Beautiful Creatures entertaining but relies on stereotypes

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl; published by Little, Brown & Co., New York, 2009; 563 pages.

Although Ethan has been biding his time before escaping from his stuck-in-Civil-War-reenactments South Carolina town, he finds escape in his friendship with the new girl in town.  Lena lives in the suspiciously haunted house on the outskirts of town with her reclusive Uncle Macon.  Ethan and Lena have a connection, a supernatural extrasensory bond.  They dream about each other, even waking wet or muddy or in some way physically affected by the environment of the dream.  They hear each other’s thoughts.  Obviously, they are not typical kids next door.  Nothing in this town is like it seems.  Together, Ethan and Lena have to work to save her from her family’s curse.

Beautiful Creatures is full of stereotypical Southerners obsessed with the Civil War.  It is also full of stereotypes of witches and other paranormal creatures.  And yet, I was entertained.  I was swept to the end of the book.  When it was done, I felt kind of cheated as several strings of story line were left dangling, never fully fleshed out and never resolved.  Even so, I thought it was better written than other paranormal romances intended for teens and has potential in the sequels.

This is the first book in a new Not Just for Teens adult book discussion group I created with two coworkers.  I’m curious to hear what patrons have to say about this in comparison with, say, Twilight.

5P     3Q     Grade Level: 9+

Cover Art: The black, silver and purple cover is blatantly witchy.  Paranormal romance fans will snatch this up.

From Reading List: The Way It Could Be (Science Fiction or Fantasy)

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