Book Nineteen of 2013: BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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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.

I decided to read this book because I fell in love with the movie trailer and wanted to watch the movie so badly, but I have a policy that if I watch a movie based on a book I have to also read the book. Unlike the TWILIGHT SAGA, I watched BEAUTIFUL CREATURES before reading the book. And for those who have done one, but not the other, they are different in feel and the movie doesn’t follow the book. However, they are both good on their own.

For Young Adult Paranormal Romances, I’m not that picky. As long as it’s written well, I tend to be okay. I read TWILIGHT feeling complete dread, but BEAUTIFUL CREATURES was a better read. The narrator is the male protagonist and I absolutely love him. He is intellectual and you can see the absolute boredom he has over his hometown. It isn’t until the heroine pops into his life that he realizes that the surface of his small Southern town is just a picturesque world hiding the true underbelly.

As a romance, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES made more sense than TWILIGHT. It took most of the book for the characters to finally admit their feelings and it felt like a real teenage first love. However, for the paranormal, I think it could’ve been darker and there could’ve been more of the paranormal underbelly. I like that the reader sees things unfolding before the narrator realizes there’s more to Lena than the new girl. And, I like that the reader learns as Lena and Ethan learn about the world that Lena was born into, but doesn’t know.

The heroes were more proactive than other paranormal romances, but I feel that more could’ve been done. As a first book, it does entice the reader enough to continue down the series.

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