Monday, November 12, 2012

Book review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margareth Stohl

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.

Original story
Beautiful Creatures is refreshingly enough without vampires, werewolves, fairys, fallen angels etc. What you do get in this book is dark and light magic, superstition, voodo and many other fascinating things. I find many parts of this story original and intricate. The book is told from a male character's perspective which I think is quite unusual in itself in this genre. We also get flashbacks from the Civil War when both the ancestors of Lena and Ethan lived in Gatlin. This adds debth to the story and makes it more interesting. The Civil War plays an important part in the small southern town of Gatlins history and they have both a museum and an annual play. The small town environment where the community is ruled by the narrowminded women in a local society is one of the things I think works the best in this book. I found it a bit strange that the community treated Lena so harsh from the start though. The adults believed the other girls that claimed there were something strange and evil about her right away. The same adults also removed Harry Potter from the school library earlier, and we know that has happened to many books in real life so maybe I'm just naive.

Love, love, love
One of the reasons I didn't really enjoy this book is the romance. I could probably need a break from paranormal YA, and especially Paranormal Romance which is what I would call this. I would classify this as such because the romance and the relationship between Lena and Ethan is such a large part of the book. I would have preferred to read more about other characters, the back story and not to mention the main plot and what's happening to Lena and her family. I think when you've read a few books in this category you recognize the recipe. A boy/girl who feels left out meets a person from the opposite sex with supernatural abilities. The supernatural one could be dangerous and therefore they shouldn't be together, but of course they just can't stay apart. When I read the first Twilight book and Hush, hush I was all into it and didn't look for all the flaws and annoying details. In this one I can't overlook them. About Lena and Ethan and didn't really feel for them. Lena is too flat and vague and I don't think Ethan is quite credible as a male character. I also missed some tension building between the couple. And even though this is not the worse book in describing only beautiful people (as Mari wrote about earlier), I also thought there were a few too many descriptions of Lenas beauty and not to mention the amazing things that happened when they kissed.

I really thought I would like this book so I have to say I was dissapointed. I thought the story showed promise but the love story partly ruined it for me. It was too long (more than 500 pages) and I got bored and stayed bored for a large part of the book. If I wasn't reading it for a norwegian book blog tour I'm not sure I would have finished it. I know many people really like this book and I can honestly see that it has certain qualities but this wasn't a great excperience for me.

My review:

Gift from the norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm



  1. I've been contemplating to get a copy of this one for a while now (especially with the release of the fourth book now), but your review makes me a little bit hesitant again - I think I've had enough of those "typical paranormal YA romances"... thanks a lot for your honesty! :)

    1. Many people really like this but it wasn't for me. I am definitely not going to read the other three boos. There are so little time and so many books:-)

  2. Have not read it, but it looks great:) Thanks for your review:)

  3. I definitely want to watch the movie when it hit the theaters. BUT after reading your revie, Silje, I have to say that I have no intention of picking up the book anytime soon.

    I hear you loud and clear on the Twilight/Hush,Hush conclusion. I think that is just something that may happen as we get more familiar with a genre(and personal preferences of course).

    Wonderful review :)

    1. Twilight was the first series in this genre I read and I really enjoyed the first book and the other three were more up and down. I'm not sure I would have finished this series if I read it now. What I like about Hush hush is that each book has a mystery that's solved in the end. It's somewhat annoying to struggle to finish a book just to know that it's only the beginning of another 1500 pages before you get some answers. It feels like a waste of time.

  4. Just letting you know that I linked to this review on my blog. Thanks for writing a great review. :)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)