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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Release date: December 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age group: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Pages: 563
Buy: Fountain Bookstore / Amazon
Description: Fountain Bookstore
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.
Beautiful Creatures is a wild ride full of secrets, spellcasters, small-town prejudice, and, of course, romance. Before the end of Chapter 1 I loved it. By the time the action was in full swing I was having heart palpitations. When I finally reached the last page, I found myself itching for more.  

Garcia & Stohl have delivered a beautifully crafted southern gothic novel with a unique take on the paranormal set in a small Southern town that makes Mayberry look a little like a metropolis.

As a girl with roots in Virginia and North Carolina, I know my southerners. The behavior, the colloquialisms, the gossip, the kooky traditions, the skepticism and irrational fear of outsiders… Beautiful Creatures has it right, down to my favorite line.

“…Religion and superstition all mixed up, like only it can be in the South.”

It rang so true when I read it that I burst into laughter and didn’t stop smiling for hours afterwards. Statements like that one set the tone for this book - familiar, yet dark and otherworldly. Tiny bits of southern truth wrapped up in a paranormal tale that kept me turning pages.

Ethan's voice is clear and distinct. Lena's struggle to define who she is and take control of her life  is one everyone can relate to, caster or not. Beautiful Creatures touches on the themes of human existence from being an outcast to losing a loved one to the exploration of culture. I happily lost myself in it.

Note: I read this title prior to Wastepaper Prose officially becoming a book blog in 2010, but had not reviewed it to date.

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