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young adult book reviews & more

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful CreaturesEthan Wate has been counting down the months until he can escape small town Gatlin and the thinking that goes along with it. He hates that everyone knows everyone else’s business and that the only thing to look forward to each year is a Civil War reenactment. But everything changes when Lena Duchannes moves to town. From the start, Lena doesn’t fit in, and from the first time Ethan sees her, he knows that he shares a connection with this unusual girl. But the closer the two get, the closer Lena’s secret gets to being exposed. Though Ethan doesn’t understand at first, there’s a reason Lena is so different from all the other girls he’s met. Soon, Ethan becomes entangled in an ancient family curse and what could only be called magic. There’s only one thing he knows for sure now: there’s no turning back.

Beautiful Creatures is one monster of a novel, and I mean that in terms of length rather than content, although that wouldn’t be incorrect in describing certain characters in this story. I have many problems with this novel, and length is only just one of them. I don’t ordinarily mind long stories that exceed the 400 page mark—as long as they’re worth reading. Unfortunately, Beautiful Creatures was not original enough to keep this reader satisfied. I feel as if I’ve heard all of this before, and I’m sure even the most reluctant reader has too: the battle between light/good and dark/evil regarding the usage of magic and especially including a generally doomed romance. There weren’t even particularly interesting or vivid characters, surprising plot twists, or other unique elements to make up for the lackluster storyline. In addition, sometimes it became confusing what the real battle was about, good magic versus bad magic or the outsider against small town hate. This only helped draw the story out with the constant shuffling between the magic using world and the mortal world. Should I even be surprised that the ending leaves plenty of room for a sequel? I almost groaned upon seen that; I don’t know how I could stomach another drawn out 600 pages of something that wasn’t all that enthralling to begin with.

Beautiful Creatures may still be enjoyed by fans of Wicked: Witch & Curse by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié, Swoon by Nina Malkin, and The Hollow by Jessica Verday.

Rating: 2.75

Review copy from Amazon Vine

7 munch(es) :

Maria the Bookworm said...

This is the first review I've read about this book that wasn't positive. I'll give it a shot, though :)

beth said...

I felt mostly the same way. I don't usually like big books, and this was no exception.

Dannie said...

Sorry you didn't like it :( I've been hearing pretty mixed reviews of this one, and I can't tolerate a big book unless I know for sure its the Next Great American Novel, so I guess I'll be staying away from this one.

choco (In Which a Girl Reads) said...

Great honest review!

I had a copy of this from the library, looked at how hefty it was, and thought about how I'd heard that a lot of the elements were cliche. So I ended up not reading it, and I think I'm glad I didn't. :)

Simply_Megan said...

For some reason everyone loved this, but I completely agree with you - it was way too long and boring. I just couldn't get into it.

Sara said...

I'm so glad that I'm not the only one that didn't love it. I gave it a review similar to yours on amazon through vine and was trashed. I made it about 200 pages before giving up.

J Wiles said...

Thanks for this honest review. Amazon had it as one of their "Books of the Month" recently and I thought I might add it to my "To Read" list, but the page count puts me off a bit along with the summary of the novel. I've read too many magic containing books in recent years that all started to sound the same to put me off this one early. (Patricia C. Wrede's 13th Child perhaps being an exception because of the setting and the attempt at some originality).
As always, appreciate your honesty and insight.

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