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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Beautiful Creatures (edition 2012)

by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

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4,828416958 (3.67)183
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
Tags:Magic, Library, Locket, Family History

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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia


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The thing I love most about this book is that it is from the perspective of a teenage guy who is a pretty normal dude and not a douche bag like *cough cough Edward Cullen cough cough* other male characters we've seen in YA lit.

The story is good. I think it's pretty original - minus the love story of course - the Casters, what happens to a teenage girl when she is forced to follow her family's "career". It's very interesting.

I also like the rhythm and flow of the writing. It was comfortable and not choppy. Ethan's voice was very well defined.

I also think that the authors did a really great job of writing about a small Southern town. Being an outside growing up (junior and high school years) in a Southern small town a lot of what they write rings very, very true. I was really impressed by how they captured Southern small town community without it being a horrid stereotype. ( )
  wendithegray | May 1, 2017 |
Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures #1) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is a wonderful book that I fell in love with right away. The blurb sounded like a thousand other stories but the story itself is very unique. I loved it! It is a book anyone who loves fantasy needs to read. I am not much for romance but this is done so perfectly that I couldn't help but love the romance in it! Wonderful!!! I got this from the library on a whim and boy am I glad I did... Can't say enough about this book. ( )
  MontzaleeW | Mar 21, 2017 |
What a great read! I ran into an old student at the book store who was ogling this book. I had never heard of it before then. I decided on a whim to get it (promising the old student I would pass it on to her when I finished). At first I was a little turned off with the whole southern theme (I guess b/c I am from the South and am tired of the topic). But, this book did a really super job melting the magic theme in with the southern theme. I ended up loving the book. I hope these two write more. I would love to hear what happens next to these characters. ( )
  annabw | Feb 21, 2017 |
After reading this I can't wait to run out and see he movie!


Movie was pretty good. Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons were fantastic as was the actor that played Ethan! ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, opens up to a very absorbing world. Ethan – the narrator of the story – has been experiencing very realistic nightmares of a girl who keeps slipping through his grasps no matter how hard he tries to save her. Lena – the town shut-in, old man Ravenwood’s, niece – has recently moved into the small southern town and strange things seem to happen when she’s around. The strangest is that she’s the girl from Ethan’s dreams.

As he tries to become familiar with Lena and figure out why she’s haunting his dreams[1], Ethan is pulled into a topsy turvy world where he experiences flashes of the past, witnesses supernatural things, discovers the secret world of Casters and finds himself on the wrong side of the town of Gatlin – a small southern town, with small-minded occupants who live for their annual Civil War reenactment and show disdain to anyone who goes against the grain. Lena is in trouble and she has until her sixteenth birthday to figure out what to do.

I had two big issues with the story, Ethan, and Ethan and Lena. Initially, I couldn’t figure out who Ethan was as a character. He has a sarcastic way of speaking about the town he lives in, he’s a jock, he’s got tons of friends but doesn’t seem to like any of them – except for Link – and yet, when Lena comes into his life, he loses his identity. It’s no longer Ethan, a witty character, but Ethan an infatuated boy who is suddenly living only for Lena.

Ethan and Lena, while often very adorable, can’t seem to figure anything out when they are together. I noticed this when – towards the middle of the story – they spend some time apart and the plot is furthered by their separation when Ethan finds a clue form the past. A lot of times I was frustrated with their lack of insight when they tried to put their heads together, when the solution seemed blaringly obvious to me as a reader. I guess in their case two heads are more distracted than one.

There is also the fact that Ethan and Lena seem to make very bad decisions when together. They both seem to be smart characters, yet, they continually put themselves in positions that will open them up to the hatred of the town. It was a bit frustrating.

However, there were quite a few things that I liked about the story. The community of Gatlin that Kami and Margaret build is very realistic. The way the people in town treated Lena and her uncle, the things that they seem to hold as important, their closeness to each other and protection of each other (even if it was against another family in town) created community of characters who, even though they were very small-minded and traditional, were very believable. I did like that not all the characters in the town were like this, which makes the community even more believable.

I loved the way the Casters were introduced and the magical system set up. It didn’t feel rush and overwhelming, but the slow way the reader was introduced to the magic – through actual acts – was well paced. The whole magical system and the way the authors chose to utilize it were different than the norm and even though some was explained there is still more for the reader to discover in upcoming novels. I do admit, however, that the whole mind-speak thing that Ethan and Lena had was more amusing than amazing, they are together a lot, and often alone, it didn’t seem necessary to have them speak to each other through their minds.

There were a few minor characters that I loved, Amma, Macon Ravenwood and Marian were fun to read, and while I wasn’t a fan of Ethan I did appreciate the way that each character stood on their own; I never found myself confused as to who was who nor did they sound the same.

It’s a long story and sometimes it felt like it dragged a bit and I really felt that a few things could have been cut to make it shorter[2]. I’m curious to see how this story unfolds, hopefully we’ll get more information on the Casters and the society; but with a slightly faster pace.

[1] This is just a nice way of saying insta-love alert.
[2] That entire dance scene was a bit unnecessary and could have been entirely avoided. ( )
  iShanella | Dec 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 413 (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 editionscalculated
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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Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.

-Martin Luther King Jr.
Nick & Stella
Emma, May & Kate
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.
(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
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

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 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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