I feel like the last book blogger to have read Beautiful Creatures, but I finally know what all the hype was about! And, YES, the hype for good reason...this is a great YA paranormal romance!!
The sequel comes out tomorrow!
Synopsis (from Hachette) 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.
As I said, I feel like the last blogger to read and review Beautiful Creatures. It got wonderful reviews all around, but in all honesty, I was skeptical for a few reasons.
Reason #1: TWO authors? Would it feel choppy? Overdone? Inconsistent? No way. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl must be the dream team. They got everything right and then some.
Reason #2: ANOTHER teen supernatural story? Haven't we been there/done that? Not like this! The supernatural side of this story was original and exciting, while not too off the wall. The history of Casters was thorough without ever once losing my attention. The way the families of Gatlin intertwined had me trying to figure out how our characters were connected well before the end of the book. Ethan and Lena's love story was perfect. It was believable, touching, heart wrenching, and hopeful. The sign of a great love story is if I fall in love with the male character, and I did! Ethan is one of the few good guys of YA Lit.
Reason #3: A SERIES? I had promised myself that I wouldn't pick up another YA series, since so many don't give the readers much until a big cliff hanger of an ending, but this book was calling to me and I couldn't help myself. Beautiful Creatures was different. While I knew going in there was a sequel, as Beautiful Darkness was sitting on my shelf since May, the first book could hold its own alone. There was a beginning, a middle, and an end...and it left me satisfied, but wanting more. I love that!
Before I go any further, let me just say that I listened to the audio book of Beautiful Creatures, and was the best audiobook I have experienced to date!
The sound effects were a wonderful addition, as was the music (ah, the music!) but the narrator, Kevin T. Collins, made this audiobook an experience. The book was told from Ethan's point of view, which immediately gave this story a unique feel. Ethan is this sweet southern boy, who is witty and cool, and even a little shy. When Kevin T. Collins reads the book, he doesn't have an accent, but when he reads Ethan's dialogue, he falls into a proper southern accent that made me swoon! It takes talent to turn an accent on and off like that, and I was impressed.
Kevin T. Collins also makes easy work of his voices for Amma, Link, Macon and the Sisters. I won't go into my review of the sequel, but just know that as I read that book, I could hear his voice instead of my own inside my head the entire time. He was wonderful!
I don't want to give anything away, for the dozen or so of you who haven't read this book yet, but if you're late in coming to the Beautiful Creatures party, you won't be disappointed! Go read it!
About the Book/Audio: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcie and Margaret Stohl
Reading level: Young Adult
Publisher: Hachette Audio; MP3 Una edition (December 1, 2009)
About the Authors:
Kami Garcia is a teacher and reading specialist with an MA in education, and leads book groups for children and teenagers. Margaret Stohl has an MA in English and studied creative writing under poet George MacBeth at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. They both live in Los Angeles, California, with their families. Beautiful Creatures is their debut novel.
Disclosure: I purchased the MP3 audio download
*Beautiful Creatures is now available in paperback! *Beautiful Darkness is available 10/12/10