I had listened to a review of the new Beautiful Creatures movie and decided I wanted to read the book (because I can't
I warn you, I'm going to spoil it if you desire to read it sometime soon.
|The original cover, image courtesy of Amazon|
Then, everything changes when Lena Duchannes moves into town. The electricity between Ethan and Lena is
|The redesigned cover featuring the cast|
of the movie. Image via LibraryThing.
I enjoyed a good portion of this book. I felt fully immersed in Gatlin. It reminds me of every southern-belle, plantation home, good 'ol boy Southern city I've imagined. Ethan is a refreshing change as a lead character. He's realistically portrayed as being stuck, with no one to cling to, with conflicting feelings about life, trying to feel out who he is and where he belongs. Lena is less fully realized, in my opinion. One moment she's in love, the next she's crying, the next she's causing massive downpours.
When it finally reaches the conclusion, it drags on for a good long time. So long, I was bored by reading it, and even more bored by listening to it. Seraphine shows up and becomes what I like to call "Mrs. Exposition." This is the major flaw with the book, that it doesn't dish out enough details before the finale. It felt like a good half of the book was something happening, and it never being explained, or not until the overly-long ending.
Overall, I felt that the world was well-developed, the writing was solid, the magical realm was fascinating, and the romance wasn't overly sappy (meaning it generally didn't make me throw up in my mouth, romance=barfing noises). Where it flounders in the middle and at the finale, but it leaves an excellent cliffhanger for follow-ups. Recommended for students Grade 7 (about 14) and above.
The sleepy South Carolina hamlet of Gatlin hasn't changed much since the "War of Norther Aggression." Ethan Carter Wate, a 15-year-old basketball player at Stonewall Jackson High School is counting down the days until he can leave, until he meets new girl Lena Duchannes. The electricity between them is literally palpable, but Lena's secret life and strange family could tear them apart, literally.
The world of Beautiful Creatures is well-developed, with hints of humor and southern hospitality similar Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels (which are the basis for the True Blood TV series, although they diverge greatly). The writing is solid, with fantastic imagery that leaves the smell of Confederate Jasmine practically in the air. The magical realm is fascinating, realistic, and terrifying, and the romance seems genuinely portrayed. Where it flounders in the middle and at the finale, drawn out and boring at times, but it leaves an excellent cliffhanger for follow-ups. Recommended for students Grade 7 (about 14) and above.