Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret StohlBeautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: December 1, 2009
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Source: Gift
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

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.

This book is kind of a mess tbh. It didn’t offend me as much as Twilight or make me want to ragequit life like Divergent did, but regardless, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to anyone. The plot is all over the place and it’s almost as though the book is trying to tell two different, often quite opposing, stories at the same time. I didn’t realise until after I’d read it that the book is written by two authors (thanks, Amber)… which explains a lot really.

So the first story goes like this: Guy meets Girl, and an epic romance is born. I don’t know, I paid minimal attention to their early scenes because they were so boring and cliché. This part of the book was easily my least favourite, although in all fairness the romance, once you get past the first 100 pages or so, starts to develop and everything is just that little bit less irritating. Guy, whose name is Ethan, spends a huge part of the first part of the book bemoaning his apparently crap life in a small Southern town. He wants to escape because the people are small-minded and nothing happens??? There are just so many fucks I did not give for his endlessly annoying first world problems. And then Lena arrives, who you may know as the Girl part of the ~epic romance~. Ethan totally loves her because she is so different and super special because she wears a necklace made from sentimental keepsakes, or as my mother would call it, junk. Lena writes mediocre poetry (Oh God, the poetry *headdesks self into coma*), is a loner and has many secrets. Whatever, they’re drawn to each other or something and a friendship quickly develops into a relationship.

Thankfully the plot picks up after a while and you’re thrust into a somewhat intriguing tale dating back to the American Civil War. There are ghosts, buried secrets, magical libraries and a tragic love affair, all woven into the story taking place in the present. So the present-day story goes like this: Lena is a Caster (a witch, although she seems very dismissive of this word because she is pretentious and annoying) who, because of a tradition in her family, will be aligned with Darkness or Light on her sixteenth birthday. And this is where it gets interesting. Well, sort of. Lena has no choice in which alignment she will be – it is decided for her, and she and Ethan (mostly Ethan, Lena spends a lot of her time crying >.>) decide to do whatever they can to fight this. The story becomes an exploration into the history of Lena’s family and as a consequence, the history of the town. Seemingly ordinary characters are revealed to be important with secrets of their own and new ones are introduced as this second plot unfolds, and each of them are more interesting than Ethan or Lena, although this isn’t hard to do considering how boring the two main characters actually are.

There are some fun scenes and stand-out characters that save this book from being a generic YA romance. The second plot is somewhat engaging and for these reasons I ended up not hating it. I probably won’t read the sequels because lbr, it wasn’t that good but if you’re considering reading this book for the romance, I would suggest Hemlock instead. So yeah, Beautiful Creatures: better than Twilight but still a bland read. Meh.

Ratings Breakdown:  First star: For not offending me like Divergent and Twilight did. Second star: For the second storyline, i.e. the bit with the plot. Third star: For the cool secondary characters such as Macon and Ridley.

16 comments on “Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

  1. Sirtsu April 11, 2013 2:13 pm

    YAY!!! I LOVED RILEY AND MACON, TOO!! :) I think I gave this one a three as well. It was very mediocre – I liked it, but I didn’t necessarily love it. Hahahaha @the poetry. Well, Lena isn’t a writer that’s for sure. Plus, it gets worse with every book in my opinion. Dark-Light was probably the most interesting thing for me too with all the ghost and I agree that it was very cliché for the most part. I loved Link so much haha 😀 he and Ridley were the best characters for me and yeah.. they continue to be awesome. I didn’t finish the second book, but I really liked the third and the forth one. I hope you have better luck with this series:)

    • Tatum Turtle April 14, 2013 5:53 pm

      Haha, Riley was my fave character! I wish she’d been in the first book more tbh. Lena’s poetry made me laugh b/c it was so ~deep~ and ~meaningful~. Thanks for commenting 😀

  2. Christina April 11, 2013 2:39 pm

    Bahahaha, I like that it got a star for not making you want to ragequit life. That’s the best description ever. *wrings Tris’ obnoxious neck* I HATED Divergent. FRIEND!!!!

    Um, yeah, this book. I hated the main characters a lot. Ethan didn’t really read like a guy to me, and he was a such a whiny bitch. I just wanted him to shut up.

    • Tatum Turtle April 14, 2013 5:57 pm

      Haha, thank you! DIVERGENT WAS AWFUL AND TRIS DROVE ME CRAZY UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I read a couple of reviews that said the same thing about Ethan not reading like a guy, and I think is kinda true. Not that I can really make a solid opinion since I basically tuned him out XD Thank you for commenting 😀

  3. Mel@Thedailyprophecy April 11, 2013 2:54 pm

    I’ve read mixed things about this book and I think I will end up rating this book like you, with a “meh” feeling. It sounds like it has a good potential, but it is ruined by the annoying characters. I definitely don’t like the sound of Lena and Ethan (perhaps it’s because of the name. Lena in Delirium also annoyed me to no end.) I’m happy that the second characters and the somewhat interesting story line saved this book for you.

    • Tatum Turtle April 14, 2013 6:09 pm

      I went into it expecting nothing so I think I was mostly just pleased that the book didn’t annoy me tbh XD Some of the supporting characters are quite interesting but Lena and Ethan are just so bland – Lena kind of borders on being a slightly better written Bella Swan. Thanks for commenting 😀

  4. Stephanie April 11, 2013 4:05 pm

    I enjoyed the books enough to read the whole series, but I definitely agree with you! For a while I couldn’t figure out what I didn’t like about Beautiful Creatures, because I did enjoy the magical aspect of it and Lena’s family history, but Lena is annoying (she gets worse in the 2nd book) and I wasn’t impressed with Ethan’s POV. Great review!

    • Tatum Turtle April 14, 2013 6:13 pm

      She gets worse? :/ Does she write more mediocre poetry because that.was.hilarious. Ooh, I liked the magic and history stuff too, I’m pretty sure that’s what kept me reading until the end because the romance really didn’t do it for me at all. Thanks for reading 😀

  5. Judith April 11, 2013 6:48 pm

    Tatum, I can’t believe you actually finished this book. *stands up and applauds* I couldn’t get past 120 pages, and therefore, was still stuck in the part where nothing happens and that was insanely boring (like I told Amber: I get that nothing happens in the town, but that doesn’t mean I want nothing to happen in the town as well -.-). The second part actually sounds quite interesting, but I won’t pick this one up again FOR SURE. I’ll read a summary somewhere.

    • Tatum Turtle April 14, 2013 6:17 pm

      Loooooool, Amber said the same thing! It takes like 100+ pages for something to actually happen because the first part of the book is literally just Ethan complaining about his life. Teenagers, man. It does get more interesting but not by much, and the focus on the romance never fades, so I think you and Amber would probably end up setting the book on fire XD

  6. My anxious life April 12, 2013 2:53 am

    I have to agree.. not my favorite series. I won’t complete the series either. The books are way tooo long….. the movie actually did this book justice to me.

    Angie
    Angela’s Anxious Life

    • Tatum Turtle April 14, 2013 6:14 pm

      I will be watching the movie purely so I can make fun of it XD Thank you for commenting and reading!

  7. Debby April 13, 2013 9:05 am

    There are just so many fucks I did not give for his endlessly annoying first world problems.

    Hahaha, this is a criticism I hear more often about this book and I love the way you describe these characters. This review had me giggling. Yeah, I decided a while back it wouldn’t be wise for me to read this series and I don’t think I could sit through the whole thing either. I’ve just read too many frustrating things about it. But this review is brilliant :)

    • Tatum Turtle April 14, 2013 6:23 pm

      Thank you XD Bloody Ethan, honestly. He complains so much about minor things and ain’t nobody got time for that >.> I’m glad I made you laugh!

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