A Reader Opines: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Published: November 20th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Paranormal
Series: Beautiful Creatures #1
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

When I first heard of the Beautiful Creatures series, I was indifferent. Trailers for the movie kindled a bit of interest, but not enough to actually read the book. When I finally got around to seeing the movie, it really grabbed me. I loved how it portrayed dark and light, good and evil. We all have a little of both in us. So, I asked my cousin to borrow the books and have been lost in the Caster world since.

Summary taken from Goodreads:
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.

Garcia and Stohl have created a rich and diverse world in which its inhabitants live in shades of gray, where the line between light and dark is hazy. That line is firmly drawn, but the story explores free will and the possibility of choices being taken from us.

The characters are wonderfully constructed and despite being an old woman, I fell a little in love with Ethan Wate. From Amma’s chicken bones to Ridley’s lollipop, each player’s characteristics set them apart, even the sheeplike cliques of Jackson High. Ethan’s journey with Lena and the strange world he discovers consumed me, just as a well-written book should.

The story, of a girl who fears what her future holds and a boy with a strange connection to her neither understands, holds your interest. The plot unwinds through visions, magic, cause and effect. Theme upon theme unfold so inconspicuously that you don’t realize they are there until you reflect on the book as a whole.

Beautiful Creatures is a thoroughly enjoyable book and I wish I hadn’t taken so long to read it. Especially since the movie is so very different.

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