Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Beautiful Creatures - Garcia/Stohl

Beautiful Creatures
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Ethan Wate has lived in boring ol' Gatlin, South Carolina his entire life and is tired of the day to day sameness of his perfectly ordinary life in his perfectly repressed town. Then something changes. Jackson High's sophomore class is getting a new student, and she is non other than the town shut-in's niece.  Lena Duchannes isn't your ordinary 15 year old and the people of Gatlin aren't going to take this disturbance of their picture perfect lives lightly. Suddenly Ethan's life will never be the same, but will Gatlin?

Beautiful creatures isn't my usual cup of tea. I'm more of a straight laced contemporary lit lover with a historical fiction kicker.  Outside of Harry Potter magical settings don't usually interest me.  However the trailer, and the pallet grabbed my attention, and now I'm definitely on the Beautiful Creatures bandwagon.
How do you not investigation something this stunning!

That isn't to say that Beautiful Creatures doesn't have it's flaws. Believe me, at 563 pages editing would have been Garcia and Stohl's best friend. Ethan and Lena's mind reading conversations were often redundant  and the back story.  OH THE BACK STORY. I don't know how it was possible to feel both bogged down by character histories and confused by constant mentions of unexplained events but I was. For instance I know all about a little cardboard village Ethan's mother made. I do not really know anything about the circumstances surrounding her death.

The other issue is the writing itself. I know it's been said before, but one would think with two sets of eyes looking through every page the prose would be tighter. Garcia and Stohl have a tendency to use seven adjectives where one would do, and another paragraph to sum up the one above it.

I think Ethan watched High School Musical one to many times. 

They also suffered from having a 16 year old boy as their protagonist. Ethan doesn't read like any 16 year old I've met, though he dose resemble Troy from High School Musical. In other words, he's a caricature of a man (err, boy) and that isn't always easy to get over.

Overall I enjoyed Beautiful Creatures. It had some major flaws, but the story was fast paced enough to keep me interested, and even at it's almost 600 pages I read it in under three days. Now can someone tell me where I can find Beautiful Darkness because my local Barnes and Noble and Target don't have it.

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