Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I checked this book out on Goodreads prior to reading it, and was met with a lot of very negative reviews. It was called ‘overhyped’ – personally, I hadn’t heard more than a handful of people talk about this book, nor the movie; and ‘stereotypical’ – I have never read a book like this (although I have been somewhat of a one-genre girl for a couple of years and have avoided fantasy – with the exception of Harry potter, so haven’t had the chance to read many). Some critics claimed to have forced themselves through the book, numbers of them describing it as boring.. “Poor! Crap! Garbage!”
I have come to the conclusion that I always disagree with the majority. Maybe that’s why I thought The Fault in Our Stars was slightly overrated, and why I think Beautiful Creatures is underrated. Firstly, I watched [some of] the movie last year, so I was somewhat familiar with the storyline (but I hadn’t taken much notice watching it, so more like “Oh, I remember this part”, not in the sense that it was completely ruined) – for some reason I had presumed Lena would narrate, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was in fact the boy – Ethan – narrating the novel.
To be honest, I chose this book as my next-to-read, because it looked one of the largest, so I wanted to get it out of the way. But I actually enjoyed how long it was - I have a hunger for character development, and finding out more and this novel left me feeling whole-heartedly satisfied. I tend to prejudge long novels in the first 100 pages – if anybody falls in love within that time, it is an unrealistic book and I won’t like it. Therefore I was happy to find that after 100 pages, Lena and Ethan were friends. It is clear that they have an undeniable connection, but nothing has happened between them after 100 pages and that automatically improves the novel overall.
I thought the book was very different to anything else I had read before. I have already expressed my disagreement to the book being ‘stereotypical’ as, frankly, I found it refreshing. For example, Ethan is a jock – he is the typical villain, he is the guy that would – in any other novel – be joining in with his friends to cruelly torment the protagonist that is Lena. But in Beautiful Creatures, Ethan is the protagonist, he has his own personality and isn’t defined by a stereotype (jock).
On the downside, there were some cliché parts in the book, or parts that I generally disliked – for example, I liked the scent thing – Lena smelling of lemons and such, I think that gave me more context in her character, but I thought the music – ‘Sixteen Moons’ – took it a little too far, I mean, the reader can in no way imagine what that sounds like..or maybe I’m just not very open-minded. Some of the novel also seemed difficult to follow – taking extra care to leave out any spoilers here. I would also have liked to find out more about some of the other characters, like Ridley - but I hear there’s a whole other book series based on her.
I think the story went into a lot of depth, and the characters were really brilliantly portrayed, and I felt like I knew them completely after reading half of the novel. I am very eager to read the rest of the books in the series, and will be purchasing them on my next trip to the book store! I would definitely recommend this book to anybody interested in fantasy – or that wants to try out fantasy. Although, I have to warn you, this book seems to be like marmite – you really either love it or you hate it. Personally, I loved it! I would also highly recommend this novel to anybody that enjoyed the Twilight series.