Monday, March 10, 2014

Beautiful Creatures Book Review

Beautiful Creatures

by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia

Book Review by Marsha O’Leary

Graduate Student at Nazareth College

 Genre: Fantasy
      “There were no surprises in Gatlin County. We were pretty much the
epicenter of nowhere. 
            At least, that’s what I thought, when I closed my battered copy of
Slaughter House – Five, clicked off     my iPod, and turned out the light
on the last night of summer.” (2).

Fans of the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling and the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer will love this tale of mortal versus immortal and the forbidden bonds of friendship and love found within the pages of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I am personally a fan of all of the above. I am an eighth grade English teacher and graduate student in the Literacy program at Nazareth College and am already looking for ways I can tie Beautiful Creatures into my curriculum. Even as a graduate student, I have always been drawn in by books which involve magical and mythical elements. I was immediately captivated by the characters of Lena and Ethan and their journey to discover themselves and their strange bond to one another. As the story unfolds, so do the secrets embedded in each of their lives which keeps the reader in continued suspense of  how these secrets will affect Lena and Ethan’s growing relationship, and more importantly, their future.

Fifteen-year-old Lena just wants to be normal. At least as normal as any caster girl can be. New to the small southern town in Gatlin County, Lena is immediately treated like an outsider by the long-time residents. Lena attempts to go to the high school winter dance with her new friend Ethan, but because of Lena’s life as a caster, something goes dangerously awry.

After the death of his mother, and his father becoming more and more of a recluse, Ethan feels more stuck than ever until Lena Duchannes comes to live with her uncle in Gatlin County.  Ethan cannot explain his attraction and need to be with Lena. He has been dreaming about her since before her arrival in Gatlin County, but doesn’t understand why… yet.

As Lena’s sixteenth birthday approaches, the chaos begins to unfold in her family and her anxiety over her future as a caster and her relationship with Ethan reaches an unbearable level. Lena tries to sever the relationship between her and Ethan in order to protect him, but he chooses to stay and defend her no matter what, even if it means his own life will be hanging in the balance. Take this journey into a world where mortals unknowingly co-exist with beautiful, yet dangerous creatures and see what fate awaits Lena and Ethan.

Margaret Stohl is no stranger to the world of fantasy. Prior to writing Beautiful Creatures, she worked in the videogame industry. Some of her work included Spiderman, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow, and Spycraft as well as many other well-known videogame titles. Stohl co-wrote Beautiful Creatures with fellow writer Kami Garcia. Beautiful Creatures was the #1 Teen Pick from Amazon in 2009 and was an ALA William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalist in 2010. Since then, Stohl and Garcia have written several sequels to Beautiful Creatures, also known as the Caster Collection.

Fantasy, drama, and action all come together to create this exciting journey into the lives of Lena and Ethan. Once you read Beautiful Creatures, you will want more!

 The Caster Collection

·       Beautiful Creatures (2009)
·       Beautiful Darkness (2010)
·       Beautiful Chaos (2011)
·       Beautiful Redemption (2012)
·       Dream Dark – exclusively online (2011)

And coming very soon! - Dangerous Creatures May 20, 2014


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