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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
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Beautiful Creatures (edition 2012)

by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

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3,9403411,303 (3.66)173
Member:dubeh
Title:Beautiful Creatures
Authors:Kami Garcia
Other authors:Margaret Stohl
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: Mti, Paperback, 592 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Magic, Library, Locket, Family History

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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

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English (338)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (341)
Showing 1-5 of 338 (next | show all)
Ethan Wate begins to have dreams and visions he cannot explain. Lena Duchannes moves to Gatlin and things in the sleepy town where “nothing ever happens” begin to change, especially for Ethan. It does not take long for Ethan and Lena to find each other, but just when things are starting to go well she begins to pull away and a web of secrets unravels. His dreams begin to make sense and magical things begin to happen. When he finds out Lena has a family curse, he is determined to help her overcome it.

To anyone who has wandered through a YA section in a bookstore lately, one cannot help but notice the glut of supernatural based books (with vampires taking a strong lead … gone are the days of Sweet Valley High?) This book definitely falls into the genre, although in a somehow kinder and gentler way. I understand there is a sequel, BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS to be released in October of this year.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Description: Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Thoughts: Well. This was better, um, than Twilight? Yes, better than Twilight. But, uh, not better than lots of other things I should have been reading instead. Yeah. That.

Pros:
1. The lead female character isn't a spineless mop with no self respect. Good.
2. The main character is a boy who isn't a domineering creep. Also good.
3. .......

Cons:
1. The South as a complete caricature, complete with your basic almost-slave black women who have the voodoo touch, ridiculous adherence to the FALSE uniformity of "The War Between the States" aka "The War of Northern Aggression" bullshit, the lynch mob mentality of small Southern towns, and the idea that the only redeemable people are the people who actually hate everything about the place they live.
2. I'm so over the teen romance with a twist of fate crap. Actually, I'm tired of the romance with a twist of fate in general. Can't there just be two people who, you know, meet and find each other really wonderful without it being because they were destined to meet and blow their little worlds apart? Seriously.
3. The dynamic in that school was truly fucked. Excuse my language. Coming from a similar environment, I could not, for one single second, believe that there weren't other people who had been the target of the popular snobs who wouldn't have been kindred spirits with Lena. There is mention of several other kids who aren't well liked. Why didn't Lena and Ethan make some effort to be friendly to those kids? Because they too were snooty and above putting themselves out there.
4. Thank god for inexplicable changes in the established reality because, for a second there, I was afraid we were on the brink of a concrete resolution. Wouldn't want that now, would we?

I won't be reading the other books in this series. The actual plot wasn't particularly bad. I mean, it wasn't my taste really, but it had merits. The details destroyed it's credibility though. It really did feel like some out of touch Northerner's idea of what growing up in the South was probably like for, you know, the lone intelligent kid with integrity amidst all the rest of us ignorant, pitchfork wielding, book burners.

It seems very poignant that I was listening to this at the exact moment when Brad Paisley is creating an uproar with his song "Accidental Racist." I don't think the song was well thought out or executed but I understand what he was trying to say. It's one of those things that genuinely does exist, it seems, in the very identity of a lot of us modern Southerners- the balance between loving the place we are from and being proud of a lot of things in our heritage and, at the exact same moment, completely detesting a lot of the things that came along with that heritage. If you haven't lived that, it will probably never make sense. There comes a point where you genuinely feel like you shouldn't have to quantify yourself anymore, to declare your disgust at the racists and bigots of the world, that needing to say "I'm a proud Southerner, but not one of THOSE Southerners" starts to become it's own kind of oppression.

I'm certainly not an apologist but I am a realist and whatever world the authors of this book think I live in... well, it doesn't exist. Is it the job of fiction, especially fantasy, to depict the world as it is? No. But if you are going to make these sickening generalizations, do it in your own backyard next time. Mine is taken.

Rating: 2.67

Liked: 2.5
Plot: 3
Characterization: 2.5
Writing: 2.5
Audio: 3

http://www.librarything.com/topic/151287#4033391 ( )
  leahbird | Jul 5, 2015 |
I loved this book. ( )
  Diamond.Dee. | Jul 3, 2015 |
I think I might have liked this book a little better if I hadn't listened to the audiobook. It was over-produced with sound effects (glass breaking, rain), the narrator's voice was reverbed during the flashbacks, and the song was sloooowly sang whenever it appeared in the text. These things distracted me more than they enhanced the story.
The story itself was somewhat original. I enjoyed the small Southern town setting and the excellent librarian. I also liked the parallel love stories across time. I would have liked a little more world building, though. I'm a pretty avid fantasy reader, so I like a complicated world. But I just didn't get the rules in this book because I don't think the author really understood them. There's a way to deal with mysterious powers and the unknown (see The Raven Boys), but I don't think it was quite pulled off here. I won't buy it for myself, but it will be in my school library. ( )
  Dandeggan | Jun 26, 2015 |
I'm not sure. It took me almost a week to read this book. I liked it, but didn't particularly love it. So I give it 3.5 stars. One major thing I liked was that the point of view was from a guy's perspective. I get really tired of the whiny females sometimes. This is a weird experience for me because I usually either really like/love a book or I really don't. This one falls directly in the middle. ( )
  nsmith529 | Jun 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 338 (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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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
Sixteen moons, sixteen years                                 Sixteen of your deepest fears                                 Sixteen times you dreamed my tears                       Falling, falling through the years...
Sanguis sanguinis mei, tutela tua est.                     Sanguis sanguinis mei, tutela tua est.                     Sanguis sanguinis mei, tutela tua est.                     Sanguis sanguinis mei, tutela tua est.
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!
Cruor pectoris mei, tutela tua est!                           Blood of my heart, protection is thine!
CRUOR PECTORIS MEI, TUTELA TUA EST.                VITA VITAE MEAE, CORRIPIENS TUAM, CORRIPIENS MEAM.                                                                 CORPUS CORPORIS MEI, MEDULLA MENSQUE, ANIMA ANIMAE MEAE, ANIMAM NOSTRAM CONECTE.                                                            CRUOR PECTORIS MEI, LUNA MEA, AESTUS MEUS.   CROUR PECTORIS MEI. FATUM MEUM, MEA SALUS.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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