Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beautiful Creatures Book Review + Blog Tour Stops

Today's Persistence of Vision Blog Tour Stops are as follows:

1) Review at The Cuckoo's Nest
2) Spotlight and Giveaway at For the Love of Film and Novels
3) Guest Post at Reading Between the Wines

and if you missed it yesterday, check out the review on Page Girl's Page!

Beautiful Creatures Book Review
So, as many of you know, I'm someone who always likes to read the book before seeing the film. I picked up Beautiful Creatures the book about a week ago because I wanted to read it before I saw the film. To my surprise, it was...let's call it unconventional. First of all, the book is 563 pages long. No way my publishing company would have been cool with that! Not that I'm complaining. It was 563 pages of awesomeness, but I was kind of surprised at the length. Secondly, the narrator is a guy. Now, I keep hearing people talk about how most readers are women and therefore most readers (at least in YA) prefer a female narrator. Now, I don't necessarily share that sentiment, but I do sort of understand it. That said, some of the best YA books I've read in the past year have included male narrators. Just sayin'.

Moving on.

This book was great! Despite the length, it was a quick read because the writing flowed so well. Ethan Wate is a typical teenage boy who is bored with small town life and can't wait to get out of his home town and go off to see the world through college. He's smart, reads a lot (so I tend to like him) and has a typical teenage boy attitude about things. In short, he's hilarious. The one wrinkle in his life is that his mother passed away roughly a year before and since then his father has sunk into a deep depression. Luckily, he still has a housekeeper/guardian/butt kicker at home to both love and keep him in line. One of the things I loved about this story was his relationship to Amma. She's helped raise him and always been there, so he's unfailingly loyal to her. It was refreshing to read about.

Lena is a pretty good heroine as well. I think some people might find her less than a strong heroine. Nothing near as bad as a certain teenaged, vampire-loving heroine, but not the strongest female lead either. But, just as Bela never bothered me because--let's face it--she's a teenager, and having been an insecure teen myself, I have a hard time judging others for it, Lena didn't bother me. She was frightened by what was happening to her, just as any human being would be, and the way her emotions lashed out with breaking glass and tornadoes more than compensated for her vulnerability.

I especially loved the supporting characters in the story. They gave it so much spice! I've already mentioned Amma, but Marion the Librarian was an immediate favorite of mine (she likes awesome quotes too) and Uncle Macon was an enigma wrapped in an educated European gentleman. I wish we'd have been able to see more of him. 

And then there was Ethan's best friend, Link. He was hysterical! He always had something awesome to say, while still exercising best friend loyalties. I found myself smiling whenever he showed up because I knew the scene was about to get more colorful. Loved him!

So Ethan meets and is drawn to Lena, who is a Caster (pretty much a witch) but there's a whole complicated bit about whether her powers will be claimed for good or evil, who her family really is, and whether or not she has a choice in her own future. Add in tons of drama, an eccentric family, a gossipy small town, and plenty of teenaged angst, and you have a pretty great story.

If I had any complaints, it would be that the ending was so fast-paced, had so much action (if you can complain about that) that I wish that maybe at some point it could have slowed down and had just a little more explanation. But it was a minor thing. At no point did I feel confused. I just wanted some things clarified. Maybe I'm slow on the uptake. It left me wanting just enough to be excited to read book 2.

Anyway, overall this is a fantastic read! It's full of fun characters, intense plots, and pretty sweet good-vs.-evil show downs. Want to do me a favor? Go out and read this book! Then email so we can discuss! 'Cause, you know, it was awesome! :D Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

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