Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publication: Little, Brown and Company, 2009
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."
When deciding what books to buy with my Christmas gift card, I really went back and forth on whether to purchase Beautiful Creatures. It sounded good, but was there going to be too much romance? Or would it be totally corny and a boring read? I knew the movie was coming out soon and I really hate watching a movie before reading the book. To buy or not? After a bit of debating, I decided to get it and I am glad that I did.
The story is told from the point-of-view of Ethan, a high school boy who has been having dreams of a girl. Not only does this girl end up going to his school, but she is the niece of the town recluse. As Ethan tries to get closer to Lena, strange things start to happen. As they become friends the past starts to become intertwined with the present.
The story was well written and in such a way that it doesn’t feel too bogged down with teen drama. The drama actually lends itself to furthering the plot, especially in a small, rural town where high school is one of the biggest focuses of town life. As Ethan starts to buck the trend and choose an outsider, we can see they bonds between him and Lena grow tougher as their dependence on each other grows.
Lena is an extremely strong main character. She is trying to deal with something on her own, but finally lets Ethan in. The emotions she conveys are quite powerful. Ethan is an equally strong character, going against accepted societal norms for Lena.
I really liked how the story is from Ethan’s perspective instead of Lena’s. Even though the story really focuses on Lena and how Ethan impacts her future, it is refreshing to not be seeing it in her eyes. The way Garcia and Stohl incorporate her thoughts into the dialogue is pretty creative. It is a nice change from always knowing what the main characters are thinking. While we still know what Ethan is thinking, most of the time he doesn’t even know what Lena is thinking, so that is always a surprise piece to the equation. It keeps the story fresh throughout.
Overall, this was a good buy and I am glad I finally made that decision. It was a read that I just could not put down and I really want to know what happens to Lena and Ethan. There were some shockers throughout and the ending really is superbly done. Below you will find a trailer for the movie. I am interested to see how the movie compares to the book.