Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Release Date: December 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Teen/YA, Fantasy
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 3 out of 5
Ethan Wate has everything he should want – he’s a basketball star, he’s in the “popular” crowd at his high school, and he used to date one of the prettiest girls in his small hometown of Gatlin, South Carolina. However, he isn’t content with his life. All he can think of is getting out of Gatlin, getting away from the place where he grew up. When Lena Duchannes moves to town, Ethan sees her as a taste of freedom and befriends her. But what he doesn’t expect is that Lena is more attractive than he ever could have imagined, but she harbors a dark secret.
I have been hearing a lot about Beautiful Creatures from reviews and on Twitter. Each comment is more glowing than the last – this is a book that everyone seems to love. Everyone except me, that is. While I thought Beautiful Creatures was interesting, it didn’t capture me the way I’d hoped it would.
The story of Beautiful Creatures is interesting and unique. I thought Lena was an endearing character, though it was Macon Ravenwood that I was the most interested in. Garcia and Stohl wrote him well, making him intriguing and mysterious. Additionally, the mythology behind the entire book was definitely a source of curiosity and was a huge impetus to keep reading.
I’m certain that a lot of my dissatisfaction with this book stemmed from all the hype around it. With expectations that high, I couldn’t get past some of the problems I had with the book. Ethan’s voice wasn’t exactly convincing, to begin with. He seemed much more like what people think the perfect teenage boyfriend should be, rather than a realistic boy. Additionally, the book was simply too long. There isn’t enough going on to sustain an almost-600 page book. It takes about 200 pages before the novel even really begins. And once the story finally picks up, there’s a lot of waiting around for something to happen while Ethan and Lena contemplate their relationship.
I’m not sure how I would have felt about this book without all the hype. Part of me feels like I’m over the whole paranormal YA craze – I haven’t really been impressed with any of the fantasy type YA books I’ve been reading lately. Still, I think if your expectations of Beautiful Creatures aren’t too high, you should give it a try – it might surprise you!