So, I just finished Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, and let me just say that I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! It’s got everything a weirdo like me could love–witches, curses, true love, secrets in a sleepy Southern town, eccentric relatives, and a kooky librarian. Best of all, the action takes place right here in South Carolina. Yay! Because of this setting, I could definitely relate to some things the main characters experienced. Living in a small Southern town can be a blessing or a curse, depending on one’s point of view…but that’s another story. I also loved that this book was presented from a male perspective. That’s something that a lot of fantasy books are lacking. In Twilight, we get the story from Bella’s perspective; in the Mortal Instruments trilogy, we hear Clary’s side of things; but, in Beautiful Creatures, Ethan tells the story, so it’s an interesting twist and one I think a lot of readers will appreciate.
In Beautiful Creatures, we meet Ethan Wate, a sophomore in high school who is counting the days until he can leave Gatlin, South Carolina, forever. His mom died last year, his dad is a shell of his former self, he’s tired of the people in Gatlin, and he just wants out. Things begin to change, however, when he encounters the new girl in town, Lena Duchannes. She’s strange, she lives in the oldest town in Gatlin, she’s immediately hated for being an outsider, but Ethan is drawn to her. See, Ethan’s been dreaming about Lena for years, and, when they finally meet, the electricity is instant. Ethan is sure there is something magical here.
How right he is. Magic is definitely involved. Lena is a Caster. (“Witch” is such a cliched term.) On her sixteenth birthday, she will be claimed as either a dark or light caster. Her birthday is in less than six months, and she’s freaking out. It doesn’t help that everyone in the town seems determined to hate her, and some of the “concerned” citizens even try to throw her out of school. Her one port in the storm is Ethan. For some reason, they are connected. They can even communicate telepathically. They don’t know why. As Lena’s birthday draws closer, she and Ethan grow closer as well even though they may be ripped apart when Lena is claimed.
Ethan is determined to find a way to help Lena. He knows she cannot be “turned to the Dark side,” for lack of a better phrase, but he must find some way to make sure that she stays in the light. He and Lena seek out the help of Amma, the strange woman who helped raise Ethan, and Marian, the town’s weird librarian. They also receive help from a couple of unlikely sources. (You’ll have to read to find out what I’m talking about.) In the process of their search, they are engulfed in a story as old as the town itself and the possibility of history repeating itself. What will happen? Will they find a way to save Lena from what seems to be her fate? Read Beautiful Creatures to find out.
By the way, the sequel to Beautiful Creatures comes out on October 26th. The title is Beautiful Darkness. For more information, visit http://beautifulcreaturesthebook.com/. Enjoy!