'Beautiful Creatures' by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Published on Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 10:37am
Beautiful Creatures, at its core, is a "forbidden love" story, with a healthy portion of "it's a race against time" thrown in.
I'm not one to delve into the details of a book, giving away spoilers and secrets to try to convince people if the book is good or not. The real questions - the ones you want to know - are:
- Is it fun to read?
- Will it hold my attention?
- Is it satisfying?
To this I would say, "yes."
The story is a "modern fantasy" forbidden love story, but Beautiful Creatures has its own twists and turns.
The story is set in a southern town that has a very strong sentiment toward the Civil War. For those of you who are interested in history, you should not get too excited, it’s not close to being that historical. It’s all just a background for the romance in the story. The Civil War connection allows the author a surprising amount of opportunities to broaden the story without it coming across as being a historical book.
One thing that the authors excelled in was character development. The main characters have unique yet believable backstories, and the characters remain true to themselves throughout the story. Each character even has a unique way of talking (I thought that the book they found was written in French) and the dialogue is fresh and fun to read. Each has their own "world" of things that’s important to them.
For example, Link (the male friend of one of the main characters) has very specific and realistic goals that unexpectedly help propel the story forward. The hired help who is part of the family now, has very specific agendas and ideals. Even minor characters, like Ethan's three aunts, have their own set of values and goals which add to the story, without weighing down the story movement. The characters grow and mature, and have their own epiphanies and realizations about the events in the book. One of my favorite things about the book was the fact that the authors chose Ethan as the main narrator. It is most unusual in a romance type of book to hear the male side of the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, with its different facets showing different angles of the same beautiful core. I have already recommended this book to many tweens and teens and will continue to do so in the future. I am looking forward to reading the sequel.