Read the full review at Tales Between the Pages
Have you ever read a book and thought, “Man, I should have written that!”? This was that book for me despite the modicum of shame associated with a late-20-something woman jockeying to get one of the two copies of this book from the YA section of the public library. I even invented an imaginary younger sister just so I could say I was getting the book for her. But, Adult YA shame is another post, I fear. In short, I loved this book and it’s everything that I expect for my own fiction writing.
‘Beautiful Creatures’ brilliantly portrays a Gothic south. I’m from a small Midwestern town and can totally relate to the small town mentality of Gatlin. Ethan’s desperation to leave and experience the world is natural and actually happens to teens who live in small towns all across the country. I was one of them. Sometimes I thought time would stop altogether before I got old enough to leave so in that regard, I could really identify with Ethan. Plus, I could totally feel the slow pace associated with the Deep South. This book was vivid enough for me to see the sights, smell the smells, and really experience the place.
Also, I loved that the main character was a boy. Most YA that I read tends to be very female centered (not that it’s a problem!) and it was refreshing to see things through a boy’s perspective. Plus, I loved that he had to think about his basketball playbook so Lena couldn’t detect what he was really thinking about. What a brilliant attention to detail.
More importantly, the storyline didn’t feel contrived. Sometimes when magic is inserted into a book that knows the intimate details of a real place, it doesn’t feel real. In Gatlin, those with magic have always been around to those who knew where to look. It reminded me of Harry Potter and how the muggles were totally clueless to the wizarding world.