Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, December 2009
I picked up Beautiful Creatures not really knowing anything about it; I didn't really know what it was about or even what sort of book it was. All I remembered when I saw the cover was that I had heard good things. So I grabbed it off the shelf, cracked it open, and started reading.
It was excellent from the first page.
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. From the Beautiful Creatures website
Since I knew so little about the book and the back cover blurb (smartly) doesn't say anything about paranormal element comes into play. I love that the authors allowed the reader to discover that fact on her own (for those readers who have yet to read the book I will not spoil this by revealing it here). Slowly throughout the entire book we learn about Lena, her abilities, and her family. This doesn't just happen in the first few chapters, it continues to happen throughout the book.
I must say that the world- and character-building is wonderful. From the first few pages I could picture Gatlin and the entire cast of characters. There are quite a few different characters in the book, but it wasn't an issue to keep them all straight, even the jocks and cheerleaders, because they were so well written. Every character has his or her own little quirky things about them.
The plot twists and mini climaxes are excellently written and inserted at just the perfect moments building and moving the story long quite nicely. Even though the book is quite long -- well over 500 pages -- it doesn't lag in the middle or feel overly long. Take note authors, this is how you really build up a climax. This was an intense book with a potential horrible event always looming on the horizon.
Beautiful Creatures is absolutely wonderful and I don't think I can say enough good things about it. I can not wait until Beautiful Darkness is released on October 12, 2010.
Add to the top of you to-read pile