Monday, February 18, 2013

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1)
Author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 563 pages
Pub. Date: November 20th 2012
Source: Purchased


2 Stars.

Gatlin is a small town that no one's ever heard of. Its inhabitants go to church on Sunday, they support the Confederacy (even though the war is long lost and over), and they stick to their Southern morals and hospitality... Unless someone goes against the grain. Lena Duchannes is everything that the teenage girls of Gatlin aren't- pale, darkly dressed, and well versed in poetry and literature. And to make it worse, she's related to the town shut in. She never stood a chance of fitting in. Ethan feels attached to her for reasons he doesn't quite understand, but when a series of paranormal events afflict the town, Ethan learns that there's way more to Lena than meets the eye. She's in danger, and even though everyone says to stay away, Ethan knows he'll lay it all on the line to help her, and to save her.


I honestly don't understand why there's so much hype surrounding this series. I tried, but it just wasn't for me.

-The first 100 or so pages dragged on forever. I'm not the fastest reader in the world, but it normally doesn't take two weeks to get so little reading accomplished. Every time I used my Goodreads "currently reading" page tracker, I got sad because it would only move about 1% at a time. I understand that it's set in the South, and that can be a bit slow, but there's a difference between slow and completely stopped. Still, I trudged on.

-Have you ever seen the old Batman series with Adam West? Remember how the villain would always explain in absurd detail how he would capture Batman, instead of just showing the sequence? "Well, Batman, when I pull this switch, the log will come rolling down the ramp, setting off sparklers that will ignite the oil path until it gets to the bonfire which will burn the rope that lowers the knife that will bring your doom!" That's how this book felt at times. Instead of letting scenes just play out for themselves, things are explicitly explained, as though reminding the reader of background information they should already have... But I didn't. And I think that's because....

-As long as we're being nostalgic, remember that one kid that when you would play super heroes, his power was infinite powers? I feel that at parts, that was the case for Beautiful Creatures. New kinds of "Casters" were introduced whenever something needed explaining. It seemed like there are only so many to make the plot work, not to make a well-rounded setting/magical world.

-A lot of the characters I found to be unpleasant. There's so much crankiness in this book. I have enough of that in my own life, I don't need to read it. I'm all for dark/gothic/horror/what have you in books, but the only characters I really liked were Marian and Ridley. They at least had personalities that set them apart.

-+This isn't positive or negative, but, if Ethan instantly has to let go of a Caster book, why could he hold it long enough to lift it out of a grave and over his head to Lena? I feel like I missed something there.

+One positive I did have about this book is the Southern setting. The town of Gatlin, while closed-minded, came off as a town of pure Americana. Everyone knows everyone, people drink sweet tea and all go to the games of the high school. It made me miss when I lived in Louisiana.

+I liked the aspect of the curse, of the females having no say whether they were dark or light. It was an interesting dynamic, even if not really original.

+My cover is pretty, though I have the movie tie-in edition. That means Jeremy Irons is on my book, and that makes me happy. It also came with a movie poster, which has Jeremy on it, which also made me happy.

All in all, I feel like this series is a weird reverse Twilight mixed with the House of Night and True Blood. A girl can communicate with her mind with one boy, she's dangerous, she tells him to stay away, he doesn't, love story happens, in the South, with a 50/50 shot of Light or Dark. While original in its own way, it blended too much with other series I've read, and for that reason I don't think I'll remember this book very well.

If you are a fan of Twilight or the House of Night series, then Beautiful Creatures might be right up your alley. If not, I'd suggest staying away.

PS: Though this is a book review, I must also add, I don't recommend seeing the movie either (even if you did read the book, the film is WAY different).


  1. I'm far less eager to borrow this now...

  2. Maybe you'll like it.... But it wasn't for me.

  3. Very well said. I only made it through 50 pages(ish) (and I tried twice, which is more than I give most books, believe me). You caught the essence of the problem with this book with more style in your review than this book did in its entirety.