Beautiful Creatures by Garcia and Stohl

beautiful creatures coverEthan just wants something exciting to happen to him. Nothing ever changes in Gatlin. Link has been his best friend since he was five. He lives with his housekeeper Amma who he is pretty sure believes in voodoo, and his father, who hasn’t come out of his study since his mother died five months ago. Then, Ethan starts having dreams of a mysterious girl he desperately needs to save. He doesn’t think much of them, until a new girl shows up in Gatlin, the first new girl in years. Her name is Lena Duchannes. She has moved into the oldest and most mysterious plantation in Gatlin. She has secrets, lots of them–and she’s the girl from Ethan’s dreams.

Beautiful Creatures is the first book in the Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Lena is a Caster, and on her 16th birthday she will be Claimed by either the Light or the Dark, she has no choice about what sort of Caster she will be. Ethan, a Mortal, falls in love with her, and despite the advice from everyone who knows better, is convinced he can help Lena find a way to change her fate. While this was not the most original story line I have ever read, I did like it. I always enjoy stories like this told from the boy, or non-magical character’s POV. I think I enjoyed the book mostly because I liked Ethan and how he acted and reacted to his extraordinary circumstances, like finding out about magic, and that even his mother’s best friend is not just what she appears. I also liked Lena and her love of writing poetry, even though she would whine a little too much for me to handle sometimes. The first half of the book was a little slow and drug on at some points…was it really necessary to describe how evil the other girls at Gatlin high school were so many times? They were awfully stereotypical and I got tired of hearing about them after awhile. I could have done with less information about the Sisters as well, since they didn’t seem to have any purpose at all. Perhaps in the next novel?

This book wasn’t the best YA novel I have ever read, but I did like it and would like to read the next one just to see what happens. There were lots of unanswered questions. Some unanswered questions are fine, but this book went a little over board. And still so many secrets! We’ll see how all that works out in the next few books I guess.

I’ll be honest, I read this book because when I went to see The Hobbit (have you seen the Hobbit yet? You should if you haven’t!) I saw a preview for the movie based on this book, and I wanted to read it before I saw it. I actually think, if done well, this might make a better movie than book. There’s certainly plenty of action and intrigue. I’m looking forward to it.

Happy reading!

-Branwen

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