Book Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia (The Caster Chronicles #1)

Rating: 3/5

I was super excited to read this book and start a new series. Enjoyed the plot but not the way it was told.

Book CW: Character death, villianizing mental illness (ableism), fatshaming.

Premise

Ethan Wate is about to start his sophomore year of high school in the small, boring, and predictable town of Gatlin, South Carolina. Nothing in Gatlin has ever changed, that is, until a new girl arrives into town.

Every student in Gatlin High School is prepared for Lena’s arrival. Being the niece if the creepy town shut-in, it’s no surprise that Lena is not “normal”. The surprise is how much Ethan finds himself drawn to her. Not only is she the girl that he’s been dreaming about all summer, but they also have some strange telepathic connection to each other. Will he ever find out who she really is?

Review (No Spoilers)

Beautiful Creatures is a novel that has been hyped for a long time. The series has been on my bookshelf for years and I was happy that I finally got the nerve to start it. I had watched the film on Netflix around a year ago and it seemed like something I would definitely be interested in. Who doesn’t like a good magical love story?

What was unfortunate was that as much as I looked forward to reading this series, I actually didn’t really care for this novel. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the plot is an interesting one and I am anxious to know what will happen next, I’m just not sure I want to read what happens next.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I found this book weirdly boring considering how much I enjoyed the story. I think there were a lot of problems with the way it was told.

For one, there were many times where Ethan would act super surprised when someone told him exactly what he had already been thinking pages before. It was as if the authors wrote him as a totally reasonable person but then decided that they needed to “dumb him down” to push the story forward.

Another thing that I found strange was that the book is kind of both feminist and anti-feminist at the same time. There were times where the women were all about showing their power but also instances of body-shaming and the classic “all girls like ______” trope.

I do have to say though that I really like the characters introduced in this book. Macon and Ridley are absolute gems and I loved them so so much. Lena and Ethan were moody messes but I still felt for them all the same. I wish they all would have actually talked to each other more instead of keeping secrets for–let’s admit it–no good reason, but I did love each and every one of them.

The book also contains cute “props”. Each chapter doesn’t have a number but rather tells you the current date. There are several pages dedicated to nifty diagrams. I very much appreciated these little additions. Also, the cover is absolutely beautiful.

I am definitely planning on continuing this series. I just hope that I enjoy the next few novels more than I did this one.

P.S. Is the South really like this???

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12 thoughts on “Book Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia (The Caster Chronicles #1)

  1. bookswhitme August 18, 2019 / 3:14 am

    I actually read Beautiful Creatures years ago when it first came out and remember feeling the same. I liked the premise and plot but I was left feeling a little bored and not sure if I wanted to continue, which is probably why I never did. Maybe I’ll give it another try though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny's Reviews August 18, 2019 / 12:33 pm

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt this way! Reading it kind of drained me so I’m taking a break and reading another book before continuing the series.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bookswhitme August 18, 2019 / 12:38 pm

        That sounds like a good idea

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jenny's Reviews August 18, 2019 / 1:09 pm

        Btw I’m having a hard time following you back because I think WordPress has your old url linked. It keeps telling me your blog has been deleted. What’s your new url?

        Like

      • bookswhitme August 18, 2019 / 1:09 pm

        That’s weird. I’ve only ever had 1 link. It’s bookswhitme.wordpress.com

        Like

      • Jenny's Reviews August 18, 2019 / 1:11 pm

        Ah yeah it’s trying to link me to bookswhitmehome.wordpress.com for some reason. I’ll follow you now!

        Like

      • bookswhitme August 18, 2019 / 1:14 pm

        lol what’s crazy is it just did the same to me when I clicked your link. smh i’m glad it let you follow me though.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Destiny, MyHoneyReads August 18, 2019 / 4:46 pm

    I listened to the audiobook last year and it was really cool to hear the original music and sound effects, but it didn’t exceed my expectations. I agree that it did drag on and wasn’t very exciting

    Like

    • Jenny's Reviews August 18, 2019 / 6:29 pm

      Oh sound effects?? I don’t think I’ve listened to an audiobook with sound effects. Sounds amazing.

      Like

  3. Kitty Marie's Book Reviews Blog August 25, 2019 / 12:05 pm

    I remember, years ago, wanting to read this book. Still do eventually, I guess it is never too late after all. I’m glad to hear that the side characters are fun, I find that is often the case with series. Hope the second book wows you a lot. 😀

    Like

    • Jenny's Reviews August 25, 2019 / 12:59 pm

      I’m planning on starting the second one soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Musings of a (Book) Girl September 7, 2019 / 7:47 pm

    I binged this entire series several years ago and was so obsessed with it! It’s probably one I’ll never reread though because I’m afraid that now I’ll hate it because my reading tastes have changed. I do still enjoy the movie though!

    Liked by 1 person

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