97 of 123 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Beautiful Creatures (Hardcover)
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Beautiful Creatures, at its core, is a "forbidden love" story, with a healthy portion of "its a race against time" thrown in.
I'm not one to delve into the details of a book, giving away spoilers and secrets to try to convinvce people if the book is good or not. The real question - the one you want to know - is if the book is fun to read, holds your attention, and is "satisfying". And to this I would say "yes."
The story will seem like other popular "modern fantasy" forbidden love stories, but of course Beautiful Creatures has its own twists and turns.
The story is set in a southern town that has a very strong sentiment toward the civil war. History buffs should not get too excited, its not close to being that historical. Its all just a "set" for the romance in the story. The civil war connection allows the author a surprising amount of opportunities to broaden the story without it coming across as being a historical book. I think it was a good choice, because its a bit unique and some of the story details are very fresh.
One thing that the authors really nailed was character development. Proper character development is important in any story. In this story, the authors have done an excellent job. The main characters have unique yet believable backstories, and the characters remain true to themselves throughout the story. Each character even has their own way of talking (well, within reason) and the dialogue is fresh and fun to read. Each has their own "world" of things thats important to them. For example, Link (the male friend of one of the main characters) has very specific and realistic goals, that unexpectedly help propel the story forward. Amma, the narrator's "hired help who is part of the family now" has very specific agendas and ideals. Even minor characters, like Ethan's 3 aunts, have their own set of values and goals which add to the story, without weighing down the story movement. The characters grow and mature, and have their own epiphanies and realizations about the events in the book. Superbly done.
The Plot is above average. Critical readers will spot only two or three areas which could stand some improvement, which is way above average in my opinion. There were a few places in the book I had to conciously suspend my disbelief, but I suspect the "juvenile fiction" crowd that this book is targeted to would not share my quibbles.
I will probably read the sequel. Oh yes, they left ample room for a sequel. It was written to allow a fluid transition. But, I felt that the transition was so "fluid" that it may have been at the cost of a completely satisfying ending. I did wish that the book had more of a sense of closure when I was finished. At least I can take some satisfaction in knowing that there are many unexplored details for the next book.
Overall, this book was a jewel to enjoy, with different facets showing different angles of the same beautiful core. I'm very pleased with it overall. I will be gifting it to some young adults who I know.
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Initial post: Dec 22, 2009 10:40:53 AM PST
Cali Mom says:
I totally agree with your review - I wish I had read it before buying the book. I enjoyed reading the book, until the last couple of chapters. The ending was definitely too unresolved and left too many questions unanswered, which was very frustrating. I actually felt that the last chapters raised more questions, then left the reader hanging. Hopefully the next book will answer all those questions satisfactorily. But I did enjoy the book up until then and will probably read your review before deciding whether to read the next one or not.
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