Finally! I have finally been able to access the Internet and boy does it feel good to be back! :D
As you can see, the book of the month is Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
In case you are wondering what happened to me over these past few days, our fragile Internet has taken a turn for the worst. Apparently, our little wireless box was hit by lightening! No, I am not kidding, struck by lightening and fried to a crisp! Naturally, we were all very upset...me most of all. Internet is my lifeline, the blood in my veins so to speak--without it I'm left to crawl around the floor aimlessly while moaning out unearthly noises. So basically it's like caffeine.
Any who, since I had no Internet, I wasn't able to post the book review or check up on any emails or comments! Bummer. I've got an announcement to make as well, before we get into the thick of the review.
I am proud to say that I am now a participate in the NaNoWriMo Camp! It's a lot like National Writer's Month, only this time you can set your word count! I'm working on another draft of Book Two and have set the target word count at 40,000--hopefully an achievable goal. I will be posting a few updates now and then, between that and querying of course!
Now on with the review!
Ethan Wate is the son of a reclusive author and a brilliant historian who lives in the very humdrum town of Gatlin, Georgia. Plagued by dreams of a beautiful girl falling into a dark well, Ethan's world begins to rapidly change.
Life in Gatlin seems to have come to a screeching halt and its citizens run on a continuous loop. Nothing new or exciting ever happens in Gatlin, that is, until Lena Duchannes moves into her uncle's estate.
Rumored to be witches, the Ravenwood family has remained a terrible mystery to the people of Gatlin. When Lena first arrives at school, she is shunned and mocked for her strange dress and unusual family background. Rumors and vicious lies spread like wildfire around her, and only one person seems to be trying to put out the flames.
Recognizing her as the girl from his dreams, Ethan feels an immediate connection to her, which in the coming weeks becomes much stronger. However, Lena hides a dark secret.
Lena, like all the other women in her family, is a witch--or a Caster as they like to be called, and upon her sixteenth birthday her powers will be claimed for either the light or the dark. Believing that she will be claimed for the dark, Lena pushes Ethan away in the hopes of protecting him from the dark magic that surrounds her family, but soon discovers that their connection goes deeper than either of them could have ever imagined.
There are many characters in the Beautiful Creatures Series, but I will only list a few of the main ones for the sake of time.
Ethan is the narrator for the Beautiful Creatures novels. Born to a frustrated writer and a brilliant historian, Ethan has been raised in the poe-dunky town of Gatlin Georgia his entire life. After loosing his mother when he was a child, Ethan was raised by his family's house keeper Amma, as his father became a recluse.
Adventurous, ambitious, curious, kind, and a bit rebellious, Ethan's sole mission is to leave Gatlin forever as soon as he graduates High School, that is, until he meets Lena.
I really liked Ethan's character as he is a rare find in YA literature. Basically, he's nice. That's it, he's nice, kind, stable, protective and, most assuredly, not dangerous. Ethan is a calm in the storm and steadfastly loyal to those he cares for.
Also, since Lena is the one with all of the power in this story, I liked how the authors managed to keep Ethan tough throughout the story. He doesn't always need to be protected by Lena, nor does she always need to be protected by him. There is an uncommon balance between the two of them that kept the story on the right track.
Lena Duchannes is a girl with a secret; one which could destroy everyone she holds dear.
Born a Caster, Lena's powers will be claimed for either the light or the dark once she turns sixteen. Brave, reclusive yet caring, Lena shows great control and strength as she moves through her story.
I also found Lena a very enjoyable character, mainly because unlike the many other female characters in today's novels, she has a brain. She isn't easily swayed and is very protective over those she loves. Lena holds the balance between damsel in distress and mighty huntress perfectly.
Dark, mysterious and dangerously charming, Macon is Lena's uncle who watches over her in the absence of her father and dangerous mother. Protective to a fault, Macon's sole purpose is to guide his niece through the turbulent road ahead of her. Being a dark creature himself, Macon understands the extreme danger and loss of giving into evil and tries to prevent Lena from making the same mistake. A firm believer that Lena can choose her own fate, Macon bravely charms his way through the story as both a Night Errant and a wounded soul.
Serving as the antagonist of the story line, as well as being Lena's long lost mother, Sarafine is a power hungry monster who will destroy all she loves to get what she wants. Urging her fledgling daughter to join her in the dark, Sarafine plans for her daughter to purge the earth of humans so that Casters might rule.
I really liked this book, and that's putting it lightly. I found both the story and the setting captivating on a very personal level. Since I hail from Georgia, the little 'southern' touches that were added made it very special to me. However, upon watching the movie, I'm realized that the art of subtlety had been lost somewhere from page to film.
It's always a downer for me when I watch a 'southern' movie where all of the people live in huge mansions and all of the women dress in 1950's style and speak with a dramatic air worthy of Scarlet O'Hara. I have never heard a woman speak that way in my everyday life--or seen anyone dressing 'vintage'. Life in the everyday southern world is very different from its portrayal in Hollywood.
Anyway, I thought the book was really well written, again unlike many of the other YA books I have read. Both writers weave a fascinating tale that grips the reader and takes them on a breath taking ride through the world of the Casters.
My personal favorite things in the story are back story that explained the darkness in Lena's family as well as Macon's past. Of course I found the whole thing to be quite enjoyable!
In short, Beautiful Creatures is an absolutely amazing work and I would highly recommend it!
Well, thanks so much for listening. I know this is a much shorter review than before, but I'm trying to hit the right consistency with these things. :)
I may be blogging quite a lot in the next few days, seeing how I'm locked inside due to all the rain!
|Yes, I used it. :)|