Synopsis: (Taken from Amazon.com)
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.
After hearing about this book all over the blogosphere — I had to read it. Plus the cover was just awesome looking to me. It was so dramatic and eerie. It looked like a must read. But , you know how people can be wrong — right? I found Beautiful Creatures to be just another over-hyped Twilight-esque disaster (minus the sparkly vampire). Except with Beautiful Creatures, I couldn’t even get past page 100.
In just 100 pages I had the following issues:
- Ethan Waite? For a name? Something about this name just struck me as phony. As if it’s something two teenagers (eer… older ladies) picked a name out of a hat. What tops the gun is when Ethan finds a locket belonging to his great-great-great Grandfather (or something along that line). His name was Ethan too. *gag* Can you imagine the name Ethan being used in the mid 1800′s? I can’t. It just doesn’t seem like a good fit.(But I guess it’s not as bad as “Bella Swan” (Beautiful Swan? *Gag*) or “Renesme”) Even so, I felt it a bad choice. If you want memorable characters — create memorable names. Random name generators are not useful tools, people. Use your heads. Put some thought into the names.
- The way Ethan acted, thought. He is supposed to be a teenager but his character was written as if the authors have never met a teenage male in their entire life. He spent way too much time observing nailpolish, tans, purses, clothing (and anything else in a teenage female mindframe). On top of this, this basketball store secretly enjoyed reading Tolstoy and other hardcore literary geniuses. So much so that he hid them under his bed. (And because the authors are big into stereotypes, it seemed it would be more fitting in their belief system, based on powerful stereotypes that Ethan would be gay.) Are they writing him to make him appear as if he is “Mr. Perfect??!” Well news flash — he’s , what? 16? 17? No boy is perfect. He’s a teenage boy! I doubt a girl’s nailpolish or purse is the first thing boys think of when they meet a beautiful girl for the first time.
- The authors centralized this tale around the superficiality of Gaitlin County. It seems EVERYONE was tan and blonde and if you weren’t — you were a Loser with a capital L. I don’t know about you — but my high school wasn’t that superficial. Granted I live in Florida so — sure, tans would be a given. But if you weren’t tan, it wasn’t a big deal. If you didn’t have big boobs, or short shorts — or designer purses. No one gave a rat’s @#$. However in Beautiful Creatures — it was an important fact that if you weren’t Miss. Teenage Barbie, you were automatically thrown into the Loser category. (Great message, by the way – Ladies). There was this one instance in which this girl was trying to attempt to start a conversation with Lena (the mystery girl) and Miss. Popular Emily (nice stereotypical name for a popular girl, by the way..) shot her a dirty look and she retreated. Where on EARTH do “popular” people have this much power? Therefore, this made the story all the more unbelievable.
- Ethan says “Lena Duchannes” over and over and over again. Just like that. Whole name. It’s as if the authors did that because they figured the readers were too stupid to remember who she was. Then add on top that they keep reminding you how to pronounce it, “Like rain.” — I wanted to throw the book at the wall. Who the hell cares how I pronounce it in my head? That is the beauty of books — you can visualize things how YOU visualize them. The author should guide you, but not tell you how to read. But anyway, it seemed to be a popular trend in Beautiful Creatures, to call a person by their whole name. After hearing “Ethan Waite” and “Lena Duchannes” for the 80th time in 100 pages, I said, “That’s it. This book stinks.”
- Ethan starts hearing voices in his head, which Lena is communicating with him. He immediately assumes it is her and it doesn’t freak him out. Then they hold hands and la-di-dah they are in this together. *GAG* *GAG* *GAG*
Those are just my issues in the first 100 pages — to name a few. Beautiful Creatures was superficial, unbelievable, and the pacing was entirely way off. They would spend 90 pages on his first day of school (okay over-exaggeration) and then in two pages, him and Lena were a team. OH COME ON! There was no build up– it’s just one minute she’s there and the next they’re together.
The book was entirely way too predictable, way too cheesy, way too superficial — and way too boring for my taste. I couldn’t imagine putting myself through almost 500 more pages of this mess.
Any book that spreads the wrong message to our youth and can’t even eloquently do so is an automatic on my bad list. This book is bad. Seriously. And the fact that it was written by TWO grown women is just downright pathetic.