A Curse, A Girl, & A Grave

Posted 7 May, 2010 by Danny in / 22 Comments

The following post went up on my blog (super secret twilight blog) on Thursday, January 7, 2010. In honor of the Caster’s Chronicles International Book Tour, we Bookworms have decided to post this review of Beautiful Creatures here. Tour dates and locations are:

May 2010

May 6-8th – France
May 7th @ 6:30 pm -The Virgin Megastore Champs- Elysees, Paris (details here)
May 10th & 11th – Madrid, Spain
May 13th – Barcelona, Spain

On Wednesday, May 18th at 4:00 pm the authors will be at El Cajon Library in California doing a online chat! Click here for information on joining the chat plus all tour date information.

(side note: Danny is in tears and wishes Munich were on the list… maybe next time? *hint hint*)
After all that goodness, let’s review this book shall we?
*fist pumps*

I adore receiving book recommendations. In fact, a recommendation is what led me to Twilight. A simple email that stated: You’ve got to read Twilight. And thus, so simply, my obsession addiction the loss of my mind journey began. Just a little over a week ago I received a message from a good bloggy friend of mine fragilelittlehuman who informed me I needed to add a book to my reading list:

Immediately, I Google that er… stuff *winks* and found the book on Barnes & Noble.com. A few things struck me about the cover:
1. It’s all Gothic-emo.
2. It’s black with er… foresty stuff on it.
3. It’s two little known authors Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl.
4. It’s published by Little Brown.
5. It’s about star crossed lovers.
6. It was a little familiar….*winks*

I decided I had to read Beautiful Creatures within mere seconds. It just stirred something within me. I also decided, on the fly, not to read what the book was about. See, I had gone into the Twilight series completely blind. I didn’t know anything about it and I loved the surprise of it all. Vampires and werewolves just poppin’ out at me. I did, however, read the following little blerp about Beautiful Creatures:

There were no surprises
in Gatlin County.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have
been more wrong.

There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end,
there was a grave.
Twas all I needed to know. Grabbing the rest of the gift cards I had accumulated over Christmas (apparently it is a well known fact within my family that I have a thang for books), I rushed over to B&N Monday night and got my copy. Monday night, I read about 125ish pages. Tuesday night, I followed that up with 340ish pages. And last night, I completed the final 100ish pages. To say I was enthralled with the book is to sell my experience short. I truly was enraptured, captivated, ensnared, and dazzled by it. Not reading during the day killed me, yet reading around my kids drove me nuts, they kept distracting me from the story! *stomps foot like a two year old*

Why did I love it so and think you should read it too? Thank you for asking. Here we go (spoiler free of course):

The Setting:

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.
– Robert Frost

The gorgeous, lively setting of the book is what draws you in at first. A Gothic, southern delight, Beautiful Creatures is set in hauntingly beautiful Gatlin, North Carolina. Now I might be a Yank, but I married into a Southern Baptist family. And let me just tell you, references to southern-isms had me giggling and feeling all warm and cozy. From the declaration that only a lady makes her own pie crust and biscuits (which this Yankee girl learned how to do right quick) to the lovely richness of the south, Garcia and Stohl create an intriguing and lush setting in which the reader feels pulled into.

The People That You Meet:

…when you’re walkin’ down the street.
They’re the people that you meet each day.
-Lyrics from Sesame Street

The richness of Beautiful Creatures can be found in its characters. From the two main characters, Ethan (whose prospective the story is told from) and Lena to a cast of spectacular and diverse secondary characters the tale is brimming with personalities. The limited first person perspective does not hinder the reader from connecting with the secondary characters. Each person in the novel is accessible to the reader. By the end of the story I felt a strong connects with not only the two main characters but their support cast as well. (I’m being very vague here because I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but let’s just say I cried, I raged, and I fell in love. The end.)


Quotes. Quotes. & More Quotes:

What can I do, my dear, to catch your ear
I love you madly, madly Madam Librarian…Marian
– lyrics from The Music Man

I love me some quotes. And Beautiful Creatures has a P.L.E.T.H.O.R.A. of them, as in there are a lot of them and that’s 8 across for the record *winks*. Some of my all time favorite stories where quoted in this novel from the heavy presence of To Kill A Mockingbird (one of my all time favorite novels) to Antigone the eclectic mix was aw-inspiring. Not to mention the shout-outs to a few of my favorite poets including e.e.cummings and Robert Frost and quotes from great thinkers like Martin Luther King Jr. The English major within me was swooning left and right.

True Love:

Where shall we be,
(She whispers) where shall we be,
When death strikes home, O where then shall we be
Who were you and I?

Not there but here;
(He whispers) only here,
As we are, here, together, now and here,
Always you and I.
– excerpt from Counting the Beats by Robert Graves

The love story of Beautiful Creatures is not contrite, but real. And that’s the best word I can think of to describe it. At no time did I feel the story of Ethan and Lena was forced, fake, or author driven. I got those warm fuzzy feelings all throughout my stomach and will admit to reread a few key moment a few times in a row with tears running down my face.

Tone & Pace:

Cause I think I like the way
that we move
– lyrics from That It Moves by Greg Laswell

Beautiful Creatures is well written and smart. It’s a fantastic balance of charm, angst, love, wit, and tenderness. The authors’ voices are strong, yet allow for the story to flow from them. I also enjoyed the pace of this novel, which is admittedly fast. At times a little too fast paced when learning about important plot details, but nothing to hard to figure out. I liked that the story never truly seemed to drag and I never had a moment of frustration when I was tempted to flip the page and skim ahead. I was hooked from start to finish, was haunting by the story long after I finished it, and was left wanting to know more. Now what better compliment can you give a book? As e.e. cummings said:

Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.

Beautiful Creatures will give you the answers you crave whilst leaving you with more questions that need to be answered.

Beautiful Creatures vs Twilight:

I’ll say it once, there is no comparison, outside of the fact, that they are two great, distinctly unique stories in their own rights . Just like you cannot compare The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to Lord of the Rings, Jane Austen to John Steinbeck, or Twilight to Harry Potter, I beg of you not to compare Ethan to Edward, Lena to Bella, or be looking for Twilight again while reading Beautiful Creatures. While I jested about their being similarities the stories themselves are vastly different.

Final Verdict:

I want to tell everyone about this book and I am forever grateful to my friend fragile for sharing with me this recommendation (*hugs fragile hard*). I truly think its a great book for all age group. This bewitched bookworm is giving this tale a 5 star rating:

Sooooo pretty.
I love a nice stack of books.
How about you?

And don’t forget to share what you think of the Caster Chronicles!
Is it October yet?
Can Beautiful Darkness be out now?!
Happy reading, y’all!
Yours truly,

Obsessive Reader by Night – Scientist at Day!
You can also find me on goodreads. I’d love to get to know you so, don’t be shy and say Hello!

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22 Responses to “A Curse, A Girl, & A Grave”

  1. Mrs. Vanquish

    I love your reviews, they are always so wonderful and special:)) How we are all in love with Beautiful Creatures *sigh* I heard a bird tweeting that there is soon a Beautiful Darkness ARC contest *gasp* Need.To.Read.Beautiful.Darkness.!! Ok, now to the labels: You are crazy and I so love your crazy Labels!! (soon the Bookworms have the most and craziest labels ever!) Danny is a sad panda *giggles* loool that is awesome!!Pushy is kick ass : This is soooo fucking true! *giggles and hugs you*

  2. Mrs. Vanquish

    I love your reviews, they are always so wonderful and special:)) How we are all in love with Beautiful Creatures *sigh*

    I heard a bird tweeting that there is soon a Beautiful Darkness ARC contest *gasp* Need.To.Read.Beautiful.Darkness.!!

    Ok, now to the labels: You are crazy and I so love your crazy Labels!!
    (soon the Bookworms have the most and craziest labels ever!)

    Danny is a sad panda *giggles* loool that is awesome!!
    Pushy is kick ass : This is soooo fucking true!

    *giggles and hugs you*

  3. cutie

    @ Danny – Awww… *hugs* I'z a sad panda too. They'll never come to my neck of the woods I guarantee it. And labels are for awesome. The end. I am a dork, I don't know what ARC stands for BUT what ever it is, if it gets us closer to BD DO IT!!!! NOW!!! Bwahahahhaha@ Susie – DUDE I KNOW, right? I have it written down in my calendar and already pre-ordered. I'm going to have to get all my Halloween madness done early so it doesn't distract me from Beautiful Darkness!

  4. cutie

    @ Danny – Awww… *hugs* I'z a sad panda too. They'll never come to my neck of the woods I guarantee it. And labels are for awesome. The end. I am a dork, I don't know what ARC stands for BUT what ever it is, if it gets us closer to BD DO IT!!!! NOW!!! Bwahahahhaha

    @ Susie – DUDE I KNOW, right? I have it written down in my calendar and already pre-ordered. I'm going to have to get all my Halloween madness done early so it doesn't distract me from Beautiful Darkness!

  5. Trixie and Tess

    Adding it to my list to buy!!! I love your review…you gave me just enough to WANT to read it without giving anything away!Tess♥

  6. Trixie and Tess

    Adding it to my list to buy!!! I love your review…you gave me just enough to WANT to read it without giving anything away!

    Tess♥

  7. cutie

    @ Alee – YAY!! That's awesome!!! =) And I'm so glad you liked my review. You have an amazing weekend as well. @ Trixie and Tess – Oh please come back and let me know what you think! I'm so glad you enjoyed the review. =)

  8. cutie

    @ Alee – YAY!! That's awesome!!! =) And I'm so glad you liked my review. You have an amazing weekend as well.

    @ Trixie and Tess – Oh please come back and let me know what you think! I'm so glad you enjoyed the review. =)

  9. One Pushy Fox

    You are so adorable!!!!! And, this book is SO AMAZING!!! Definitely a 5! Great review (again!). 🙂

  10. One Pushy Fox

    You are so adorable!!!!! And, this book is SO AMAZING!!! Definitely a 5! Great review (again!). 🙂

  11. Annie Cristina

    What a great review! I've been sitting on the fence about this book for far too long. It's about time somebody knocked me off it. 🙂

  12. Annie Cristina

    What a great review! I've been sitting on the fence about this book for far too long. It's about time somebody knocked me off it. 🙂

  13. cutie

    @ Pushy – Thank you!!! *hugs*@ Annie – Oh bunny, you must read it and let me know if you love it too. I think you will, but then again you should love The Host…. hehehehe@ Julie P – Thank you so much!!! I'm so glad you liked it. I can't wait to hear what you think of the book. =)@ Call of Duty Widow – Is ARC an advance release copy? Still unsure of what that means, but it sounds like pure wonderment either way.

  14. cutie

    @ Pushy – Thank you!!! *hugs*

    @ Annie – Oh bunny, you must read it and let me know if you love it too. I think you will, but then again you should love The Host…. hehehehe

    @ Julie P – Thank you so much!!! I'm so glad you liked it. I can't wait to hear what you think of the book. =)

    @ Call of Duty Widow – Is ARC an advance release copy? Still unsure of what that means, but it sounds like pure wonderment either way.

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