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Monday, March 25, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: December 1, 2009 
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

The Blurb:
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.

My Review:
Beautiful Creatures is the first book in The Caster series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I read this book the first time in 2011, and didn't like it at all. In fact, I rated it one star on Goodreads at the time. That was right before I started writing reviews, so I have no idea why I didn't like it at that time. Maybe it was my state of mind while reading it, maybe it was the weather, or maybe I ate some bad squash. I don't know, but after watching the movie I thought to myself: "That wasn't so bad. Why didn't I like the book?" Was it a great movie? Well no, but it certainly wasn't as horrible as I remember the book being the first time around. So, I decided to re-read it. Granted there was a lot of stuff in the movie that I didn't remember in the book. After reading it again, I'm still not entirely sure why I disliked it so much the first time. It was actually pretty entertaining most of the time. There were some parts that seemed to drag, but it was overall enjoyable. Remember how I said there were a lot of things in the movie that I didn't remember? Well, that's because they changed a lot. Especially towards the end, but I like the way the book played out better than the movie. Go figure.

The book is told from Ethan's perspective. He is good for Lena. As broody as she is, and rightly so, he really brings out the positive in her. There are many more characters in the book, and I really wish the movie would have kept some of them as they added that little something extra. Even though she's a dark caster, I think my favorite character is Ridley. I haven't given up on her yet. After it's all said and done, I liked this book, and I'll probably check out the sequel. Is it a favorite? Nope, but it was worth the second look.

The Book Trailer:

About the Authors:
Kami Garcia is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 48 countries and translated in 37 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie releases in theaters on February 13, 2013 from Warner Brothers & Alcon Entertainment, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard LaGravenese, and starring: Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, Emmy Rossum, Alice Englert, and Alden Ehrenrich.
Kami is also the author of Unbreakable, the first book her solo series, THE LEGION (coming Fall 2013), which is currently being developed as a major motion picture.

Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in spiral notebooks. As a girl with Southern roots, she has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13″ on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist for 14 years. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

To learn more about Kami Garcia and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

authorMargaret Stohl is the author of ICONS, the first book in the Icons Series, forthcoming from Little, Brown in Spring 2013 – as well as the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Indie-Bound and Internationally Bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (with Kami Garcia.) Including BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (2009), BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS (2010), and BEAUTIFUL CHAOS (2011), BEAUTIFUL REDEMPTION (2012)– along with DREAM DARK, a Beautiful Creatures story available exclusively online (August, 2011) – the Beautiful Creatures Novels have been translated into 28 languages and 37 countries. The Beautiful Creatures movie based on the books comes out February 14, 2013 from Alcon and Warner Bros. It stars Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, Thomas Mann and Zoey Deuthc with the Academy Award nominated writer/director Richard LaGravenese.

Beautiful Creatures was an ALA William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalist in 2010, as well as a SCIBA award finalist, a NYPL Book for the Teen Age, and a YALSA Teen Top Ten Pick. Beautiful Creatures was named the #1 Teen Pick from Amazon in 2009, and the #5 Editors Pick, Overall.


After working with Activision (now Activision/Blizzard) and Westwood Studios (now EA), Margaret became a co-founder of 7 Studios with her husband, Lewis Peterson. She has previously been nominated for “Most Innovative Game Design” at the Game Developers Conference.

Margaret has participated in the Nashville Screenwriters Conference, the Tribu dei Lettori in Rome, and the BAU Institute/Otranto Residency, as well as the LA Times Festival of Books, Romantic Times, and the Texas Book Festival. She was the Director of Programming for the 2011 YA Capitol Bookfest in Charleston, SC, and a founding member of the Smart Chicks tour.

Margaret has been featured in Amherst Reads, and is a contributor to the Los Angeles Review of Books. She has been a member of the WGA West and PEN West. Margaret’s original screenplays have been optioned by Clasky-Csupo and Nickelodeon Movies for feature film.

A graduate of Amherst College, where she won the Knox Prize for English Literature, Margaret earned a MA in English from Stanford University, and completed classwork for a PhD in American Studies from Yale University. Margaret was a teaching assistant in Romantic Poetry at Stanford, and in Film Studies at Yale. She attended the Creative Writing Program of the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where she was mentored by the Scottish poet George MacBeth.

Margaret loves traveling the world with her daughters, who are epee fencers, and living in Santa Monica with her husband, also a writer, and two bad beagles.

To learn more about Margaret Stohl and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Twitter.



  1. I have read all four of the books, and although they were good, they were not great.. Also I am from the south, and I am offended about how they pportrayed people from the south.. I'm sure their are people in the south that are like the people in Gatlin, but not everyone from the south is like that.. Also I honestly think the books would have been so much better if we saw more from Lena's point of view

    1. I completely agree. I live in Tennessee. While I definitely know people like the ones portrayed in this book, it's not an accurate representation of Southerners. I haven't read more than the first 2 books in the series, but after finishing book 2, I'm not really interested in reading the others. Lena's point of view would have been nice. :o) Thank you for stopping by!


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