Friday, February 15, 2013

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Summary: 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.
Characters:  Bland, boring, banal. I feel bad to use those harsh words, but I must be honnête.

Ethan Wate- He's the typical Southern boy (though he is without an accent despite the movie portrayal) who is enamored by our heroine, Lena Duchannes. The problem I have with him is that he isn't unique, and he is super quick to fall in love with Lena.  I personally do not believe in love at first sight, so I tend not to like characters who claim to be in love instantly.  Yes, Ethan has a few cute lines in which he professes his love for her, but they're not that original...  Things like "I kept ___ with me since the day we met."

Lena Duchannes- I guess some might call her melodramatic, but I'll defend the girl: Your fate being decided on your 16th birthday is kinda a big deal. Anyway, I feel like I really didn't get to know Lena. She's one of those characters who has trouble making friends with others and is therefore reserved. Yet, she does have a bit of a playful side when she gets back at the mean girls. I wish the story was narrated by Lena, because she seems a heck of a lot more complex and interesting than Ethan.

"Link" Lincoln- Here we have our comic relief, though he isn't actually funny, that is goofy but totally has Ethan and Lena's back. This type of character is so over done.  My feeling is that if you use it, you better do it well. Unfortunately, the ladies failed at making Link funny.

Plot: I swear I could have taken some scissors though it would be total sacrilege, cut out 300 pages worth of the middle, glued the remaining pages together, and the book would still have made sense. I don't know if the authors just like to write, but the plot probably didn't require 300 of the 600 pages. That is why it took me 2.5 months to read. It dragged on and on. I'm really proud of myself for finishing it.

Movie: Who the heck cast Ethan? Alden Ehrenreich does not have one of those faces that could pass for a teenager. But I have to say that the cast is all around impressive.  I love Alice Englert's look. She totally pulls off the dark, kinda mysteriously sexy look. Emmy Rossum can pull it off as well.  And Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, and Emma Thompson!  These actors have pretty nice reputations.  I'll be seeing the film tomorrow, so I'll post a review of that later. 47% on rotten tomatoes isn't terrible. I mean, I just saw one, Safe Haven, with a 12% rating. It wasn't repulsively bad. I still liked it.

Would I recommend it to a friend? No, but I have to say that I'm considering reading the others in the series because I've heard that they get better.

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