Beautiful Creatures (Castor Chronicles, Bk 1)
Authors: Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: December 1st 2009
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
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 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.
I debated whether I should read this, something to me felt like Beautiful Creatures would be similar to a lot of YA paranormal books that blasted us post Twilight. Obviously, I decided to read it, the deciding factor was the Beautiful Creatures movie coming out in 2013. When I started I told myself I was going to give it a fair shot and read all of it, even if I wanted to DNF it.
Beautiful Creatures formula is not original, but it had some elements, in particularly the setting that gave it a little freshness...a little. I'm going to start with a couple of things I enjoyed about Beautiful Creatures first.
1. The setting: Gatlin, a fictional town in South Carolina is a fabulous setting for Beautiful Creatures. It has a gothic feel to it with hundred year old plantations covered in moss and vines. Gatlin is a town of small minded southern accented residents, that don't like change. A little stereo-typical? I would fucking say so, but it's still fun to read. The authors used imagery to create this creepy misty town vibe that totally brought the town to life.
2. Some Secondary Characters: My favorite character from Beautiful Creatures was Macon Ravenwood, the "Boo Radley" of Gatlin, a scary recluse that hadn't been seen in years. He is so many things, debonair, witty, scary.... My favorite part in the Beautiful Creatures involves Macon. He is that scene. Love him. Amma, Ethan's housekeeper, who is also a seer, is a really great character. She's very elusive and strong. I wish there was a bit more about her though.
Sadly, those are the ONLY things I liked about Beautiful Creatures. So, I didn't like Beautiful Creatures, for a couple of reasons.
1. No triangle, BUT insta-love is present. Ethan dreams of Lena before she even arrives in Gatlin...uh, cop out. For me it's just an easy way for an author let us know that these two are IT, the real thing. It's love, ya know. Come on, let's give it some time.
2. The main characters irritate the hell out of me. Beautiful Creatures is told from a male perspective, and of course it's written by two women, and I could tell. Ethan doesn't stand out as a strong MALE character. Lena is better written, but not as likable. She's going through some major drama guys, and yet her biggest wishes are things like attending school dances and the such.
3. It was too long, it could have been way shorter. Too many things added that was not necessary to the plot, in my opinion. It was irritating.
I'm not sure I would have finished it if I didn't make a pact to myself that I would read it till the end. I won't be continuing with the series, but I will watch the movie. I want to watch for Macon.