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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Read: Nov – Dec 2015
Format: Kindle Ebook
My Book Rating: 3/5 Stars
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Things I liked about Beautiful Creatures: The small town southern setting. The fact the book is a YA romance told from the boys POV. The lore surrounding the family curse. Ridley and Link.
Things I did NOT like about Beautiful Creatures: The pacing. The fact that the book is told by the boy, who is actually an outsider looking in on the action. Lena… for the most part.
I really wanted to like Beautiful Creatures. I wanted to love it. I somewhat enjoyed the movie, though it was a little confusing, I hoped the book would bring some clarity. It cleared up a little bit, but not a lot.
If you don’t know what it’s about, Lena is a Caster (basically a witch, but they don’t call themselves witches.) When a Caster turns sixteen, he or she must choose to become Light or Dark. Due to a long ago family curse, Lena’s family does not get to choose – the choice is made for them; they are claimed. Lena’s cousin Ridley was claimed by the Dark, as was Lena’s mother. So, Lena is super depressed and convinced she’s going to be claimed by the Dark. When she moves to the small town of Gatlin, SC to live with her uncle, she meets Ethan Wate. And he is obsessed with her from the first time he lays eyes on her. They soon discover they have a connection neither can deny.
As I said above, I love that this book is told from the hero’s POV instead of the heroine, as is typical in YA paranormal romances. However, the story is Lena’s. Ethan is an outsider looking in. We as the reader are limited by what Ethan knows, and it really wasn’t enough for me. When Lena shuts Ethan out, we the reader are shut out of the story because the plot surrounds Lena.
Lena was cold and standoffish. If I could see in her head, maybe I would like her more. But as is? I didn’t really care what happened to her. She was honestly pretty boring. She had cool powers, but she was so depressed about her pending claiming, it was really hard to like her.
The best characters in the book were Ethan’s BFF Link and Ridley’s Dark cousin Ridley. They had the spark that kept the story moving for me.
When I read this, I really was hoping to experience more details about the ending. The movie ending. Yes, I saw the movie first. (I got it dirt cheap on Black Friday a couple years ago, not having seen it before.) I was disappointed with how different the ending was. Rarely do I find movie adaptations to make changes for the better, but Beautiful Creatures was an example of just that. This ending was more confusing and left more loose ends.
Will I continue the series? Probably not. I did start reading the second book, but I gave up early on because, even more than in Beautiful Creatures, Ethan was the outsider looking in.
So, would I recommend this book? Again, probably not, unless you want to see how the book is different from the movie. Overall it wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t memorable.