Sunday, August 22, 2010

Beautiful Creatures

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.

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.

Beth says 4 Stars...

I know that this book has been both loved and hyped, and honestly I understand it. What it does is take the trend (which is really starting to get tired) of the paranormal romance type novel and do it well in a slightly different way. The whole supernatural element of the story (no spoilers here) was not the typical redemptive evil monster deal, which was refreshing. The plot kept me interested, but I thought there were some serious problems with pacing. The movement of the story really slowed at some points and then the authors had to play catch up. I also liked the concept of the flashbacks, but felt that they interrupted the flow of the book, and that there could have been a better way to give readers the necessary information. Stylistically it's very interesting because it was written by two different people and reads like the work of a single author. There's no switch of perspectives, a la Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, or even obvious character discrepancies. The background writing is absolutely delightful and helps to create a lush and mysterious setting.

One of my issues was with the dialogue. It was very highly stylized to make the reader feel as though they are in the South, and at times was over the top. I'm sorry, but as a Southern girl myself some people down here do know how use decent grammar. The characters were interesting, and I love small town stories. I guess I can just imagine it more vividly, or perhaps it's just that I find it to be more relatable, but for whatever reason they tend to capture my imagination. Ethan and Lena were so great together and apart, but it was very interesting to see the story from the male perspective. Ethan's voice seemed very authentic to me, but maybe it's because that's how I think that a guy would think, if that makes any sense. I also appreciated the fact that their relationship and feelings for one another were a part of their lives, but not all consuming. The character given to the dog Boo was one of the nice little touches that helped separate this book from the multitudes of others with similar central themes.

Overall this was a fun and slightly (very slightly) different novel. This is for all of you fans of Twilight and all of the other paranormal romance novels that line the shelves. It's a promising debut and I look forward to reading the second book in what promises to be a fun series, if sometimes a little overdramatic.

Book Bought


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