Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Genre: Teen Fiction, Paranormal
Publication Date: December 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13 Book: 9780316042673
Publisher MP3 Book on CD: Hachette Audio
ISBN CD Book: 9781600248467
Source: I purchased the book from my local bookstore and ordered the MP3 CD online. This is my honest review!
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ethan Wate can’t wait to get out of Gatlin. He has been trapped in his small southern town his whole life. Surrounded by the close-minded women of the DAR and the historical society who run the town. Since the death of his mother, he has no reason for staying, and he is counting the days until he can leave. Until he meets Lena Duchannes. Lena, the niece of the town recluse Macon Ravonwood, is a mystery to Ethan and completely abhorred by the town. Yet, Ethan feels that he knows her and that there is some kind of connection between them. Mysterious dreams, and even more mysterious events begin occur in Gatlin, and Ethan discovers there is more to backward town than he ever imagined.
First off let me say whew—this book is a long one. At 563 pages it is a huge book and a bit intimidating to start. Despite its daunting length Beatutiful Creatures is a spectacular read and a fast one at that. When I first started the book, I read 50 pages in one sitting without even realizing it—it had me hooked. So if the length of this book scares you—don’t let it. It is a fast and highly entertaining book to read.
The setting of this book places you in the deep south. Ethan lives in a town that has a lot of history and a lot of culture and traditions. Gatlin was one of the places where Sherman marched and burned through the town. The only plantation that survived Sherman’s march was Ravenwood, a plantation that is now owned by the mysterious town recluse Macon Ravonwood, Lena’s uncle. The setting had just the right amount of creepy ambiance, historical intricacies, and of course mystery.
The characters in this novel were very well developed even some of the supporting ones like Ethan’s best friend Link, Amma, Macon, and Marian the librarian. These were people you just wanted to meet and know. Of course there were others that frustrated you to no end like Mrs. Lincoln, the women of the DAR, Emily Asher, and Savannah Snow, as well as the other cheerleaders and basketball players. Some of those characters were your stereotypical bad guys, but at the same time you knew they weren’t all bad—they were just doing what their parents were. I loved how the authors made these characters come alive and jump off the page. They made you feel like you were walking into the town of Gatlin.
In addition to reading the book (mostly because I couldn’t put it down) I also listened to the MP3 recording of the novel read by Kevin T. Collins and produced by Hatchette Audio. Collins does an outstanding job of narrating this novel. His southern accent was not over the top, but added just the right amount of character to the novel. This production does include sound effects, which in places like the flashback scenes enhanced the performance, but in other places were a bit distracting. The audio production is great though and well worth a listen. I just wish they had a CD version rather than an MP3. I had to wait until I finally got an MP3 player for Christmas and another few months before I could purchase an adapter for my car so I could listen in my car since I do most of my audiobook listening while driving to and from work. It made for some clunky listening, but in the end was worth it.
Overall, Beautiful Creatures is an engrossing Southern Gothic that will keep readers up late at night to finish this fantastic book!
View all my reviews