Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Beautiful Creatures

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...

Title:Beautiful Creatures
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0316042676
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:563 pages

Beautiful Creatures Reviews

  • Kristi

    Three words; unique, epic & addictive

    Wow. I mean really, wow. I have no words. I really have no words. It's so much more easier for me to give reasons why I don't like something, rather than try to explain why I do. I mean, I don't know why I like something. I just do!

    But let's see if I can explain this coherently. It took awhile for me to get into the story. Initially you get a lot of information, and I wasn't exactly sure where it all was headed. However, you needed that back story. You ne

    Three words; unique, epic & addictive

    Wow. I mean really, wow. I have no words. I really have no words. It's so much more easier for me to give reasons why I don't like something, rather than try to explain why I do. I mean, I don't know why I like something. I just do!

    But let's see if I can explain this coherently. It took awhile for me to get into the story. Initially you get a lot of information, and I wasn't exactly sure where it all was headed. However, you needed that back story. You needed to understand the history of the town the history of Ethan, otherwise the vibrancy of the story would be lost. The history completely compliments and enhances the rest of the story, when you get to the end, you'll get it.

    The atmosphere of these book was incredible. I had this insatiable craving for grits and sweet tea..... It really was like you were there, Garcia and Stohl cover even the smallest of details. Characterization was phenomenal. These characters were fantastically portrayed, three dimensional, I had very strong feelings toward each and every one of them and that's something that doesn't happen often. Something that's not evident a lot in YA fiction, is family involvement. The parents or guardians are always in the back ground, there, but not there. Beautiful Creatures has a lot of family involvement, which I loved.

    Maybe I do know why I liked it! Writing was outstanding, pacing was right on, I could not get through the pages fast enough! The whole story was just fascinating, I just loved it, every small aspect. It just worked.

    I can not wait to read more. I demand a sequel! Which I'm happy to report.... is coming!

  • Heather

    It has taken me a small eternity to write this review. I was down a hand for I had to use my left index finger to clamp down on my left eyelid in order to stop the twitching that began around page 65 of Beautiful Creatures. Meet the culprit.

    Hell, now the right one is doing it.

    To quote Hawkeye, from the 1991 movie version of Last of the Mohicans, Beautiful Creatures is “a breed apart and makes no sense” therefore making

    It has taken me a small eternity to write this review. I was down a hand for I had to use my left index finger to clamp down on my left eyelid in order to stop the twitching that began around page 65 of Beautiful Creatures. Meet the culprit.

    Hell, now the right one is doing it.

    To quote Hawkeye, from the 1991 movie version of Last of the Mohicans, Beautiful Creatures is “a breed apart and makes no sense” therefore making it nearly impossible to describe. It’s a contradictory mess and filled with 600 pages of driveling, hyperbole, that attempts, and yet fails miserably, at being cerebral. I’ll take it from the top.

    . Who knew that 16 year old boys had so much in common with my great grandmother? Big granny could tell you everything there was to know about Southern style architecture, felt the world would end if she ran a few minutes late, and loved Gone With the Wind. Coincidentally, she and Ethan could have been soul mates. Even more amazing, Ethan is popular. Had he gone to my school (which was in a small southern town I might add) he would have been beat, both before and after school, and mocked mercilessly during class.

    . Can’t really say anything about her, she is that flat and dull.

    . She must have fallen out of the crazy tree and hit every branch on the way down. She would dominate at a staring contest, could probably teach me a thing or two about setting the eye on someone, and if I ever needed to intimidate a guy by sharpening my pencil, she’d be the first person I would call. But as a character, she sucked arse.

    . Can’t say much about it as there isn’t one. I’ve seen it mentioned more than once in various blubs, that

    is a memorizing Southern Gothic tale. To be frank, these women would be hard pressed to describe a south that didn’t appear in

    . This was truly driven home when another granny in the book stated that she wanted to be buried with her Bible so that she would have something to read once she passed. Any southerner worth their salt knows that statement would never be uttered south of the Mason Dixon line for two reasons. One, we all know that you will your battered family Bible to the least liked family member so that they are coerced by post mortem guilt to display it among their treasures once they have written your death date in it with a 10 cent pen they find buried in the back of a drawer and second because grannies don’t read Bibles, they just quote from them in order to brow beat you into submission. Basically, this entire book spits out clichés, cites works of literature that far surpass this one, Lena worries that she is evil, and she and Ethan hunt for a book that is rendered useless.

    I wish I could have told Lena not to fret, because the real spawn(s) of Satan are the people who are responsible for publishing and/or advertising this book.

    was blogged, blurbbed, and podcasted for at least 6 mos. prior to its release. I’d given them props if I weren’t so mad at them for their treachery. Had I been in their shoes, I would have quoted Bill Nighy from Love Actually, “Please boys and girls, buy this festering turd of a book so that someone can finally knock

    off the best seller list.”

    Lastly, for those of you who read my review thus far, I must apologize. I have pulled a Garcia and Stohl and have gone on too long. I bid you my blurb.

    “Beautiful Creatures is freakishly weird, nonsensical, and plot-less tome that will leave your eye twitching long after you have turned the last page.”

  • Tatiana

    Ugh, another overhyped paranormal YA creation. When will I learn not to buy into hype? Just like so many readers, I gave into the favorable internet buzz and opened the book with an expectation of it to be something special. Unfortunately, "Beautiful Creatures" was just another painfully boring overlong dud.

    Having finally finished this book with a high level of irritation and disappointment, I decided to check out the favorable reviews to see what people liked about the story. Turns out the most

    Ugh, another overhyped paranormal YA creation. When will I learn not to buy into hype? Just like so many readers, I gave into the favorable internet buzz and opened the book with an expectation of it to be something special. Unfortunately, "Beautiful Creatures" was just another painfully boring overlong dud.

    Having finally finished this book with a high level of irritation and disappointment, I decided to check out the favorable reviews to see what people liked about the story. Turns out the most appreciated aspects of the book were: an original love story told from a male POV (compare it to those other romances told from whiny girls' POVs), truly original paranormal lore, and small town Southern setting. I personally found none of it particularly striking. Allow me to elaborate:

    The story follows same old dead-beat formula: a paranormal/human pairing, uncovering of the "mysterious" partner's true nature, teens drawn to each other for some unknown reason (even my hope for some kind of reincarnation "twist" didn't quite work out), constant i-can't-be-with-you-cause-it's-dangerous back and forth, the inability to "be together" physically...

    Male POV is also not successful. I think the book would have been better if told in 3rd person, at least the writers' inability to channel a voice of a 16-year old boy would have been somewhat concealed.

    As for Southern small town feel, I am pretty sure even Charlaine Harris writes it better in her trashy vampire books. In "Beautiful Creatures" it never rings true and is based on old tired cliches of narrow-mindedness and drawl.

    But even all these issues aside, the book is simply a too long, often pointless concoction. Yes, the world of Casters (witches) is fairly new, but it is never too interesting or believable and can't justify the book's 600-page length.

    I am still willing to give the writers some credit for their apparent effort to write a better book than the majority of YA writers, with a more intricate back story and better developed characters, but for me personally this book was just an excruciatingly long and boring read. The chances of me ever reading the sequel are non-existent.

    Spare me, I know exactly why you loved this book. This is only my opinion and I have a right to express it. I don't go to your 5-star reviews and try to convince you you are wrong liking it. Move on to your next paranormal romance instead. I have a handy list for you of the books you are sure to love:

    ,

    ,

    ,

    ,

    ,

    ,

    ,

    ,

    ,

    You can thank me later.

  • Cara

    Doesn't that line just give you the shivers?!?!?!?

    I doubt that they are people who will read this and not have a big impression. What am I saying?! I mean a

    impression. You know when you read a book and just immerse yourself in it? I'm sure most of you know the feeling. I kept reading into the night having no semblance of sleep,and s

    Doesn't that line just give you the shivers?!?!?!?

    I doubt that they are people who will read this and not have a big impression. What am I saying?! I mean a

    impression. You know when you read a book and just immerse yourself in it? I'm sure most of you know the feeling. I kept reading into the night having no semblance of sleep,and staying awake on interest alone. I could not believe my eyes when I looked at the window when I finished the book to see light peeking out. Suffice to say I'm hooked.

    This book is told through our male protagonist Ethan Wate, which was refreshing. There isn't any real good way to describe him other than devoted I think. Ethan lives in the boring southern town of Gatlin, where nothing changes and the Civil War is called the war of Northern Aggression. Nothing of note happens and there aren't really any secrets but really nothing can be further from the truth. This town is hopping with secrets,

    juicy ones. Ethan doesn't come to realize this until a new girl, Lena, comes into town. Now this is where our story begins...

    Gosh there is so much to say but I doubt I could get it all done. This book has mystery (a lot of it), Southern culture (a character in itself), magic (like you have never seen before), and one of the best romances I've seen lately (no joke). Can you tell I like parentheses a tad too much? Don't answer that. Any who I have to commend the authors of telling a story that I could no way tell it was written by two people. The writing is seamless and draws you in no matter what is happening. Reading this is a bit of an undertaking because it is a 500 some odd pages and has a lot of back story, but it's totally worth it. My favorite character would have to be Amma (Ethan's no nonsense fill in parent since his mother died). What makes this story work is that there is such rich descriptions of the characters, their lives, the surroundings, and even the minor characters jump out at you. One little teeny irk: I doubt Ethan would notice way too much about what everybody was wearing, but I guess how else were we suppose to know? The ending clearly indicates there will be a sequel, or there

    be one! I kept trying to guess how to solve it, but I didn't get it till the end. Some things I could see coming because you know it really could never end another way.

    Basically this is a story of a boy who loves a girl but it's with the extra touch of magic.

    Found out there is a sequel! Check out

    . It looks like the first one is being made into a

    And on another later note

    is a link to the trailer. Looks smashing!

  • karen

    oh my god, shusshify with all the loving on this book! this is another example of the world conspiring to tell me untruths. like, that sarah jessica parker is really hot.

    "yeah, i don't know, she's kind of got a weird face, i am just not attracted to her"

    "no! she is hot!! look at her dress!!! look at her shoes!!"

    "yeah, no - i get it - her clothing is expensive, but she's just so oddly skinny and she has devil eyes."

    "noooo - she is hot - here i made you a drink. you will like it, it is like haw

    oh my god, shusshify with all the loving on this book! this is another example of the world conspiring to tell me untruths. like, that sarah jessica parker is really hot.

    "yeah, i don't know, she's kind of got a weird face, i am just not attracted to her"

    "no! she is hot!! look at her dress!!! look at her shoes!!"

    "yeah, no - i get it - her clothing is expensive, but she's just so oddly skinny and she has devil eyes."

    "noooo - she is hot - here i made you a drink. you will like it, it is like hawaiian punch."

    but this time i am not drinking.

    here's the deal - two authors, one book. rarely works in practice. one lady said "i want to write a paranormal romance!" the other lady said "i want to write a civil war-era southern love story. well, let's smooosh them together! it is a great idea!!"

    it's not a great result. it is a huge book that is very densely plotted, for teen fiction, which would ordinarily be a good thing if it weren't so shallowly conceived. it seems bloated with plot, but shy on the details. i had several "wait, but

    ?" moments.

    and much of it seemed so... familiar. two teens in love, but both of their families are trying to keep them apart because of some ancient and unresolved family squabble. but also because she has

    , (this is the part shakespeare dropped the ball on)powers which might complicate her relationship to a mortal boy. but when they are together their kisses are like thunder and their embraces cause furniture to break and a teenage heart attack (cured by supernatural means, though. phew)

    i worry for kids growing up on the new crop of teen fiction. the relationships always seems to have one paranormal participant, and it's hardly fair for actual teens. how can they compete with these? do kids get all sad after they lose their virginities and it is not as magical as they have been led to expect?? when beds do not rotate and literal sparks do not fly and they are not transported to the past?

    it just seems like a lot of pressure to be put on them.

    on the one hand - it is cool to have a male protagonist in a teen love story; most of then ones i have read are still goofy girls pining after unworthy boys. this is also the second book i have recently read in which telepathy occurs between the lovers. see - this i think is a bad idea. especially in teen lovers. i don't care how in love i am - once i find out you have the ability to read my mind, i am out. it is too creepy. no one will steal my inventions.

    this is such a popular book, and it has such attractive cover-colors, i want to understand its appeal. conceptually, i thought it was a great idea, and with some adjustments, maybe it could have been better. i just thought there were too many loopholes, too many missed opportunities. and i hate this title. i kept calling it a combination of

    i know i am no longer supposed to use pictures in my reviews, because it makes them too awesome, but

  • Kiki

    Poop! Crap! Garbage! Crap!

    Wow.

    Like,

    .

    I never thought I'd try reading this book again. Last time I made an attempt at it, I was a lot stupider and I kind of disgraced myself, so I tried to erase this book from my existence.

    It worked fine, until a few weeks ago my friend came up to me and went all teenybopper on my ass, telling me how ZOMG amazing this book is. I told her I'd tried to read it before and thought it was absolute shit, so she pulled out an Uzi and splattered my brains fifty feet d

    Poop! Crap! Garbage! Crap!

    Wow.

    Like,

    .

    I never thought I'd try reading this book again. Last time I made an attempt at it, I was a lot stupider and I kind of disgraced myself, so I tried to erase this book from my existence.

    It worked fine, until a few weeks ago my friend came up to me and went all teenybopper on my ass, telling me how ZOMG amazing this book is. I told her I'd tried to read it before and thought it was absolute shit, so she pulled out an Uzi and splattered my brains fifty feet down the QEW.

    No, I'm kidding. But she did go totally stonking nuts and practically burst into tears. I was like, what the hell is wrong with you? And she said she was going to bring me her copy of the book and that she was going to make me read it, or else.

    Friend, if you're reading this, go to hell. Just...yeah. Just go to hell.

    This book is probably the biggest piece of overwritten, sniveling drivel I've read since

    , and if you know me but at all you'll understand how bold that statement is. This book is a hot mess of the worst kind: boring, stupid and heinously written.

    Ethan is painful as a narrator. Honestly? If you don't know how to write convincingly as a young male,

    . Pretty simple advice. The narrative voice in this book is just so shockingly bad, reading it is like eating cellophane.

    It leaves a really bad taste in your mouth.

    Okay, look. Level with me here. I don't know what it's like to live in the South, nor do I have any particular desire to find out - but I'm pretty sure it's nothing like this. The setting in

    is one big, fat stereotype and basically, it makes all Southern Americans seem like petty, bitchy, closed-minded, bigoted lumps of waste - and what an

    that is. If you need any evidence just check out Ethan when he says that he doesn't have an accent because he was raised by

    people. What the heck? He practically spells it out that all Southerners are STUPID, and spends about 90% of the time lamenting about how he's too good for the town and all the people in it, and how predictable everyone is, and for God's sake, it gets really fucking annoying after a while.

    You know those paranormal romances like

    or the House of Night series? You know, the ones with narrators so painfully inane that it makes you want to put your finger up your nose and into your brain, and swirl it around? Ethan is worse. He is worse because he's

    . We all got a chuckle out of Bethany's power of love and Zoey making out with a teacher and Juliette from

    announcing her undying love to Adam on page 60, but I kid you not when I say there is no comedic value to

    . None at all. It's like a six-year-old drawing Star Wars battleships who takes himself way too seriously.

    Ethan's wet rag of a love interest is absolutely no different. Lena is a walking cliche, in every sense of the word. She has these l'awesome bottomless green eyes, black hair and a CRESCENT MOON on her cheek. You gotta love this new subsect of paranormal romance, where people think making the girl the creature of the night automatically morphs the book into a new, exciting, fresh and empowering read.

    Well, it doesn't. This book proves that. It proves that you can take a concept that might have been interesting and cool (new take on witches; I get it, and I like the idea) and bludgeon it so hard with a blunt, keyboard-shaped object that by the time you're finished, it's nothing but an unintelligible mangle of bloody sinew that is so horrifically unappetizing that you have to hide it from yourself to avoid triggering old psychological pain.

    All this might have almost been okay had there been a shred of realism or even plain old chemistry to Ethan and Lena's relationship, but the whole thing is a contrived car crash of a romance. I cared so little for both of the characters and the stories behind them that I had absolutely no second thoughts upon putting this book down and never picking it back up again.

    Look, let's be real here. This book is absolutely nothing special. It's full of the usual instalove and deflated mythology and flat narration. It's pretty standard YA fare - which is incredibly sad, because this book is straight-up crap in every way. I wish I could find something good about it, but to be honest it is probably right up there as one of the worst YA books I have ever read. It was absolutely

    .

  • Corey

    This is an emotionally charged, moody, and atmospheric novel that is very reminiscent of how YA fiction was in the 90's and early 00's, before Twilight came along. By that, I mean it is full of quirky, average, outcast-type characters who drive the plot line along through their unique and easily pictured personalities.

    I've heard people complain that Ethan is unrealistic. That makes me upset because I relate more to Ethan than I ever have with any other male character in history. He tries his ha

    This is an emotionally charged, moody, and atmospheric novel that is very reminiscent of how YA fiction was in the 90's and early 00's, before Twilight came along. By that, I mean it is full of quirky, average, outcast-type characters who drive the plot line along through their unique and easily pictured personalities.

    I've heard people complain that Ethan is unrealistic. That makes me upset because I relate more to Ethan than I ever have with any other male character in history. He tries his hardest to treat others with dignity and respect, doesn't use women for sex (gasp! You don't say!), has a strong sense of fairness and compassion, and a passion for old-fashioned things such as literature. You can almost call him an "old soul", in a way. I fail to see what's so unrealistic about him. Plenty of guys are like this! Everyone is different. You can't categorize people into little boxes because of their gender. I'm a 19 year old male and I found their portrayal of an insightful boy with good morals who was raised to be polite and courteous to be refreshing and realistic. Meanwhile, if I would dare to say that Katniss was unrealistic because girls aren't that tough and don't usually enjoy hunting, I would be called a sexist. But saying Ethan is "not a guy" because he likes reading and acts chivalrous isn't? Talk about a double standard!

    Lena is another intriguing character, as are her family. They're Casters, and many of them are full of life and zing. Like her time-traveling Aunt Del, or Macon, who behaves as if he belongs in a Tim Burton film. Link is also easy to like- I like how loyal he is to Ethan, and I also like his post-grunge personality & sense of style.

    The story itself is steeped in Southern decadence and eeriness. At times, the story was slightly biased in its attitude towards Southerners and Christians, but I understand why the authors wrote the town in this way: they were trying to tell a story of what it is like to be an outcast, to be hated and feared for what you are. The Sisters are deeply religious and so is Marian, and they are all portrayed in a very positive light & are shown to have a profound influence on Ethan.

    The only pet peeve I had was the way the authors sort of "threw in" Sarafine near the end without much of a warning as to what was going to happen. I would've appreciated if we were given more of a feel for her character.

    Overall, Beautiful Creatures is tied with Mortal Instruments as my favorite YA series of all time. If you want to get lost in a story with vivid characters and powerful imagery with meaning, then I would strong suggest reading this novel and its sequels. Can't wait for Beautiful Redemption and the movie!!

    "The right thing and the easy thing are not always the same."

  • Emily May

    Phew, I am so glad that's over. I can't believe I actually made it through all those pages, I'm sure I wouldn't have done if I hadn't set myself the challenge of reading every monthly book club read chosen by one of my groups. Ugh. Seriously, just

    . I have read some dismal books in the young adult paranormal genre, books that have been boring or annoying or have offended me, but I think I can honestly say this is up there with some of the worst books I've ever read. Everything about this boo

    Phew, I am so glad that's over. I can't believe I actually made it through all those pages, I'm sure I wouldn't have done if I hadn't set myself the challenge of reading every monthly book club read chosen by one of my groups. Ugh. Seriously, just

    . I have read some dismal books in the young adult paranormal genre, books that have been boring or annoying or have offended me, but I think I can honestly say this is up there with some of the worst books I've ever read. Everything about this book aggravated me in one way or another, from the ridiculous length of it to the male protagonist who's about as convincingly male as estrogen pills. I couldn't even concentrate on the story for the most part because I kept picturing Ethan as a thirty-something woman.

    There are some things I'm going to rant about that may not have bothered me several years ago before

    came along, waving its cliche banners, and I appreciate that some people might find this slightly unfair seeing as this novel was released four years before

    . Well, unfortunately, I can only tell you what I thought of this book now, not speculate on what I might have thought if I'd read it a few years earlier. And, this fact aside, other things have nothing to do with when it was written or its similarities with other novels that have since been released from this genre. Like the fact that Ethan pisses me off and is a terrible attempt at writing a teenage male voice.

    So, let's get the whole "this is like every other paranormal young adult book" thing out of the way. There were one or two additions to the witchy aspect of it that felt somewhat original but the general pattern of this novel with the romance and the carbon copy characters was predictable and, therefore, boring. No one likes a boring read and it's especially annoying when the book is nearly 600 pages long. Shall I check the usual paranormal YA criteria off for you? Small town... check. New girl... check. Boring holier-than-thou protagonist... check. Everlasting love after a very small amount of time... check. I don't know if this counts as instalove but it certainly counts as instaweirdobsession, full of laughable musings like "there's just something about her that makes me know it's meant to be" (hopefully, it's obvious that this is not a direct quote).

    I thought that this book might be a little more original because of the uncommon choice to have a male protagonist, but everything is still exactly the same. Now, though, instead of a girl-next-door type, you have a boy-next-door type who sails along in his faultlessness, constantly comparing himself to the less intelligent and morally-questionable beings he must interact with every day. Ethan even treats us to a rare bout of what I can only call male slut-shaming; he criticises his male peers for having one-track minds and wanting to get off with girls when he is looking for something more meaningful... good for him, but why does that make him any better than the rest? He is actually an exact male version of many paranormal YA protagonists who criticise the popular girls for being more relaxed with their sexuality.

    Not only that, but he also insults the other members of his Southern US town. The novel plays heavily on Southern stereotypes and portrays almost everyone but Ethan as being incredibly stupid. Ethan sneers at everyone, he is obviously smarter, has his morals in the right place and is just downright awesome in comparison. He makes it no secret from the very first chapter that he considers himself above them and it made me hate him before the story had even started going anywhere. He even goes so far as to announce that he doesn't have an accent because he was raised by intelligent people... I have two words for him: HATEFUL SNOB. Or FUCK YOU. Either works.

    And predictable. This was Predictable with a capital P. We don't even need to meet Lena or even hear her name to realise that she is the one Ethan will end up with. As soon as one of Ethan's classmates asks "have you seen the new girl?" and Ethan begins to wonder if she'll be hot, we know from that point where the whole thing is heading. Sometimes, I'll admit, there's some fun to be had watching a couple angst it out together, even though you know they'll be together eventually, but

    I can't even say that I stopped caring because, truthfully, I never even started. This whole book was just... not good. Not good at all.


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