May 2013 Book of the Month Review
Book: BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Official book blurb: “Ethan Wate is haunted by dreams of a girl he’s never met. When Lena Duchannes moves into his small southern town of Gatlin County, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her. And he is determined to uncover the strange connection between them, even if it means uncovering the one secret that could change everything.”
April’s Beyond the Circle Book of the Month was a ghost story that I said was well-written but had some issues. May’s selection is, in my opinion, lacking in the former and wealthy in the latter. The Internet buzz was favorable and the book was overhyped, so I gave it a whirl.
Here are the things that set this book apart from other paranormal reads: love story told from a male point of view, paranormal lore regarding casters (witches) from the Southern US with roots in the Civil War, and a small-town Southern setting.
Frankly, this book was formulaic. Tell me if this sounds familiar: a love affair between a human and a paranormal being, teens drawn to each other for no apparent reason, danger for lovers to be together for a particular paranormal reason, new girl, small town, and families that want to keep the lovers apart.
I was excited about the male POV, but Ethan does not resemble any teenage boy I have ever encountered. His familiarity with fashion (even Scarlett O’Hara’s favorite dress), willingness to spend time with his senile female relatives regularly, commentary on his girlfriend’s clothing, and infallible niceness were just a bit much.
The Southern small town felt borrowed with tired clichés, and though I’ve found some of them to be quite true (nosiness, self-righteousness, and narrow-mindedness), they are by far not universal. I wanted more than stock characters.
Regarding the action: the plot revolves around a dark caster’s curse that must be broken. I was pretty excited because up until the last 10% of the book, I had no idea how it would end. But then it became abundantly apparent and I slogged through the last 10%, having guessed the ending exactly.
Regrettably, BTCers, I was sucked in by the hype and it’s not what they said it would be.
This Twilight modeled love story has also made its way into Hollywood’s eye and will be in theaters soon. Here is the trailer for the film:
You can purchase the entire book set via our affiliate link here:
The Beautiful Creatures Complete Paperback Collection