“Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

YA Fantasy, Paranormal, Supernatural
Paperback, 563 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures.

In the Southern town of Gatlin, things aren’t always what they seem. To young Ethan Wate, Gatlin is a small-town prison he can’t wait to get out of. Things are always unchanging. To him, Gatlin feels even smaller since the death of his mother. His father has shut himself up in his study, and Ethan finds himself going through the same mindless routines day after day with his basketball team buddies. Two more years, he tells himself. Then I can get out of here.

However, things soon change drastically for Ethan. He meets the girl of his dreams. Literally. Since his mother died, he had been having these strangely vivid dreams. In them, there is a girl he needs to save, but every time she slips out of him grasp. When he wakes up, remnants of the dream remain: her scent, and even the mud.

The girl from Ethan’s dreams is Lena Duchannes, the niece of the current most infamous resident of Gatlin. This sets her out from the herd immediately as a pariah. Ethan, however, finds himself drawn to her. There is something different about her–she is unlike anyone Ethan has ever met. As he is drawn to her, Ethan find that there is an inexplicable connection between them, and he wants to figure out what it is.

I really enjoyed this book. At times, I found it a little exhaustive–perhaps some parts could have been shortened, but other than that it was a good read. Lately I have been drawn to fantasy novels, and this one definitely did the trick. A love story, a curse, monsters, and witches (or, “Casters”)? What more could you want! Not exactly Pulitzer material, but definitely a good summer read. I found it to be pretty imaginative, although not entirely unique. I really appreciated that although it is a young adult novel, it lends itself well to older readers. I recommend it to those who have previously read and enjoyed young adult fiction and fantasy.