Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything....
©2009 Kami Garcia; (P)2009 Hachette
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
This book has all of the key components to a good YA novel. There's outcast girl & boy who find they're soul mates; an overly protective African-American caregiver; humorous secretive uncle and a paranormal twist. I didn't love this story and found some of the characters to be irritating stereotypes (the mean girls at school). Overall, it was a decent attempt, but could have been better. While I enjoyed the story, I won't listen to the next in the series.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
So I listened to this book a while ago and waited on writing the review because I really didn't know what to say about it. The long and short about it is that I find myself very much torn regarding whether I like this book or not. The narration was actually good, the story however it brought memories of Twilight... FYI: I am not a fan of sparkling vampires.
So the great part about this book was that the narration was pretty good, quite great actually. The deep southern drawl was quite perfect and each and every character in the book was given life due to the pitch perfect narration by this author. There is little fault I can find with the narration itself.
The story itself though... My concern is that even though the main character of the story has these amazing powers, she comes off as surprisingly weak to me. Whilst the leading male character is the exact opposite, powerless (magically speaking) but strong in an emotional sense. He almost seems like he is carrying her throughout the book which is amazing seeing that she is the one with the 'I can change weather' abilities. The love story aspect of books are generally overplayed if you ask me and the whole fated-yet-doomed lovers have never been high on my 'things to read' list. That being said the book has a number of interesting characters that you will find yourself notably fascinated by and I must applaud the writers for introducing them. The book has a lot of potential but I fear to appease the 'teen scene' and to kinda make a knock off version of Twilight it won't live up to it's potential. Average book though, with the potential to be really great.
former nuclear scientist
I wish Audible would categorize its books better. I should have known this is a young adult book by the description, but somehow I keep falling for the Fantasy label.
I like a lot of young adult supernatural fiction. There is some good stuff coming out nowadays. But this book is stuffed with the tired conceits of young adult fiction, and it isn't even really self-consistent. Basically, the authors are lazy. Paranoid conviction that all the adults know something they won't tell you? Check. Intense yet unexplained love connection between two good looking yet chaste teenagers whom no one else understands? Check. One dimensional mean girls at the high school? Check. Teachers who are really just dumb placeholders? Check. Parents who are dead or otherwise out of the picture? Check.
Come on. At no high school will freshman girls and boys be elected to be king and queen at the major dance. No one can be comfortable at a party outside where everyone is wearing super skimpy clothes (tee shirts, short dresses, etc) yet there is snow or a hurricane or a rainstorm or I forget there was always some crazy weather. And despite spending months and months trying to solve the MacGuffin - excuse me, the Incredibly Important Yet Seemingly Insurmountable And Probably Deadly Problem That Has A Known Deadline - the protagonists make unexplainably rash decisions hours before said deadline and the only explanation is "well, she is a teenager."
This book was set up as a question of fate: are we fated to become something laid out by our forebears, or do we have free will? It could have been interesting if well-handled, but I get the feeling that the writers knew they wanted a sequel and that if they distract the young adult readers with enough magic and doofy adults then maybe no one would complain that the story just isn't that smart.
mostly ya fiction... mostly...
This is a love story, a Southern gothic involving a young boy named Ethan (who is desperately looking for meaning and a way out of his mundane life in the rural town where his ancestors are rooted), and a girl named Lena (who has been different for her entire life, and has supernatural powers). I really did like the story, and I thought it captured many facets of the south really well. The authors tapped into the south's potential for a lovely gothic setting.
There were only two gripes I had with the book/audiobook, and they are minor. I will explain them.
I live in Georgia, and grew up in a rural southern town, and so there were some times where I felt that this book overemphasized the "same-old sameness" of small rural towns. Let's just say that there were many examples of things that people "never" do, like spend time in the town library or something, and examples of things that certain people always do. These notions were a bit cut and dry for me for several reasons, the main reason being that it's not very realistic (there are always exceptions to the rule, besides the protagonists); I found that a wee bit distracting. That is my only gripe about the story. The audiobook did the southern accents fairly well, but there were a few times that grated my nerves a bit, but there are variations of southern accents, so maybe I am just being picky (non-southern people may not even notice, I don't know). On the whole, though, definitely worth purchase or credit!
I listened to this one well past my commute and on the weekends becaue I wanted to see what happened. As others have said, it was a fresh perspective from the male point of view.
Lots of goof stuff ging on here, a little history, little soul mate idea, and a little magic rolled together with Southern "charm" (and sometimes not so charming.) The characterizations were well done and well rounded.
The narration was quite good as well. Yes, it got little cheesy at times, but it's young adult andI think at 16 we all felt that our first love was the end all be all of the universe, so it works.
Bottom line was it was really a good listen. Oh, and this one had some sound effects thrown in so it was a nice change of pace.
I recently watched some movie previews for Beautiful Creatures and figured I would give this book a go. First off this book is geared towards young adults and is a paranormal love story taking place in a southern small town with lots of Civil War era history thrown in. This book is a little different then some of your other young love stories, because it is told in the point of view of a 16 year old male. If you are a fan books like Twilight then this might be a book for you. This book follows the same sort of storyline (We want to be together, but we can't be together. And like all young love it is be all end all.)
Ok, at first I was really considering if I should buy it or not because of all the negative reviews I read, also it's 17 hours long. But since some of my favorite authors recommend this book I decided to give it a try. It turns out to be very good. I thought it was going to be slow, but actually it's fast paced and exciting from the beginning. If you like mystery, this is the best choice. Very additive and kept me from doing my homework. Just couldn't stop listening.
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
I couldn't stand the sound effects and music. It takes away from the book.
Silver Linings Playbook
He's mediocre, but the production was just bad.
I am easily amused!
I listened to this book and it was the most dramatic studio presentation I have listened to so far. It had sound effects and original music scores that made the listening a real joy.
I found the book original and the story compelling. There is visual imagery that will linger with me for weeks and characters that I quickly identified with and grew to love. I enjoyed the excerpts that bring the reader back to the civil war. I love anything with time travel and flashbacks. I didn't care for the way the authors under estimated the readers ability to interpret what was going on, even if it is a young adult book it doesn't need to be "dumbed down". Overall it was a great book and the love of libraries and classic literature rang through the whole book and struck a strong note with me.
I must say that the movie recently released didn't do the book justice and they missed so many opportunities to really capture parts of the story that would have been spectacular on film. I know movies are never as good as the book but they really missed the mark with this one.
I absolutely loved this book! I was leery about reading another teen supernatural book - I thought the Twilight books were awful (Vampires that glow in sunlight and play baseball? You've got to be kidding!) But I'm so glad I listened to Beautiful Creatures. The relationship between Lena and Ethan is developed as they get to know each other and reveal themselves to each other as opposed to the Twilight series where the attraction is all about how Bella smells. The authors really know how to portray the age old teenage question - how do I choose who I want to be? I highly recommend this book to teens and adults alike.
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