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.
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???