Saturday, January 26, 2013

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garci and Margaret Stohl


              Here is another book that I’ve read, a couple of years ago, that the movie for it is coming out in February. I’m not quite sure if I’ll see this movie at the movie theater, but, at some point, I will watch it. Seriously, have you seen the cast for this movie? There are some big Hollywood names in it. Love Emma Thompson and Emmy Rossum. Oscar-nominated, Jeremy Irons and Viola Davis are in it, too. You can’t get much better than that. The original cover and the fact that the story takes place in the South is what initially attracted me to this book. When I found out that it was a Southern gothic YA/JF, I was even more intrigued. There was tons of publicity regarding this book, even before it came out. So, on that note, I had high hopes of a fantastic read, but for me, it fell short of the hype.
               First off, this book could have been shorter, and it wouldn’t have detracted from the storyline. It was bogged down with way too many descriptions and way too many clichés of the South. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Southern references, to a point, and that’s probably why I stayed with this book, but then there comes a time where you reach overkill. I did enjoy how the book was from the hero’s point of view, which was refreshing, but I’ve never met a teenage boy who acted like Ethan and was considered cool. Let’s be real: if Ethan was in a high school today, he would not among the popular crowd, as this Ethan was. Overall, I just don’t think that it was an accurate portrayal of a sixteen-year-old teenage boy. And, then there was the plot: essentially, it went nowhere. I know that some would disagree, but to me, the ending was somewhat anticlimactic and definitely in the Breaking Dawn vein: all that build up and then it peters outs. Regardless of whether or not it’s a series, it could have had a more dramatic ending and still manage a good setup or intro for the next book.
               On a positive note, I really enjoyed the Civil War references and the whole back story there. In fact, I wished there had been more of that and more about the couple from that era. I think that would have been a more interesting storyline to work with, and develop more on, but that was the main problem with this book; there was too many things going on. The book started out great, it started out interesting, and then it started to fall apart with each subsequent page. This book had so much potential, but it wasn’t executed very well. I do have a weakness for all things Southern, particularly Southern stories and Southern authors, and my loyalty runs rather deep. So, be that as it may, that this book was a little on the eh side (insert shrug), I did go on and read the next two in the series, hoping that with more writing experience under their rookie writer belts, the continuing storyline would be more solid and developed. *Look for my review on both of these books in the coming weeks.

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.

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