Rating 3 out of 5 Magical Lollipops
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. (from Amazon.com)
I always find that when I start skimming in a book that it is a sign of a merely mediocre, or less, book. Beautiful Creatures started out really good. The mystery was intriguing and the setup was nice, but then something stopped for me. Maybe it was just the style of writing. Maybe I just got tired of hearing everything from Ethan's point of view. I don't know what it was. The imagery is nice in the story and it has potential. I'm still very excited to see what they do with it for a movie (I can already tell you that the book and movie are NOTHING alike just from the previews) and the concept is, well, beautiful. There just seemed to be something missing. Depth, maybe?
Lena and Ethan aren't the worst couple I've seen in YA literature. There is actually enough tension and meaning behind their relationship that I was satisfied, but it still felt like they fell in love really fast. Call me old and cynical, so much so that I can't believe in young love anymore, but I was skeptical. If you're going to put two people together in a story and have it come down to life-and-death that they stay together, then make their love so solid and believable that I want them to be together. This, sadly, was just another case of "Hey, we're writing them this way so you have to go with it." I hate being forced to want two people together. However, I'm not entirely against it. I think what would have helped is to have interchanging points of view between Ethan and Lena. Ethan is reliable but, at times, he's too far removed from the central points of the story to be a main voice. Lena doesn't really fully develop and, even by the end, I don't feel like I fully understand her. I just see Ethan's view of her and that is skewed a little.
There are also scenes with rituals (Lena's birthday and Halloween) where it gets confusing. The descriptions, while sometimes beautifully written, are so shifty that it left me spinning. I didn't know what was going on so I'd lose interest because it was hard to figure out. The visions with the locket was interesting, but that line of the story gets dropped early. I liked the whole Civil War backdrop of the story and the old Ethan and Genevieve's story that parallels Ethan and Lena's. That was nice.
I don't know. This book was decent and I might read more, but I'm also okay with not. I'm interested to see what happens with Lena and her mom (a big part of the storyline that doesn't really get fully developed) and to see the continuing saga of Ethan and Lena and how their love develops. But, for now, I will probably leave Gatlin and return another time.