Monday, 18 July 2011

Review: Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Pages: 563, paperback

ISBN: 9780141326085

Publisher: Penguin Books

Date Released: December 1st, 2009

Genre: YA/ paranormal/ romance

Source: bought

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, andshe’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 (Taken from Goodreads)
I started reading this book with high expectations, thinking it to be a worthwhile read, because it was advertised with such vigour in all the bookshops I visited, and I was recommended this book by almost every writer and reader on the internet. So I took the plunge and read it. And you know what? I should not have listened.

I enjoyed how it wasn't your typical paranormal creature, like a vampire or werewolf, and the use of Casters (a fancy term for witches) made it interesting. The world of the Casters, and their mythology was interesting and a refreshing change from other paranormal creatures. The history of the Caster's was written well in depth, and it provided a lot of interest on my part.

The book itself, though long and sometimes tiring, was interesting, fun and a delight to read. I spent my long and boring bus trips to uni reading this, and it provided much needed entertainerment. It was just one of those books that was hard to put down because of how deep it pulls you in.

Onto some of the negative aspects of the novel now.
Though male POVs in romance novels are refreshing and the most interesting, it is incredibly hard to pull off properly. It seems almost as if Garcia and Stohl had never even spoken to a teenaged boy in years, and that Ethan Wate's character is their own fantasies of what a guy should be like. Majority of my friends are teenaged males, and I think that I therfore have some knowledge of the way that they act, and what they think. Ethan doesn't act in any way like a teenaged boy; he is more of a representation of middle-aged woman, at least, that's the impression I got from his personality. It was due to this that I had a lot of trouble settling in with the book, and quite frankly, it left me bored and dissatisfied.

I was also annoyed at the Twilight-esque pace that their love formed. Ethan had been in love with Lena even before he met her, and from the very beginning, the reader has to endure pages upon pages of him droning on about how much she means to him. Also, I don't really think that it matters what she wears everyday. That sort of stuff is acceptable during the moments of the formal or her party, but for everyday wear, it really isn't neccessary. There were some moments that I thought that Ethan as secretly gay, because of his closet fascination with clothes.

One last thing that bothered me was the lack of climax, much like in Stephanie Meyer's Breaking Dawn. I was actually very interested in the last hundred or so pages, because I really couldn't wait to see what the Book of Moons would choose for Lena. Would she become Dark? Or would she become Light? I just had to know what was in store for her. Imagine my disappointment when I found out that Lena had done something that had made the moon disappear (or something like that. Garcia and Stohl had their moments where things weren't explained very clearly, I found. Another drawback in the novel.) and she wouldn't be chosen.
Near the end, it was revealed that Lena would be able to choose for herself, which piqued some interest in me, due to the consequences, but as I mentioned, the moon had disappeared, and nothing happened. A very boring and abrupt end to the climax that kept me on my toes.
Though, I was glad to find that there would be a sequel by the poem/song that Ethan found on the very last page, which explains that Lena would have to choose on her 17th birthday. I definitely will be getting the sequel when it comes out, as I really want to know what Lena will choose, her family of Lights, or Ethan. Hopefully, she'll make the right choice and choose her family, instead of acting like a typical love-struck stupid teen.

I doubt it'll happen, though.

Cover: 3
Plot: 2
Characters: 2
Writing: 3
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 3/5

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