school are horrible so it's nice that it's written like that.

      Ethan is a sporty, likeable by all young man who lives with Amma and his Dad, his mum died in a tragic accident and his dad has locked himself away in the study ever since he has a best friend called Link that he's been best friends for, for ever.

      Lena is a loner who has a lot to deal with she moved to live with her uncle Macon and just wants to fit in and be a regular teenage girl, have friends, go to formals and enjoy life. She enjoys writing poetry and songs and longs for a normal life.

      This book is brilliant it took me about a week to read it in between working and sleeping. I just couldn't put it down It always seems to be the quiet towns you have to look out for. If you like twilight and fantasy books I would recommend this book as it's very well written and very easy read. There is a song repeated throughout the book which I liked, I thought it was a very good use of repetition.

      I give this book 5 stars, I really enjoyed it and I'm very much looking forward to watching the film and reading the second book Beautiful Darkness.

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        26.07.2013 19:56
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        what will happen to Lena and Ethan?

        Beautiful Creatures follows the life of Ethan Wate in his home of Gatlin. Gatlin is a place he has always wanted to get away from but no one ever leaves Gatlin and they rarely move in either. That is until Lena Duchanne moves into her Uncles house.

        Lena is a caster and does not discover whether she will be a dark or light (bad or good) caster until her sixteenth birthday. When Ethan and Lena meet they find they have a special bond but this may cause them problems in the future.

        I really enjoyed this book despite only getting it originally because it was part of an offer. I found myself going to read it for half an hour before going to sleep and still struggling to stay awale reading it three hours later.

        I particularly liked reading the scenes with Ethan and Lena together as I think they are written really well. The kelting between them was great to read as it gave you an insight into what they were thinking. Although a lot of books write what the narrator is thinking down this is different as Lena can also here (and Ethan for Lena), however far apart they are. If everyone could do that, it would save on the phone bills!

        I found the character of Ethans dad a little strange as although we knew of him in the book, he never left the house or did anything.

        On the other hand I liked how there were references to Ethans mum like at the library or unique bookmarks. It showed well how much Ethan cared for his family. Something teenage boys don't always like to admit.

        My favourite part of the book was when Lena smashed the window as it was the first time we'd seen her powers in use and I liked that we saw cliques and bullying as it made it feel real and showed that she didn't smash it because she wanted to but because she was provoked and unable to control her powers.

        The description throughout the book allows you to imagine exactly what it was like in Gatlin and the characters are all very different and unique, especially some of Lena's family.

        I recommend this book as it is well written and is unlike any others I have read. You will not regret picking up this book.

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          28.05.2013 21:41

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          Another take on the supernatural love story but with a twist

          If you watched the film and were lefted feeling disappointed please dont be put off, give the book a go. Set in
          the dead end town of Gaitlin, Beautiful Creatures is a love story but also a story of self discovery. Gaitlin is in the deep south and it's residents do not like change so when new girl Lena arrives at school she is instantly shunned. The neice of the reclusive local "devil worshiper" the town has already judged her before they meet her, all except from Ethan. He can't shake the feeling he has met her before, in dreams that seems imposible and is inexplicably drawn to her. We find that Lena is in fact a caster, someone who possesses magical abilities. Throughout the book you are drawn into her struggle between light (good) and dark (evil) before her impending 16th moon. You find yourself routing for the young couple as they face the secrets of both families, the judgement of the shallow minded town and the dread of her upcoming birthday. I found I could not put the book down , the characters were well written and the plot well thought through. I would recommend this book both to teens and adults. Be warned you may end up buying the whole series.

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          03.04.2013 22:36
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          A story which had great potential though failed to deliver

          Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia (and Margaret Stohl)


          Whilst checking out new movie trailers online, I came across 'Beautiful Creatures', a movie which has been released recently in the cinema. Although I was not entirely sure whether it would be one I would go and see, it did spark an interest and from past experiences, it is always better to read the book a film is based on before watching the actual film as so much is usually changed or cut out completely occasionally leaving the viewer a little confused. Of course, having not seen the film yet, I can not comment on whether these things have happened, though what I can do is give you an insight of my feelings and thoughts of the books itself.

          'Beautiful Creatures' is the very first book in 'The Caster Chronicles' which to date has four books to it.


          *******************************
          A WITCH BY ANOTHER NAME
          *******************************

          "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."

          The small Southern town of Gatlin bears no surprise. The same old people continue to live there doing the same old things day in day out. Ethan Wate is one of the only ones hungry for an escape from the only home he has ever known, especially after his mother died and his father shut himself away in his study, barely acknowledging his only son. To top it off, he has been haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met, dreams which always end in disaster and are probably better described as nightmares. Nightmares of losing a girl of his imagination...or is she?

          Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone in Gatlin has ever seen before and her arrival to her shut-in uncles house sparks the horror of an old fashioned witch hunt. All she wants to do is live a normal life, though normal is far from easy to Lena and her family of Casters, for she is struggling to conceal her power, and a curse which has haunted her family for decades threatens to ruin everything she had hoped for in life.

          When Lena first arrives at the school that Ethan has grown up attending, he is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them even if it means destroying his social standing, and in the end, his own life.

          In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything...

          I had a brief idea of what to expect in this book before I had even turned the first page from watching the movie trailer, though I confused myself a little by reading some reviews for this book from various sources. Although I like reading reviews, I never let them influence my decision of whether to read a book or not, though in this case, I would not have know which way to go if I had been that way inclined. There were quite a few reviews published and they all varied from those who hated this book to those who absolutely adored it. I did not know what to expect in the end, so I did the only thing I could and actually found out myself.

          The first thing that struck me was the style of writing in this book. Although it is written in a reasonably intelligent way, it has a sense of being aimed at very young people opposed to young adults into adult hood. Perhaps this is something which would not bother those who are in fact younger than myself, though having read a lot of young adult books, I found this one to really stand out in this area and therefore found the style rather off-putting many a time. Due to the style of writing, the flow of the story was also affected and there were many times that the story seemed a little disjointed. I found myself skimming through many parts and found I hardly missed any of the storyline, though at other times, the story peaked to its highest on the action front, throwing everything and anything at the reader, occasionally a little too much at one point. Suffice to say, due to the style and flow, I was almost put off from the beginning, though continued to push through. It took a while longer to read this book than it would have normally and I believe that this was due to this more than anything else.

          The length of the book was also something I noticed immediately, and was struck by the fact that it was so long in comparison to many books of this nature. The story falls just shy of 600 pages in paperback form which is unusually long for a first book in a series of this genre. The fact that there are actually two authors to this story could be the largest contributing factor, though in my opinion, it was perhaps a little too long. A lot of what happens in the story, although in part may have been interesting to read, was really not needed at all, and it almost felt as though parts of the storyline was added simply to extend the page count. Also, when looking at the fact that two authors wrote this book together, I do have to question whether they read what each other added to the story as there were many times, especially at the beginning, that I found myself reading the same thing in a few different ways. Repetition can occasionally work in certain kinds of stories, though in this story it just became annoying and tedious.

          The story itself was interesting in a number of ways, though I did not find anything overly new or exciting about it. To be honest, I found that the story dragged itself along throughout the main part of the book, and by the half way mark, I was beginning to become uninterested. I felt the story did not go anywhere very quickly, and instead focused on mundane aspects rather than the most important part of the story. There was also a lot of focus upon the two main characters and their feelings towards one another, which came above everything else and was very repetitive. I wanted to know where the story was going to go as the premise had a lot of potential, though for the main part of the story, this potential was not delivered in any interesting way. I feel sure that many people are clawing at their screens at the moment as many seem to love this story, though perhaps these people are younger and do not need a more solid storyline which is filled with a range of different aspects which are both entertaining and interesting. I love a story which is full to the brim with a well rounded storyline that has depth and consistency throughout, and I am afraid to say that with this story, I rarely glimpsed this at all.
          In saying all of the above, though, I would like to mention that there were some positives within the story; it was not all bad news, though unfortunately, there was not enough of this to carry the story to its greatest.

          As important as the storyline is, the characters who reside within the pages also need to be strong and well rounded in my mind, and within this story, most of the characters were flimsy and completely see-through. Many had poor characterisations and held no depth to them at all, including a large number of traits within the two main characters. In a lot of ways, a few lesser characters had more feeling and background than the two main ones. There were times where there was potential for so much more depth, and at these times, the characterisations did in fact peak their heads through the mist of below average writings, though these times were few and far between, and mainly only near the very end of the book, which was really too late to finally realise that the characters needed more substance.

          As I have already mentioned, a large focus in this story is not so much the actual storyline which could have been so much better, but in fact the growing love story between the two main characters. This is written in a very young style and has no adult references, though in other ways it is very much a prominent feature to the story, and throughout the book it is almost as if no other storyline exists. I found it all too much and very much not needed to the extent it was written. If more focus had been on the main part of the story and the characterisations of the actual characters rather than just focusing upon their growing love which really had no real substance, then perhaps my star rating for this book may have been greater. Such a shame, really, as I could certainly see potential.

          The story is written from the first person point of view of that of the main male character; Ethan. I found it an interesting view point as I had expected it to be written from the feminine perspective of Lena, something which happens more so in these types of books. There is a small switch at one point in the book which added to the interest levels and brought in a different feel to the story, though this swap does not last long and unfortunately does not do much to fix the built up problems that the book already held.

          There is a small amount of violence within this book, though it is very tame in comparison with other books of this kind. There is also an element of bullying which is a subject explored in a number of ways and persists through from beginning to end.

          This book probably best falls into a fantasy/paranormal romance genre which has strong elements of the supernatural as well as a slight feel of urban fantasy. I would also mark this as a teen read rather than young adult or higher due to the style of writing.

          One thing which I find very important in a book is the ending. A story can be written perfectly, though if the ending is wrong, then it gives me a really terrible feel to the whole book, almost as though I feel my time was wasted reading it, even if I did enjoy the rest of the story.
          So how does the ending of this book compare?

          In comparison to the rest of the book, the ending is fantastic. Finally, we get to see some real substance and a little more depth to both the story and the characters, though it still was not enough to save the story completely.

          Although I say that the ending in comparison to the rest is 'fantastic', when you look at the finale of the story, a part which should have been fireworks galore, I was still disappointed. Yes, the action did improve and yes, we did get a better feeling of the characters and the situation, and yes, there certainly was closure, though it was all too little too late, and it could have been so much more powerful and emotional. Unfortunately, power, emotion and everything else involved in a great finale was near absent, and anything that did occur at the end was far from the finale you may expect.

          So is there anything which makes this book any different to other books along these lines?
          The book had great potential, though unfortunately it did not deliver. There were some above average, and dare I say, some interesting parts, though was it any different to the other books along these lines? Only in the negative ways I feel.


          ************************
          FINAL WORDS
          ************************

          "The right thing and the easy thing are never the same."

          I am quite disappointed in this book to be perfectly honest. I was expecting so much more and it did have a lot of potential, though unfortunately, it just could not deliver to my expectations.
          There are quite a few interesting parts to the book, and I did not hate the book, though it is not one that I would read again.

          As mentioned, there are four books so far in this series, though I am not sure I will be reading on. Perhaps, if the book falls into my lap and I am at a loss to what book to read next, then maybe I will read the second book in the hope that it gets better, though for now, I am not rushing out to purchase it.
          As for the film, I may still watch it as I am interested to see what parts they keep and what parts they take out as I feel that there is a lot that could easily be erased from the storyline without harming it in the slightest. Plus, some of the casting in the film does entice me!

          The RRP on this book is £7.99, though it is on Amazon at the moment for a reduced price of £3.50 which is much more like it. The Kindle edition at the moment is slightly higher at £3.99, though this may go down. You are also able to purchase this on audio for the huge price of £14.27.

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            16.04.2011 16:31
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            A beautiful story filled with hard, life changing decisions.

            Ethan is hiding himself from the rest of his schoolmates. He's clever and wants out of the dead-end town that is Gatlin. He reads even though that doesn't bode well with the other guys on the basketball team and he isn't attracted to the cheerleaders the way he is meant to be.
            Ethan has been having strange dreams since his mom died, strange dreams about a girl he's never seen, until the day she turns up at his school. The niece of the odd "Old man Ravenwood" Lena is shunned as soon as she starts at Jackson high, from everyone except Ethan. He is drawn to her and from the moment he nearly runs her down he hates to be apart from her.
            Lena isn't just a normal girl though, a 15 year old teenager who has powers so strong no one can begin to imagine what shes capable of, Lena doesn't even know herself yet and as the impending fate of her 16th birthday draws near things get dangerous for the two who have fallen so far they can't seem to make sense of where its taken them.

            Beautiful Creatures[Image]is one of the most powerful books I've ever read. Believe me, I could barely put it down, I would be reading it at work then I'd suddenly realise that my lunch break finished over 5 minutes ago and I was about to get in serious trouble! The way the feelings between Ethan and Lena are described, they way the settings and the town and the manor are put into worlds is so powerful sometimes I thought I was actually there!

            Ethan is a great main character, the way the books written from his point of view is awesome, you get to know exactly who he is, he lets you into his mind, the way he lets Lena in and the conversations between the two of them, in their minds in incredible, you get that the worlds going on around them but really all that matters at that point is what they're talking about.

            I have seen a lack of male protagonists in the books Ive read recently but I think that's one of the things that made this book so amazing to me. I felt what was going on with Lena stronger because Ethan felt it, it seemed stronger because it was going though him then out onto the page in front of me. I cant really explain it but I loved the fact that the story is about Lena really and her situation but I felt more connected because of the love between her and Ethan. I think Ethan is an amazing character, hes a very special guy, everyone should have an Ethan...

            This book made me feel every emotion possible; love, happiness, sadness, fear and even blood curdling fury. There were a few times when I really just wanted to hurl in at a wall.... More often than not when Mrs Lincoln or Savannah Snow were on the pages in front of me! A few times where I found myself crying and more than a few times where I'd be laughing like a loon... especially during the Gym scene with Macon.

            I've always been fascinated with witches, the pagan religion is probably something I can relate to more than Christianity even though I'm christened and I love stories about witches and wizards. However Beautiful Creatures was different to other stories I've read, as Lena says they are Casters not witches and the history of the Casters and their mannerisms and stuff really captivated me. I was in awe of their powers, their Casts, everything about them they just amazed me.

            Another thing that can be said for this book is its pace. It's a big book, at 563 pages I knew it wasn't going to be quick and the last book of this size I picked up bored the hell outta me because it really didn't need to be so big! However Beautiful Creatures never bored me, not once. I was dying to know what was going to happen next, what revelations would come and how the sixteen moons would turn out at the end. The suspense in certain parts of the book nearly killed me. I was begging to know what was going to happen or how they were going to find themselves out of the situations.

            I have honestly not experienced a book like this for a while. I know I said Uglies was my new favourite series and it is, but I love that in a completely different way. The Caster Chronicles are now right up there with Uglies because I cannot let this one go. I'm gutted it took me so long to read this book, and I hope like hell the library has Beautiful Darkness because if I don't know what happens next soon I think I'll go crazy

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              02.02.2011 13:31
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              The slightly underwhelming sequel to Beautiful Creatures

              Synopsis: From Amazon
              Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.
              Sometimes life-ending.
              Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.


              Review:
              The anticipated sequel to Beautiful Creatures, although I wasn't a huge fan of Beautiful Creatures I felt drawn to reading this as sequels can sometimes turn an entire series around for me. Although there were good aspects of the story, I cant say I was completely enamoured with it. Unfortunately, for me this was kind of 'in between'.

              The story picks up shortly after the dramatic ending of Beautiful Creatures however personalities and interactions have altered drastically within the time frame given. A little unsettling with the continuity, I did find it hard to reconcile the image I already had of the characters with this new portrayal. There are a number of new tangents that the plot has taken dividing the characters, I was left wondering how it would all merge back together.

              Lena's actions were understandable to a degree, lost in her grief and apprehension of the future, trying to change the way she feels by changing the way she looks. As the narrative is told in first person from Ethan's point of view, we have a one dimensional perspective of events, we can only guess at Lena's thoughts and feelings via hints given. This can be quite frustrating, although it is a good parallel for the frustration that Ethan is feeling due to the barrier that Lena has created.

              I did adore the Gothic imagery and particularly the use of animals as familiars - the dog and the cat having a conversation was brilliant to imagine. The use of southern colloquialisms and mannerisms added to the imagery and realism of the plot. The descriptions were totally sensory making them easy to picture.

              However, some scenarios seemed incredulous at first, although as they developed they became more believable. I did remain skeptical and pessimistic throughout *I know you can hardly believe it*. There were some interesting twists and a rather unusual cliffhanger.

              My favourite part of this book was Link's character development. Ironic or profound use of the name as he is the link that holds everyone together; he is totally comfortable with who he is and doesn't alter for anyone. His optimism/positivity provides a refreshing respite from the 'doom and gloom'.

              The introduction of Liv provided a nice contrast to Lena in both appearance and demeanour, nevertheless I was not keen on the romantic angle pursued by both Lena and Ethan; it just did not gel in my mind at all. For two people to have such intense emotions for each other; they were able to alter them very quickly.

              I am sure this will be a winner with a lot of people but unfortunately I only liked it rather than loving it.

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              08.04.2010 20:04
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              This novel tries too hard.

              ***Beautiful Creatures***

              This is a young adult book written jointly by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl. I believe that both of the writers wrote this when they were teaching, as a challenge laid down by their students. They finished the first draft within three months.

              ***Plot***

              The novel is told from a first person point of view and unusually for a book of this type it is told from the perspective of a young boy called Ethan Wate. This is a novel set in the deep south of America. It is set in the small town of Gatlin. Ethan is intrigued by the arrival of a new girl - Lena. She has piercing green eyes and black hair. Strange events begin to happen around Lena - the weather becoming stormy and windows breaking when Lena is upset. Lena is different to the other girls and straight away she becomes a target for bullying.

              Ethan is attracted to Lena and helps her uncover a curse, the result of which means that her fate will be decided upon her sixteenth birthday.

              ***Opinion***

              For a young adult book, this is no easy read. It is full of detail. Detail which to be honest, gives you the feel of the Deep South, right down to the accent and intonation used when people are speaking. There are meticulous descriptions of the properties found here and also well planned and thought out family trees for each of the main protagonists.

              The book starts out promising enough. It gets off to a quick start, setting the scene nicely. We find out what type of boy Ethan is and there is action early on, with plenty of mystery hinted at.

              There are quite a few references to 'Catcher in the Rye', which went over my head (hangs head in shame that I have not read this), so it might be wise to be familiar with this book first, though not absolutely necessary. It seems to be a real trend in young adult literature at the moment to be continually referring to and referencing classics. Do all fictional characters suddenly have to be deep literary intellectual types all of a sudden?

              I quite liked the first half of the book, then it just seemed to meander along and I began to lose focus with all the additional family characters that are introduced, as well as a massive amount of mythical folklore that began to unfold. When it began to go away from the emotional aspect of the main characters, I just began to feel my interest wane.

              Ethan is reasonably believable, but all too quickly there is the whole 'can't live without her' thing going on, that is JUST TOO SOON, in the story. Cynic that I am, this makes the characters less believable, instead of letting the tension grow slowly.

              Lena isn't the usual whiny self absorbed girl that is found in these books, but she is a bit of a damsel in distress waiting to be rescued on more than one occasion, which gets a bit tiresome. I preferred Ridley who was a lot more interesting and I actually paid attention when she came into the story.

              The dialogue I liked for the most part and there were a few witty one liners thrown in here and there.

              The book is all set up for a sequel, but I am not sure I am that interested in the story to want to continue. (Especially if the length is the same as this) It's all a nice change from vampires and werewolves, but the mythology here was just too complex and bored me a bit. This book suffers from a lack of editing and the book could have easily been cut by 100 pages and the main core of the story would not have suffered. Also the title 'Beautiful Creatures' was only referred to once in the story and I felt that using this title was a desperate last ditch attempt when nothing suitable could be found.

              I think it must be quite difficult for two authors to pen a story and in this respect I felt the authors succeeded; it wasn't disjointed and the 'voice' of the novel flowed.

              I wouldn't read this again and if you are looking for something of this ilk, then would recommend 'Shiver' by Margaret Striefvater.

              ***Availability***

              The book costs around £4.89 from Amazon. It is published by Puffin and is quite a long read at 576 pages.

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                17.02.2010 22:36
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                A good book

                In Gaitlin, South Carolina, 16 year old Ethan Wate has been having some crazy dreams. Dreams about a beautiful girl with amazing green eyes whom he always fails to save from great danger. Waking up from these dreams leaves Ethan wet and sometimes with mud under his fingernails.

                When Lena Duchannes moves into town, everyone begins to talk as she is the niece of the crazy man who lives at Ravenwood. The whole school is speculating over whether she is hot or not but when Ethan sees her for the first time, he realises that she is the girl of his dreams, in the literal sense. Strange things begin to happen quickly after her arrival and the whole town are quick to point the finger at her. Ethan sees something different in Lena though and begins to take her side over friends that he has known his whole life, also pushing him into unpopularity.

                Lena's family are different from the rest in Gaitlin. As soon as she befriends Ethan, they find themselves caught up in a curse that has followed her family around for centuries and time is running out for them to solve it and save Lena's life.

                My Opinion
                What really got me about this story was that parts were so real, aside from all the magic of course. What made the story so real was the setting and the history of the town. There is high school drama and bitchiness, quirky members of the neighbourhood and dysfunctional family gatherings from both sides. Some of the things that were happening sounded exactly like what a tiny town in America would be like, where everyone knows everything that is going on.

                The plot was fantastic and I loved near enough everything about it. While the story started off as something similar but it didn't take long for it to surprise me. My biggest problem with the plot was that it moved along at a very unsteady pace. At times there is a lot of action happening but then it switches to a long time without any and at nearly 600 pages, it is a long read anyway. It becomes clear early on that Ethan and Lena are inexplicably linked but the story doesn't reveal the real reasons why for quite a while.

                The authors spend a lot of time describing Gaitlin and made it possible to picture myself in the world that I was reading about. Gaitlin is a Southern, old fashioned town but it also has plenty of secrets, ones that I didn't see coming at all. Nothing really seemed out of place about the setting as all of the characters fit in perfectly.

                Beautiful Creatures is told from Ethan's point of view which makes a change from a lot of the YA novels that I have read recently. Normally it is the guy that has everything going on but this time, the roles are reversed. Due to this, there is a lot of testosterone flying around between Ethan and his basketball buddies which gave the story a different feel.

                There is a lot of mythology and history behind this story which was something that I really enjoyed. Most of the books that I've been reading recently have been about werewolves or faeries etc so this change was really good. The whole history and reasoning behind the 'casters' was fascinating to read and one of the main reasons why this book had me hooked.

                The ending was a bit rushed and it didn't feel like I really found out a lot about how things ended. I do know that there will be a sequel so hopefully everything will be cleared up then.

                The main characters had quite a few inconsistencies. As Ethan is supposed to be a 16 year old boy, you'd expect him to at least think like one. Nothing about him screamed teenager to me so it was quite hard to like him. Ethan and Lena spend a fair amount of time alone together in their bedrooms and under the covers but they do nothing more than kiss. At least Bella and Edward had the sex talk. It came across as extremely unbelievable and I think the books target audience would agree. I know a lot of YA authors make their books really tame but this also makes them unrealistic. I'm sure late teenagers can handle some mild sex scenes.

                Although Ethan was a sweet, caring kid, he was a complete idiot. At one point, his best friend Link begins to hang out with Lena's hot but evil cousin and Ethan knows just how bad she is. He doesn't even really warn Link against her and doesn't even try to stop him when he says that they're going away together for a few days. If that was me and my best friend, I would have smacked him over the head before letting him go off with someone evil and scary. Stupid unrealistic boy.

                Lena was more convincing than Ethan but only just. She knows that everything is about to change but she just wants to be normal for a while. All she has ever wanted was to fit in at school and make friends, which was the most believable part of her. For the most part, she did seem like a normal teenage girl who didn't want a bad high school experience. She was also quite funny at times, especially when she uses her powers to play practical jokes on the cheerleaders. That's something that I can imagine myself doing.

                There is a lot about this book that is amazing but unfortunately, quite a lot that I was unimpressed by. If you can get over Ethan's stupidity and lack of reality then it's great. I've also heard that the movie rights have been bought for Beautiful Creatures so hopefully it will be the stunning film that I imagine it can be. The book is available for just under £5 on Amazon.

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