Thursday, December 24, 2009

Review of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publication Date: December 2009
Pages: 576
Source: Bought

First Lines:

"There were only two kinds of people in our town. 'The stupid and the stuck,' my father had affectionately classified our neighbors. 'The ones who are bound to stay or too dumb to go. Everyone else finds a way out.'"

Back Cover:

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

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.

My Thoughts:

I know what you all are thinking. ANOTHER review of Beautiful Creatures? But seriously guys, if you haven't read the book yet, you should probably pay attention to what I say next.

As you guys know, there's been TONS of hype about this book. And sometimes, the book is worth it, and other times, we're let down because we expect the book to be great wasn't.

Beautiful Creatures has DEFINITELY lived up to the hype.

The writing is absolutely gorgeous--some of the best I've seen. It's been awhile since I've felt that the setting has jumped off the pages and dragged me into it. Beautiful Creatures does all that and more. The characters are unique and identifiable and aren't one-dimensional. For those of you who know me, that's big praise coming from me, as I tend to harp on characterization in at least half of the reviews I write.

I know I mentioned that I loved the writing style, but I have to go into a little more detail. It flows well and has an almost lyrical quality to it. Not to mention all the little literary references thrown in! I loved them.

I've read a few reviews that complained about the first 200 pages or so of the book, saying that it was extremely slow-paced. I'll agree that the first 150ish pages are not as exciting and dramatic as the rest of the book, but I enjoyed them and think they served a purpose: to develop the characters, settings, and background for the book. I know a lot of my readers like to read books that are jumping right into the action by page 20, but I think the authors did an excellent job of setting up everything. And don't get me wrong, the first part of the book isn't just endless description and background--it has some action and interesting moments as well, but the book as a whole kicks it up a notch later on.

What else can I say? Beautiful Creatures was great. It was worth every penny I paid for it. If you guys haven't read it, I'd HIGHLY recommend doing so soon. It's not often that I give books a 5 star rating. Move this book to the top of your piles, guys. It's definitely worth it!

This book is part of the Holiday Break Reading Challenge.

Cover: 5 stars
Plot: 5 stars
Characters: 4.5 stars
Writing Style: 5 stars
Overall: 5 stars

Second Time Around Rating (1-12-12): 4 stars. The writing style is still great, and I love the setting and plot, but the characters weren't as great as I remembered, and I definitely noticed more flaws the second time around.

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