Monday, March 3, 2014

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is a YA supernatural contemporary novel, and the first in the Caster Chronicles series.

Yes, I know. You probably read this book years ago and have already finished the four book series.

I get it. I’m late to the game. But you have to admit there are a LOT of books out there – and even bibliophiles can’t always keep up.

Ethan Wate is counting the days until he can leave his tiny Southern town of Gatlin.

Full of closed-minded, eccentric people that all know each other too well and a multitude of girls that can’t hold his interest for even a few minutes once they start speaking have left him increasingly dissatisfied.

So when Lena Duchannes moves into town it’s like a breath of fresh air. She’s different. She’s been places. And, of course, she’s beautiful.

But she’s the niece of town recluse Macon Ravenwood – so she is automatically despised by a large population of the town.

Lena’s clothing choices and the odd occurrences, such as spontaneously shattering windows, happening while she’s about only adds to the hostile attitude toward her.

And yet, Ethan is fascinated with her. He finds himself, against the advice of everyone, befriending Lena.

Through that friendship comes an introduction to secrets and curses that he never knew lay underneath the veil of boredom in Gatlin.

Ethan and Lena may be bringing change to this never-changing Southern town…

I’d, of course, heard of Beautiful Creatures a lot. Then the movie came out – and though I know it did not do very well – the previews intrigued me. I liked the look of it. So, I bought myself a copy.

During the course of reading Beautiful Creatures, a lot was going on. My reading was interrupted more than usual. Yet I was continually interested in jumping back in.

There are many things I liked about Beautiful Creatures. I liked how Ethan is a decent, likable male narrator that doesn’t seem implausible. I liked his love of reading, his grief over his Mom, worry over his Dad, and his interest in more than a pretty face. I liked the way the secondary characters seemed to pop.

I liked the secluded, atmospheric tone of Gatlin – the way it was stifling, eerie, and compelling all at once. I liked Lena not being a typical YA heroine. I liked that she was dealing with her own demons. I liked that Ethan and Lena had a relationship that was built on time, talking, and support.

Unlike some others, I very much liked the slower (but not boring) pacing of Beautiful Creatures. It reminded me of the Twilight series, which did the same thing. And I was a fan of the Twilight series.

So, as you can see (without going into a lot of detail that will spoil the fun), I liked a lot about Beautiful Creatures. I just never felt like I LOVED it. I might be getting there, though.

I feel like there’s a lot of potential to this first novel. And now that I know there’s going to be a companion series this year I am eager to finish up the Caster Chronicles and find out if I’ll want to jump into the next set.

Overall, I felt Beautiful Creatures was a well-done, suspenseful, romantic, relatively original paranormal novel that I definitely want to read the sequels to.

If you, like most, have already read it. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts!!

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