Ethan Wate has lived his whole life in Gatlin, South Carolina. His family has been there since before the Civil War or as it’s known in Gatlin, The War of Northern Agression. He can’t wait to be the first in his family to leave. Until Lena moves into town and just by her mere presence stirs everyone into a frenzy but no one more than Ethan. He’s been dreaming about the girl who smells of lemons and rosemary since his mother died. What does it mean when the girl actual shows up?
I’m not going to lie. I only read this book because I got it from a used bookstore for a great price. When I read the back it sounded a lot like Twilight with some of the story mixed around. And while I liked Twilight when I was in high school, I find the older I get the less I like that particular series. Luckily, I am a lover of stories to my very toes and I figure a story that has so many raving about it is worth a shot… even if I’m years late in coming around to it.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I spent last week in Wisconsin visiting my best friend for her 25th birthday. I didn’t get as much reading done as I was hoping, but the flip side of that coin is that I got to spend much more time with E than I thought I would. So I’m going to call that a win. In any case, it was on the way home that I finally tried to read some books. I opened Beautiful Creatures expecting to have to push through to the end and was pleasantly surprised to find that by the time my Greyhound bus pulled into the Richmond station I was practically done.
Reading from Ethan’s point of view was refreshing. He was neither focused on sex too much or too little. He was intelligent but didn’t know every quote (or any, really) that Marion shot his way. I also loved that he didn’t immediately fall into trying to win Lena over. It happened quickly but not the very first day she showed up. In fact it took a little longer than I was expecting. That was nice.
I will say that I found both the adults and the children keeping secrets a little frustrating. It had to be that way and the authors probably wanted me to feel that way considering that Macon and Amma were frustrated that they couldn’t keep Lena and Ethan apart and Lena and Ethan were frustrated that the adults they trusted most were keeping secrets.
I love that the secondary characters are just as interesting and lively as the main characters. At least when it comes to Lena’s family. The cheerleaders and the basketball players are just what they seem. Shallow.
The only thing that seemed a little unreal to me was that Lena was a Caster and knew so little about her history, her family, and her culture and never really thought to ask. Some of it I understand didn’t really become an issue until she and Ethan began seeing visions and each other, but other things I was seriously questioning how she never asked or had it become a fight between her and Macon or Gramma. Her having fought with someone over the things she thought she had a right to know before Ethan showed up would have made it seem a little more realistic to me.
The characters, the setting, and the fact that it was about more than teenagers in love made me love this story. At no point before the end did it become obvious how the story was going to go. It was wonderful to not know until the very end.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 quills. I can’t wait to start on Beautiful Darkness. But first I need to finish Phoenix by Vaun Murphrey, Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, and a couple of others.