Ethan Wate isn’t stupid and he has no intention of being stuck. Gatlin isn’t a complicated place. The neighbors keep watch from their porches in the unbearable heat, but nothing ever changes because there are no surprises in Gatlin County–the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that’s how it seems to Ethan the night before starting his sophomore year at Stonewall Jackson High.
Turns out he couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse. There was a girl. And in the end, there was a grave.
Ethan never saw it coming in Beautiful Creatures (2009) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
Change is in the air when Lena Duchannes arrives in town. Ethan is inexplicably drawn to the beautiful outcast, but nothing with Lena is straightforward. As Ethan gets to know the mysterious new girl they begin to unearth ages old secrets that could change everything for them and Gatlin County.
I’m not a big fan of Twilight and Swoon left me cold. But I finally get how the hardcore fans of those books feel because I feel the same way about Beautiful Creatures. Part gothic novel, part modern fantasy this book has everything a reader could hope for.
Garcia and Stohl have created an intricate and compelling story. Even at over 500 pages (hardcover), this book is a page-turner. Ethan’s narration is honest and captures both the charm and horror of life in a rural Southern town.
Beautiful Creatures is also an utterly original and unforgettable book filled with haunting characters, excitement, and even some romance. The worst thing about finishing it is knowing there will be a wait for the sequel.
Possible Pairings: House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones, Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough, Swoon by Nina Malkin, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Lirael by Garth Nix