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.
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
BEST BOOK OF LIFE !!! OVER 5 STARS !
Just to start off, I would like to say that this indeed is my favorite novel (Hence the exceeding amounts of +'s after the rating.....)
Actually, it's much more than that. I first picked up this novel after numerous encounters with it at the bookstore. I didnt mean to search for it, it came looking for me: Literly. everywhere i'd turn i'd see this beautiful cover, but i always ignored it. Until one beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL day, when i decided to purchase it & give it a chance.
& It changed my life.
This novel has stayed with me ever since reading it many months ago, & this series is probably what I base most of my other book reviews on: do they live up to the excellence of Beautiful Creatures?
Little tiny details from this novel are constantly a part of my mind in my everyday life; such as Lemons & Rosemary, which every time I see brings me back to this series. the last page of the third book in the series, Beautiful Chaos, is the lock-screensavor on my beloved iphone (I kid you not), & I just adore it more than possible.
Why? Here's a walk through:
Both Lena & Ethan have stayed me ever since the Caster Chronicles. Everytime i read a YA novel, I just cant help but compare the heroins back to Lena & Ethan. It's become a not-so-good habit because not a single couple/heroin romance can outshine what Lena & Ethan bring to the table. never, never, never- which ends up affecting my rating for other YA novels... it shouldnt. I have come to accept that not all characters (unfortunatly) can be like them.
Ethan is your typical male character. however, what isn't so typical is that this novel is told from HIS perspective. we get to watch & feel a male fall in love- not vice-versa. It's a lacking perspective in the YA world, so it's nice to have something different & GOOD.
Ethan is popular at school, but is sensitive at heart. He has dated one of The most popular girls at school, yet goes home and reads Catcher & The Rye. He attends the cheerleader popular parties, yet thinks about his mothers death & goes through her belongings with the family friend-librarian in his free time.He has his own secret world that his peers dont know about- & that is Ethan Wate.
many reviewers have complained that males do not act like this, so Ethan fails to be realistic. I disagree. I think that Ethans personality portrays more than what is on the surface. Because this is told from his perspective, we are able to get a more vivid look into his mind and realize that he is in fact searching for more in life than popularity and naked girls. He is the outline of what every guy should be. Ethan is intelligent & his soft personality is hidden from his peers, replaced by a more relaxed- b-boy personality. This shows the exact nature of (intelligent, yet retarded) males. too afraid to be their real selves & trying to assimilate into the highschool popular group. It fits the novel perfectly & it's a pleasure to read from Ethans perspective.
Lena isn't ypur typical female heroin what-so-ever. she is described as a beautiful, semi-gothic girl with black curly hair and tattered converse sneakers that she wore even with dresses. she is a girly girl beneath what she portrays and loves poetry. I absoloutly love how she isnt the typical "hot cheerleader" in this novel- she isn't popular or amazing. she is exactly opposite of thata actually. she easily becomes the most hated person in the school; the girl that the cheerleaders pick on. yet her originality remains, and her true colours are shown to ethan. readers find out ALOT about Lena even though this novel is told first person from Ethans Perspective. Usually, the second main character isn't described as well as the one who's perspective the story is being told from. Feelings are usually minimal and other little details are left out. however, we find out every thing about Lena and every little bit of her emotions is clearly portrayed. its shown so well that I hurt when she does. my heart actually clenches and my stomach drops and knots and everything else a stomach does when it's nervous. Lena easily became my favorite character, & everything that she felt, I felt. I loved her so much.
Amma, Link, Sarafine, Macon, Ridley and all the other sub/support characters are phenomenal & SO much detail is put into them. Stohl and Garcia defenitly took the time & effort to put in some true work behind ALL their characters, not only ethan & lena. The story becomes so much more meaningful when everything in the novel is alive, including all the characters.
The Plot in the Caster Chronicles isn't a simple one. It's extremely complex (the reason why each book is roughly 600 pages long).
The plot has long history behind it, and it's actually an interesting one too! This depth gives the story life & it helps create the feeling that you're not just reading to watch Lena & Ethan fall in love, & screw everything else. No. There are guidelines, and the story winds on & on, showing you more secrets every time you think you have successfully predicted the ending.
Unlike most YA novels, when the novel is focused on a romance between the two heroins, the plot and support characters seem to hold little significance and lack depth, as the author feels the need to concentrate most of the novel on the relationship between the two main characters. However, in beautiful creatures Garcia & Stohl are able to Successfully create a complex, bold Plot that matches the intensity of the relationship between the two main characters, Ethan & Lena.
We watch both Ethan & Lena grow.
Ethan discovers that there is more to little gatlin then what meets the eye. He realizes his popularity holds little significance once he holds something dear. He discovers that escaping gatlin isn't all that he wants, not when there is Lena. & that he would sacrifice anything to be with Lena; even the things he has built a stone wall around to protect.
Lena discovers that her fate isn't determined by her future, but by her present. she realizes that not everything matters; actually very little does & sometimes the love for one person is enough. she finds a light for her darkness that she never thought could be illuminated. She finds Ethan when her life was about to collapse.
All of that is clearly portrayed whilst upholding the significance of the Casters and the secrets that surround it. The support/sub characters are amazing and actually play a HUGE role in the novel. The relationship between Lena & Ethan does not Out shine this phenomenal Plot, not vice-versa- we are able to get an outstanding outcome in both aspects.
The detals are overwhelming and beautiful. the writting style is phenomenal. what more can i say?
The thing that makes me love this novel so much is the amounts of description in it. I can CLEARLY picture both Ethan & Lena in my head. they are constantly described, and alot of emphases is put into devolping each character in the novels image and personality.
“She was wearing a purple T-shirt, with a skinny black dress over it that made you remember how much of a girl she was, and trashed black boots that made you forget.”
Little pieces of description like this are what makes this novel so phenomenal. Little details like the way Lena smelled where even given "And that familiar smell; Lemons and Rosemary".
Never once was i left wondering what a charatcer looked like or how they felt. these little pieces of descriptions that authors always seem to forget, are so often used in Beautiful Creatures , that it makes it feel so real.
All in all, if i haven't convinced you why you should drop everything you're doing right this second and go purchase this novel RIGHT NOW, than i have no clue what will. The overwhelming emotions i felt towards this novel were unbelievable & this will forever be my favorite series.
The 4th & final novel will be released in october 2012 called Beautiful Redepmtion, and I' terrified for the ending ever since Beautiful Chaos left me in pieces.
They are currently making beautiful creatures into a movie, which is set to be released February 2013.
Personally, I am terrified.
As from what I have seen, Lena has brown hair and brown eyes, rather than Black hair and Green eyes. And Ethan looks like a farm boy with curly hair when his hair is supposed to be long enough to reach his eyes. ..... I have no clue about how i should feel about this, so i guess we shall all wait & see.
Happy readings everyone!