Friday, September 4, 2009

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Pages: 626

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.
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.


A curse.
A girl.
And, in the end, a grave.
Ethan Wate had no idea how he got the dreams in the first place, and once the girl they're centered around shows up in Gatlin County, everyone can feel the storm forming and the countdown beginning. Lena Duchannes knows what's coming, however, that doesn't stop the shock of finding the of her dreams--literally and figuratively--in her Uncle Macon Melchizedek Ravenwood's town. Ravenwood is considered the small town's "Haunted Mansion" and they have no idea how on target they are. There is a secret blowing through Gatlin County and the people you know best, may actually be people you know least about. After his mother died, Ethan's household has never been the same. There are charms and trinkets in hidden, and not-so-hidden places, left behind by the infamous house housekeeper--more like a best friend and mother--Amma. As for Ethan's father, with his mind so vulnerable, is the most predictable and the most unseen in his own house. Lila's death seems to have affected him the most--argumentatively--as in, he locks himself away in their--now his--study. Day and Night.
Anyway, Ethan has had a consistency his whole life, and has been waiting for the graduation of his senior year. To go to all the places pinned on the map posted on his bedroom wall. Anything to get out of Gatlin. That is, of course, until Lena came to town. Seeing the girl from his dreams at his high school--Jackson High--leaves Ethan with heart-pounding hormones raging, and a surprise soon in store. Another one, anyway, and it will not be the last. Not only will Ethan get involved with the mysterious, and non-mentioned side of his small town, he gets involved with a whole new species, so to speak. When the time comes, will Ethan survive the final battle, the war? Or will history, undoubtedly repeat itself?
I have to say, that after reading possibly half or two thirds of this novel, I seriously considered reading more books in a males perspective. Teenage male, of course. *wiggles eyebrows suggestively* Anyhow, the southern lilt brings something of authenticity and the small town county rivalry that I imagine will never die. And will be just as entertaining. Beautiful Creatures just makes you want to hop on a plane, go to a tiny southern town, and see for yourself if that's what the environment is really like. Just to see if it's as suspenseful or boring--not likely--as it claims to be?
I love how Ethan can pick up different vibes from people, some more than others and some to loose to excuse. One of the things, I dare not forget to mention, is the connection the two main characters have going for them. Not only do they have some history--one-hundred-and-fifty years-ago-history, but the soul-gripping mind-reading link you will not soon forget. Recommended to all YAs who love the south and have a little patience with this monstrous page-turner.

Grade: A-