Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Authors: Kami Garcia Margaret Stohl
Pub Date: December 2009
Pages: 576
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Series
Challenges: YA, New Author

I have this wonderful student who I absolutely adore. She is an avid reader and from the getgo we have chatted about books. She keeps me up to date on current YA trends that her and girls are reading and if I'm interested, she passes them onto me t read. (That's how I got my hands on Fallen). This yougun reminds me so much of me when I was her age. She tells me how her stepdad claims she's causing him and her mom to go poor because she reads too quick. I joked about how I got the same lecture and probably had the only parent that would ground me from reading when I got into trouble.

So wonderful student had picked up a copy of Beautiful Creatures and devoured it in a couple of days. Every time I turned around she had that book open - even walking through the hallways! Of course when she finished it and asked if I wanted to check it out I jumped for joy. Personally, I had been eyeing this one for a while, the cover is absolutely GORGEOUS and I'm a sucker for beautiful dark covers....

The thing that stood out first for me was the narrator. It's a HE. How cool is that?! I mean, obviously this is going to be a love entanglement, how neat that we get to hear it from the boy. Within the first few pages, I was captivated. Now I don't mean this next statement to be insulting. Really. It's just not as though there's this unique and different paranormal plot. I mean, it's pretty common - boy and girl can't be together because of something evil or one is human and the other isn't, but there's a mystical element that continues to bring them together. But there was still something clever about it (and I mean even outside of a male narrator - Ethan Wate).

The gist? Ethan Wate has been having these dreams about a girl that he has never met, which is near impossible since he lives in Gatlin, SC where everyone knows everyone and nothing novel happens. And then he meets her - Lena Duchannes, the odd niece of the crazy Macon who lives in the town's haunted house.

Gatlin has a lot of secrets and they all lead back to the Civil War. This was a creative aspect...to pull in a historical piece into the plot. I think it was done in a way that would probably pique the interest of some kids who normally wouldn't care much about the past.

//What I also liked might be a small spoiler (but not really because it comes out in the first bit of the book...but if you want to be complete unaware of the characterization then skip over this paragraph). Soon Ethan realizes that Lena is a bit different; she can move things after all. He speculates that she is a witch and Lena immediately rebuffs that statement and tells him how silly he is being. She refers to her kind as Casters, and each Caster has different gifts. And I'm not being nearly as eloquent as I should be but it sorta struck me as a good analogy of how we group and stereotype people. This concept came up a couple of times as Ethan tries to make sense of the Casters world.//

OK. So was there anything that I did dig? Of course! I was not particularly fond of how Ethan and Lena fell in love. It seemed as if they were dealing with these larger than life evil-forces-AND-the-town-is-out-to-get-them issues while spending all this time together going to school, holding hands, and Ethan is debating whether or not him and Lena are a couple. Cuz, this is the thing, I spend all my time around teeny bopper kids and they are the quickest to declare love. And I get that the authors were probably trying to not make it so sensational and more mature-like, but y'know, I couldn't buy it. Yeah, those parts drove me crazy.

Final verdict? I'm hooked. Wonderful student and I will be both be waiting impatiently for the second installment.


  1. I've had my eye on this one for awhile now, and I will definitely give it a read now.
    While I'm not a teacher, I do have teens of my own so my house is always brimming with kids and I absolutely love learning what books they are reading - its helped me find so many good reads from both YA and adult genres.

  2. I am glad to hear this is fabulous. I bought it a while back and I am looking forward to reading it.

  3. Joanne - I really think that you might enjoy this. I think we have similar tastes.

    Vivienne - Yay. Let me know what you think.


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