Book Review: Beautiful Creatures
by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Sometimes first love is complicated and hard but so easy at the same time. Especially, if you fall in love with the new beautiful new girl who everyone believes is a witch. And who just may happen to have some unnatural powers. Beautiful Creatures is a love story between two teens from different worlds. But it’s also an adventure and survival story you will want to read until the end.
“There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
I never even saw it coming.”
Why did I read Beautiful Creatures?
I was getting lost in my online library’s audiobook section when the name and cover of this book draw my attention. There was something familiar. Like an old almost forgotten memory. I lent the audiobook, did some googling and remembered everything. The year 2013, me in movies with my best friend and story of a witch girl falling for a normal boy. At that time the movie was a so and so. Nothing too exciting but also not too bad so I decided to give this book a go without reading any reviews.
I guess it was lucky that I had seen the movie. If I had first visited GoodReads, Beautiful Creatures would have been quickly returned back to the library without even opening it. Let’s just say that the reviews of this book are depressing. I mean it’s not some classic masterpiece with hooking plot and well-developed characters. There are many things I hated and the love story was just too basic Disney styled teenage story of first love. But despite all the not so good points, I found Beautiful Creatures enjoyable. It’s not perfect but it’s not bad either.
“Teenagers. Everything is so apocalyptic.”
The Plot of Beautiful Creatures
Ethan and Lena, two teenagers so different and still so similar. Lena is the new girl in school but also a relative of the scary old man living as a shut-in in the oldest building of the small town. Ethan has lived his life in this same town dreaming of escape. When they first meet there is magic between them, literally. But for some reason, everyone is against them being together.
“I never loved you any more than I do, right this second.
And I’ll never love you any less than I do, right this second.”
Their problems just grow when the history of their families starts to reveal itself. It’s like the whole universe is against of them being together but at the same time, it feels like a destiny. Invisible powers are drawing them together. When you add to the mix Lena’s sixteenth birthday that will change everything and town full of interesting characters, the hooking story for young adults is ready to charm you.
Characters in Beautiful Creatures
“She was wearing a purple T-shirt, with a skinny black dress over it that made you remember how much of a girl she was, and trashed black boots that made you forget.”
The characters in Beautiful Creatures are all over the place. The protagonists, Lena and Ethan, are quite one-sided and full of unnecessary teen angst. They struggle with same things over and over again. For older readers, it gets annoying after a first few chapters. Younger readers may find it endearing but I won’t promise anything. If there were no other characters, I don’t know if I would have kept reading the book. These two just didn’t have enough power to keep me interested.
“I’m just the librarian. I can only give you the books. I can’t give you the answers.”
Garcia and Stohl have created a wide variety of side characters from utterly bad to ones who will make your heart hurt a good way. Just to mention a few: Lena’s uncle with snarky comments and bad character traits but a heart made of gold and Amma who is not a caster (aka witch) but still makes spells and speaks with the dead. You will also hate most of the town people through the whole book and feel that so famous small town “we don’t accept anything out of ordinary” vibe.
“So you are a vampire.”
“I most certainly am not.” He looked annoyed. “That’s such a common phrase, such a cliche, and so unflattering. I suppose you believe in werewolves and aliens too. I blame television.”
I don’t remember a lot of the movie but I can remember enough to know that it was totally different when compared to this first book. Maybe I’m lucky that it has been so long and that I never read this book before seeing the Beautiful Creatures movie. Usually, movies are nothing when compared to the books but I just never get used to it. Could someone please make good movies based on books? It shouldn’t be that much to ask, right?
“This isn’t going to be some freaky pagan sex thing, is it?”
The movie aside I liked Beautiful Creatures. I didn’t love the book but I’m also grown out of the targeted age group. There were a lot of fun moments, witty comments, and characters you just can’t forget. Even if the plot itself was kind of basic, it was well hidden behind the writing style and dark humor meant for young adults. I could feel all the horror these kids were going through in their normal school lives but also in their secret after school full of magical adventures lives.
“And have her back by midnight. ”
“Is that some powerful Caster hour?”
“No. It’s her curfew. ”
For me, this book wasn’t that great but I would recommend it to young adults and teens who want something easy to read. You can just read the first book and end it there. But in case the story makes you fall in love, there are several books and stories following this first one. Consider Beautiful Creatures as your next reading experience if you are bored, don’t have anything else and want to read storytelling about strong witches. (Did you know that witches and magic are now the coolest things amongst women who read?)
With this last quote, I will leave you today. And maybe next week I can review the movie Beautiful Creatures. (Found it on Netflix…)
“Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures.”