We’re going to start off our first book review with one that mixes a few different genres together to get a work of the epitome of southern charm and mystery – Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Right away, the first thing I notice about this book is that it has the somewhat unique quality of being written and co-authored by two different people. Usually you see books written only by one person so it’s refreshing to see a work of fiction that has been worked on by two. Especially over at this blog where we are also co-authored.
First Impression: The cover is beautiful and captivating in a deep purple with spiraling letters and a faint hint of an outline of an old oak tree in the background. It gives the book a mysterious/dark feel to it before you even open it up to take a read.
Second Impression: The main character of this book is unique as well in that the character is a male (his name is Ethan Wate). Something that is quite refreshing is reading a story from someone else’s viewpoint and then to add that the person is the opposite sex is even better. What I liked about the male main character is that, even though, the book was written by two women they didn’t hint that it was written by two women. What I am trying to say is that they took on the male persona very well. I could definitely picture a male narrating the story without an hitches in the characters personality or story-line.
Negative Feedback: One immediate negative that I found with this book, once I got passed the fact that the book was almost 600 pages long (sort of intimidating to someone who doesn’t have a lot of free time) was the fact that the main character was constantly re-hashing how much he liked the other main character – Lena Duchannes, who was (you guessed it) his love interest. It became very old very quickly when he would go into detail about how much he liked her after every other sentence. That really took away from the main idea of the story in a lot of ways because we just kept re-hashing his feelings for her. Okay, we get it, he likes her.
Story line [spoilers]: A guy in high school meets a new girl at school in a very small town. The girl is quiet and an outcast in the small school. In short, no one likes her and people start to not like him once he start associating with her. They find a locket in an abadoned field that seems to hold the power for them to see in the past which heavily hints at the possibility that the characters are reincarnated lovers from the 1860s.
But that’s not it – the new girl also has a major secret that she (soon) reveals to our main character, Ethan. She’s pretty much a witch and her entire family are witches or “Casters” as they call them in the book.
But there’s still more – Lena is forced to choose, on her sixteenth birthday, whether to be a “good witch” or a “bad witch”. After a series of events, she decided not to really choose any side. Causing her eyes to change from the color green to be one green and one gold one (the golden eyes are meant to symbolize a “bad witch”). Through it all their love prevails and they essentially live happily ever after even if it’s in a weird non-final way. Of course, they couldn’t make the end of the 600 page book final because how else would they have written the other 3 books (each about 600 pages long).
What I liked best about this book was that the setting was very lush and mysterious. Based in South Carolina, you really get a good feel for the landscape through the words of Ethan Wate. You also get a real good stance on what a small town in the deep south is like which I appreciated.
What I liked least about this book was the lack of mature development in the characters. I get that they are supposed to be sixteen but that doesn’t mean that you can be lazy in your character development. I would have liked the characters to have matured a little more as the story progressed.