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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
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Beautiful Creatures

by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Caster Chronicles (1)

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4,3784081,126 (3.66)178
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English (399)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (402)
Showing 1-5 of 399 (next | show all)
I was very surprised to find out that this book was from a male P.O.V. If I had known I probably would have read it sooner, but thought it was going to be an emotional rollercoaster and I didn't want to deal with that female angst; sometimes you just need a break from the doubt that comes from the female brain. It was a pleasure hearing from Ethan, he didn't drive me crazy with the constant doubts or the expected teenage boy snarky-jerk attitude. Here's hoping the entire series has Ethan as it's voice.

Ethan Wate lives in Gatlin, South Carolina, where he accepts and lives with the status quo of being different as not accepted. His life in Gatlin is a predictable one, he craves the day he gets to escape his dull life in Gatlin, until the day "she" shows up at his school. She, Lena Duchannes, is unlike all Gatliners in every way possible. Lena is the girl of Ethan's dreams, literally. Ethan has been having terrifying dreams about Lena for months and was surprised to find that the girl from his dreams is real and had hoped she was. Lena changes his views on his life as a Gatlin citizen and opens his eyes to his accepting of the way things are in his small town.

Through Ethan's eyes Lena comes across as a dark soul with a lot of pain but someone not caught up in the typical teenage drama. Lena is someone wistful of the past, disenchanted to the present and bewildered by the future because of fears of what's to come. Lena dreads the coming of her sixteenth birthday, it's the day she will be claimed by the powers that be to an unknown destiny, good or bad she has no idea or choice in the matter as she's been told all her life. With Ethan's help Lena hopes to fix a mistake that happened over a hundred years earlier in hopes that she can make her own choice of who she want's to become.

Ethan's and Lena's relationship was so sweet, I liked the fact that even with their strong connection they didn't just jump into a "I'll die without you" kinda love fest. They were both a little hesitant, Lena because she knows her life was not conducive to a relationship with a mortal, and boy does she not realize how right she was. And Ethan, I think was just a little hesitant to rush into to it too quickly and was afraid to rush Lena too.

Lena and Ethan found a cameo, right after their first vision from the cameo and after they saw the initials inscripted on it I knew that their encounter and relationship was going to be a little bit of history repeating itself. I quickly figured out that they were both going to be tasked with the impossible job of breaking a hundred year old curse, created by Lena's ancestor which involved an ancestor of Ethan as well.

Ethan's and Lena's quest to break her family's curse was very long but engaging and somewhat amusing at times. While this book was not fast paced or action packed I still really enjoyed their journey and the people who were a part of it. I loved Ethan's relationship with his family's houskeeper and somewhat surrogate mother, Amma. She has a no nonsense kind of approach to parenting and it was very sweet that Ethan respected her and also funny that he feared her too. Lena's relationship with her Uncle Macon was also very endearing, he was pretty scary himself and the most shunned man in Gatlin, being associated with him is not good for your social status.

The characters in this book ran the gamut, from quirky to down right appalling. Link, Ethan's best bud was one of the more lighthearted ones, he was the funny clueless always got ya back friend. Link's mother, Mrs. Lincoln was on another spectrum, she was a pretty horrible character. Oh yeah, the sisters, they're so funny. As for Boo, I'm a bit on the fence about him, he was very protective of Lena but sounds kinda terrifying, and a little creepy, but I guess a protector can't look wimpy and needs to scare the crap outta people to get the job done.

Beautiful Creatures is about humanity, magic, love, relationships, differences, and not giving up. In Lena's world things are just the way they are and there is no changing it, so many times she just wanted to accept her fate and remove Ethan from her life for his own safety. Lena wanted to give up many times but Ethan not being a part of her magical world and his human spirit of not accepting things that seems unchangeable and "we'll find a way" attitude, always bring Lena back on board, as much as he could, to keep trying. I was definitely frustrated with her constant negative look at her situation, yes it seems impossible but what could it hurt to just fight and think of the future generations who will be dealing with this curse.

I haven't read a book this long in a while and wasn't sure what part of the story would come from my fingertips reviewing it without giving away too much. There is so much going on in this story but it was written well, the pace was great and the world and story building were very clever and new. It took me a while to read this book, had it sitting on my to-read bookshelf a while, really did want to get to it but was a little apprehensive because of the mixed reviews and possible angst ridden drama. So glad I finally got to it and was pleasantly surprised, I really did enjoy it and hope the rest of the series continues to get better and doesn't stray too far from the original.
( )
  GigisIrieReads | Apr 20, 2016 |
Fun, but I kept being afraid of a Stephen King Carrie ending! ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
I love this being from the male of the story's perspective. I was drawn into his thoughts and the story right away. Being a hopeless romantic, I loved seeing a teenage boy care so much about a girl. I've also always loved witch stories and was intrigued by this new version of that kind of tale. ( )
  MynTop | Apr 8, 2016 |
2.75 stars but I always round up. I wanted to like this book more, I did, because the premise is so intriguing and the characters and setting could have been so compelling. Unfortunately a lot of the book felt pointless by the time you get to the climax, because the main characters spend all their time following random clues badly, missing the point of what they were looking for, only to realize it was all for nothing because the adults just tell them everything at the end and it makes no sense and I can't understand why they didn't explain earlier. I mean really, all the anxiety that they were going through, defiantly searching and putting themselves in "danger", and that was preferable to just telling them the truth? There were a lot of random story threads that just fell away to nothing and a lot of forced moments like school dances and a surprise party that just felt stupid and thrown in to create needless drama because the real point of the story was going nowhere. Even all the cool flashbacks from locket didn't really live up to their possibilities.

So why the 2.75 stars you ask? I loved that it was told from the perspective of the male for a change, even if others didn't think he was manly enough, I still loved the change. Also, the idea behind the book and what it could have been was still unique and interesting and that deserves credit. I can understand why other people love this book and why others don't, it's a toss up, but for me I don't think I will continue with the series. ( )
  mashiaraqcs | Mar 29, 2016 |
asdfghjkl i love macon sfm kbai ( )
  Stebahnree | Mar 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 399 (next | show all)
The intensity of Ethan and Lena's need to be together is palpable, the detailed descriptions create a vivid, authentic world, and the allure of this story is the power of love. The satisfying conclusion is sure to lead directly into a sequel. Give this to fans of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" (Little, Brown, 2005) or HBO's "True Blood" series and they will devour all 600-plus pages of this teen Gothic romance.
 
The 600-plus pages could have been cut to make a tighter, better story. Despite the bulk, there’s plenty teens will like: romance, magic, hauntings, and the promise of more to come.
added by khuggard | editBooklist, Ilene Cooper
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kami Garciaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stohl, Margaretmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bianco, EveNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caplan, DavidDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clark, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Collins, Kevin T.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Epigraph
Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.


-Martin Luther King Jr.
Dedication
For
Nick & Stella
Emma, May & Kate
and
all our casters & outcasters, everywhere.
There are more of us than you think.
First words
There were only two kinds of people in our town. "The stupid and the stuck," my father had affectionately classified our neighbors.
Quotations
(p 6)

Sixteen moons, sixteen years
Sixteen of your deepest fears
Sixteen times you dreamed my tears
Falling, falling through the years...
(p 37)

Sixteen moons, sixteen years
Sixteen of your deepest fears
Sixteen times you dreamed my tears
Falling, falling through the years...
(p 266)

Sanguis sanguinis mei, tutela tua est.
Sanguis sanguinis mei, tutela tua est.
Sanguis sanguinis mei, tutela tua est.
Sanguis sanguinis mei, tutela tua est.
(p 267)

Sanguis sanguinis mei, tutela tua est!
Sanguis sanguinis mei, tutela tua est!
Sanguis sanguinis mei, tutela tua est!

Blood of my blood, protection is thine!
(p 272)

Sixteen moons, sixteen years,
Sixteen times you dreamed my fears,
Sixteen will try to Bind the spheres,
Sixteen screams but just one hears . . .
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
This book is told in a boy, Ethan Wate's, POV. He lives in a town, Gatlin, where nothing happens and nobody is different.
Ethan has been having these dreams about losing a girl who he thinks he is falling in love with. Which is crazy because he only knows her through a dream and she is probably not even real. Then suddenly a girl who is the town shut-in's niece moves to Gatlin and dares to be different. Her and Ethan seem to have an odd connection. This book is amazing and filled with adventure, suspense, and romance. It also has a lot of references to the book To Kill a Mockingbird.  
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316042676, Hardcover)

Ethan Wate is struggling to hide his apathy for his high school "in" crowd in small town Gatlin, South Carolina, until he meets the determinedly "out" Lena Duchannes, the girl of his dreams (literally--she has been in his nightmares for months). What follows is a smart, modern fantasy--a tale of star-crossed lovers and a dark, dangerous secret. Beautiful Creatures is a delicious southern Gothic that charms you from the first page, drawing you into a dark world of magic and mystery until you emerge gasping and blinking, wondering what happened to the last few hours (and how many more you're willing to give up). To tell too much of the plot would spoil the thrill of discovery, and believe me, you will want to uncover the secrets of this richly imagined dark fantasy on your own. --Daphne Durham

Amazon Exclusive Interview with Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Authors of Beautiful Creatures

What does your writing process look like? Is it tough to write a book together? Did you ever have any knock-down drag-out fights over a plot point or character trait?

Margie: The best way to describe our writing process is like a running stitch. We don't write separate chapters, or characters. We pass the draft back and forth constantly, and we actually write over each other's work, until we get to the point where we truly don't know who has written what.

Kami: By the end of the book, we don't even know. The classic example is when I said, "Marg, I really hate that line. It has to go." And she said, "Cut it. You wrote it."

Margie: I think we were friends for so long before we were writing partners that there was an unusual amount of trust from the start.

Kami: It's about respect. And it helps that we can't remember when who wrote the bad line.

Margie: We save our big fights for the important things, like the lack of ice in my house or how cold our office is. And why none of my YouTube videos are as popular as the one of Kami's three-fingered typing…okay, that one is understandable, given the page count for "Beautiful Creatures."

Kami: What can I say? I was saving the other seven fingers for the sequel.

What kinds of books do you like to read?

Kami: I read almost exclusively Young Adult fiction, with some Middle Grade fiction thrown in for good measure. As a Reading Specialist, I work with children and teens in grades K-12, so basically I read what they read.

Margie: When I write it comes from the same place as when I read: wanting to hang out with fictional characters in fictional worlds. I identify more as a reader than a writer; I just have to write it first so I can read it.

What books/authors have inspired you?

Kami: "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, "A Good Man is Hard to Find & Other Stories" by Flannery O'Connor, "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury and "The Witching Hour" by Anne Rice. I also love Pablo Neruda.

Margie: I think Harper Lee is the greatest writer alive today. Eudora Welty is my other Southern writer kindred; I was obsessed with her in grad school. Susan Cooper and Diana Wynne Jones made me love fantasy, and my favorite poets are Emily Dickinson (at Amherst College, I even lived on her street) and Stevie Smith.

Did you set out to write fiction for young adults? Why?

Kami: We actually wrote "Beautiful Creatures" on a dare from some of the teen readers in our lives.

Margie: Not so much readers as bosses.

Kami: Looking back, we wrote it sort of like the serialized fiction of Charles Dickens, turning in pages to our teen readers every week.

Margie: And by week she means day.

Kami: When we were getting texts in the middle of the night from teens demanding more pages, we knew we had to finish.

Margie: As it says in our acknowledgements, their asking what happened next changed what happened next. Teens are so authentic. That's probably why we love YA. Even when it's fantasy, it's the emotional truth.

A lot of us voracious readers like to cast a book after reading it. Did you guys have a shared view of who your characters are? Did each of you take a different character to develop, or did you share every aspect?

Kami: We've never cast our characters, but we definitely know what they look like. Sometimes we see actors in magazines and say, "Lena just wore that!"

Margie: We create all our characters together, but after a point they became as real as any of the other people we know. We forget they're not.

Kami: I never thought of it like that. I guess we do spend all our time talking about imaginary people. Margie: So long as it's not to them…

Did you always plan to start the book with Ethan's story? Why?

Kami: We knew before we started that we wanted to write from a boy's point of view. Margie and I both have brothers—-six, between us-—so it wasn't a stretch. It's an interesting experience to fall in love with the guy telling the story rather than the guy the story is about.

Margie: We do kind of love Ethan, so we wanted there to be more to him than just the boy from boy meets girl.

Kami: He's the guy who stands by you at all costs and accepts you for who you are, even if you aren't quite sure who that is.

What is on your nightstand now?

Kami: I have a huge stack, but here are ones at the top: "Mama Dip's Kitchen," a cookbook by Mildred Council, "The Demon's Lexicon" by Sarah Rees Brennan, "Shadowed Summer" by Saundra Mitchell, "Rampant" by Diana Peterfreund, and an Advanced Reader Copy of "Sisters Red" by Jackson Pearce.

Margie: I have Robin McKinley's "Beauty," Maggie Stiefvater's "Ballad," Kristen Cashore's "Fire," Libba Bray's "Going Bovine," and "Everything Is Fine" by AnnDee Ellis. And now I'm mad because I know a) Kami stole my "Rampant" and b) didn't tell me she has "Sisters Red"!

What is your idea of comfort reading?

Kami: If given the choice, I'll always reach for a paranormal romance or an urban fantasy. I also re-read my favorite books over and over.

Margie: It's all comfort reading to me. I sleep with books in my bed. Like a dog, only without the shedding and the smelling.

Have you written the next book already? What's next for Lena and Ethan?

Margie: We are revising the next book now. I don't want to give too much away, but summer in Gatlin isn't always a vacation.

Kami: I would describe book two as intense and emotional. For Ethan and Lena, the stakes are even higher.

Margie: That's true. Book two involves true love, broken hearts, the Seventeenth Moon, and cream-of-grief casseroles…

Kami: Gatlin at it's finest!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:01 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141326085, 0141346140

 

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