Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (December 1, 2009)
Paperback: 576 pages
Price: $9.71 from {amazon}
Summary: from {goodreads}
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
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.


Review: I know there are a lot of reviews out there already, but I have to write my own because OH MY GOD was Beautiful Creatures AMAZING. Third 5-star ever. I need to write a review now, to capture this feeling that I still haven't finished the book. I'm still sort of in a state of shock. Beautiful Creatures was one of those books that just left me thinking "wow." I'm an avid roller coaster fan, so I have to compare it to a coaster ride - it's ended, but I still feel like I'm sitting there, being blown away and nothing to hold onto. And actually, as I continue to write this, I'm starting to feel a bit depressed and to miss the book already... what an unhealthy, but completely enjoyable, addiction that I'll gladly welcome without regrets.

To start off, I'm going to tackle one of my main concerns: the number of pages. It's not everyday that I read a nearing 600-page novel, and I was afraid how that would work out. Too boring? Too lengthy? However, the width of the book was nothing but a plus. Beautiful Creatures was a little slow going in, and for the first 100 pages or so, I was waiting for the "real" action to begin. But looking back, it set up the awesomely mudane (or maybe not so mudane) Gaitlin community, that made the whole book seem more realistic and just gave the story the extra something it needed. After the initial introduction, the mysteries and answers were revealed at a stready pace, enough to temproarily satisfy me but keep me hooked for more. What I loved were the 150 pages, which were ultimately what clinched the 5-star rating because they were some seriously high-level of intense. As in take a thriller, unconcentrate it, and the ending of Beautiful Creatures is what you'll get. The amount of action and things coming together was crazy, but still easy for me to follow.

Now, I have to mention Ethan since he's the one how tells the story. He's adorable, the average high school boy that every nice girl wants - cute, sweet, senstive, caring. Obviously, I'm generalizing here, but Ethan is a refreshing break from all those bad boys who scare their girl and then somehow win her over (no offense here, lovelies). Instead, Ethan and Lena's love was like those innocent, slowly-budding relationships that I wish I could have. I loved how their romance developed without them actually having to define it - no needing to say the words "girlfriend" or "I love you." Ethan and Lena did show their love tangibly, but it was like they didn't need to, just wanted to at times. I do have to admit that their love was borderline "obsession" (as in Edward-Bella), but it was gradually developed so I felt that there was an actual foundation for their intense emotions.

To wrap it up, the ending was solid, but definitely hinted towards a sequel. It left me satisfied with what happened, but dying for more. Seriously, that sequel better come out before I die of waiting. All I can say, is awesomly amazing debut by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl!

Romance: Sweet, complicated, and definitely there 24/7. I wrote about this in my "review" portion, so I'm not going to go in-depth here. Ethan and Lena's intricate romance is one of the main focuses of Beautiful Creatures, and I definitely liked it. :)
Cover: 3.5
Writing: 4.5
Characters: 5.0
Plot: 5.0

Bottom Line: If you didn't conclude it from my review: go buy Beautiful Creatures now. The plot was well-woven, the setting was so Southern and believable, the writing was solid, and the characters all had their own unique and interesting personalities; all in all, a thoroughly enjoyable read that I couldn't put down. Kami Garcia and Maragaret Stohl are definitely a powerful duo that I'll have to watch out for in the future!

Sidenote: I think Ethan might just earn a spot near my heart, next to all those bad boys running havoc there. While Ethan searches for ways to save his love, my fellow male classmates sing "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round" at 6:30 in the morning... I shudder to think of any romantic prospects.