Reviews for Beautiful Creatures
Booklist Reviews 2009 November #1
Ethan has lived in Gatlin, South Carolina, his whole life, as have generations of his family. If there's one thing he knows, nothing changes. Enter Lena Duchannes, and suddenly nothing is the same. Like most southern gothics, this story hides a secret, one that links Ethan's and Lena's families. Otherworldly elements abound: Lena, from a family of spell casters, is waiting for her sixteenth birthday to see if she'll be claimed by the Light or the Dark. Meanwhile, Lena and Ethan, who can read each other's thoughts, are traveling back in time to the Civil War, when two star-crossed lovers meet their fates. Throw in secret mystical libraries, a literal witch hunt, dead parents, and the snarky girls and sports teams of high school, and there's a lot going on here. Maybe too much. The 600-plus pages could have been cut to make a tighter, better story. Despite the bulk, there's plenty teens will like: romance, magic, hauntings, and the promise of more to come. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
Nothing ever happens in Ethan's small town of Gatlin, South Carolina, until he meets Lena. Lena, along with her eccentric family, is a Caster (like a witch), and Ethan falls in love with her despite the danger she represents (there's a curse involved). Patient readers are rewarded with a multifaceted Southern gothic saga that culminates in a dramatic good-versus-evil showdown. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2009 December #1
This smart, textured and romantic Southern Gothic takes place in Gatlin, S.C., where cheerleaders and the basketball team run the high school and the Daughters of the American Revolution and Civil War re-enactors run the town. Ethan Lawson Wate, raised by his authoritative and spiritually inclined housekeeper Amma in the months since his mother's death, can't wait to leave Gatlin's predictable monotony. Then Stonewall Jackson High's first new student in years, headstrong, vulnerable and expressive Lena Duchannes, shows up driving her reclusive uncle's hearse, and Ethan recognizes her from his dreams. Compelled to explore his connection to the new girl, Ethan learns that Lena's family are magic Casters and that Lena's supernatural fate will be chosen for her when she turns 16. Community outrage, emotional tension and Lena and Ethan's doomed search for a way around her uncertain destiny build to a boil in the expansive but tightly plotted march toward Lena's 16th birthday. Ethan's wry narrative voice will resonate with readers of John Green as well as the hordes of supernatural-romance fans looking for the next book to sink their teeth into. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2009 December
Gr 7 Up--Ethan Wate, a high school sophomore, plans to escape his small Southern town as soon as he can. Life has been difficult since his mother died; his father, a writer, has withdrawn into his study. Then Lena Duchannes arrives, and this strange new girl is the very one who has been occupying his dreams. She and her kin are Casters, beings who have supernatural powers. Getting to know her exposes Ethan to time travel, mortal danger, and love. The teens can hardly bear to be apart, but Lena's 16th birthday, when she will be Claimed for dark or light, is only 6 months away. To save her, they fight supernatural powers and the prejudice of closed-minded people. Yet, good and evil are not clearly delineated, nor are they necessarily at odds. In the Gothic tradition of Anne Rice, the authors evoke a dark, supernatural world in a seemingly simple town obsessed with Civil War reenactments and deeply loyal to its Confederate past. The intensity of Ethan and Lena's need to be together is palpable, the detailed descriptions create a vivid, authentic world, and the allure of this story is the power of love. The satisfying conclusion is sure to lead directly into a sequel. Give this to fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight (Little, Brown, 2005) or HBO's "True Blood" series and they will devour all 600-plus pages of this teen Gothic romance.--Amy J. Chow, The Brearley School, New York City [Page 118]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2009 December
Everything changes for sixteen-year-old, Ethan Wate when beautiful Lena Duchannes, niece of recluse, Macon Ravenwood, moves into Gatlin. The sudden flurry of excitement that Lena's school enrollment causes is only the beginning. Weird songs repeat in Ethan's head and appear on his iPod; wild dreams suggest he and Lena have lived and died in Gatlin nearly 150 years before. Gatlin lives and breathes history and Lena does not fit in at all with the snobby daughters of the DAR ladies. Shunned at school, Ethan becomes her protector. Lena draws Ethan into the arcane world of "Casters," a clandestine magical culture existing beneath the ordinary life of Gatlin. On the night of the reenactment of the Battle of Honey Hill, Gatlin booms with cannon fire and Lena and Ethan conspire to defeat the dark forces that intend to claim Lena forever on her sixteenth birthday This book has it all: a creepy setting, a deadly curse, reincarnation, spells, witchcraft and voodoo, plus characters that simply will not let the reader put the book down until finished. Twilight Saga fans will love Ethan and Lena. The "Caster" world is fascinating, from Macon who redecorates his mansion instantly depending on his mood to Lena's cousin Ridley, who appears sweet as candy but can make a man do anything just to please her. Throw in an occult library under the DAR building and witchcraft at the prom and who could ask for more? A sequel? Please!----Nancy K. Wallace 4Q 5P J S Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.