Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 1. 2009
About the Book: Ethan Wate lives in a small Southern town where everyone knows everyone's business. When Lena Duchannes, niece of the town recluse Macon Ravenwood, arrives, she is immediately an outcast. Ethan is drawn to Lena and realizes she's the girl that has been haunting his dreams. Lena wants Ethan to stay away-she's a caster and on her 16th birthday she will be claimed-either light or dark. Together they fight for their fate in a battle against light and dark, good and evil and past and present.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Beautiful Creatures is a welcome addition to the paranormal romance genre. This is a beautiful Gothic supernatural romance and a epic southern tale. The setting of Gatlin is so richly described you come away from Beautiful Creatures feeling as though you've visited the South. Gatlin is so detailed in the book the setting is practically a character in itself.
I can't say I found Ethan's voice completely believable as a teenage male protagonist, but at the end of the audiobook I listened to, the authors mentioned that Ethan is the perfect high school boyfriend we never had. That I can believe-Ethan is a perfect high school boyfriend. The romance between Ethan and Lena is very sweet yet also dangerous and I loved that dynamic.
The strongest aspect of this book aren't the main characters, but the supporting cast. Ethan's housekeeper Amma is a vibrant woman who I would love to have dinner with. She's larger than life and she comes to life and I left the book feeling as though I really knew her. There's also Ethan's aunt's, the sisters, who were hilarious and always good for some great comedic scenes. And of course, Lena's family were who I found the most interesting. Their stories, background and caster abilities and magic are all things I can't wait to read more about.
I also have to give a huge librarian hug to the author's for making a library and a librarian (named Marian-made me think of The Music Man every time I read it!) an integral part of the story. There were many lines about libraries that I want to find in my print copy of the book and underline and paste in my office. Thank you Kami and Margaret for a cool kick butt librarian character who totally rocks!
I liked how this was a paranormal romance but with a twist-the girl had the powers not the boy, and there wasn't any vampire or werewolf romance. It did take me a bit to get really pulled into this one, and there were a few times it dragged a little-the length of this one comes in at almost 600 pages. But I found the story original and the characters made me want to know more.
Side note about the audiobook-While I really enjoyed the audibook of Beautiful Creatures, I have one gripe about the narrator. The narrator would only use a Southern accent for Ethan when Ethan was speaking, even though the book was told from Ethan's point of view. This threw me off several times when I heard Ethan speak because his point of view voice had no accent. I did however like that the audiobook had original music for the "Sixteen Moons" song and used many sound effects.
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook I purchased and downloaded from Audible