Review: "Beautiful Creatures" (Beautiful Creatures #1) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

ATTENTION: This review might contain SPOILERS.

Saga: #1 of the ‘Caster Chronicles” (in total there are 4 parts)

Movie: Yes, released in February 2013.

Gatlin, a small town in the South of the USA. A boy, named Ethan Wate, has weird dreames. Every night he sees a girl slipping through his fingers. But he is never able to see the end of the dream adn wakes up sweaty and out of breath.

Everything in Gatlin is how it always was. And Ethan doesn’t like that. He lives with Amma, an old woman who can See things, though Ethan ofcourse doesn’t believe that in the beginning. While reading the book, you find out Amma actually is a Seer, and Ethan will believe her.

Back to the story. Ethan’s mom died a year ago and his dad locked himself up in his study ever since. He never comes out en barely talks. People in town always feel sorry for Ethan, because his mom died and his father became a lunatic. This is something Ethan really hates. This is worked out pretty funny in the book 🙂

But Ethan and his family aren’t the biggest talk in town anymore. The big gossip is about the niece of Old Man Ravenwood, who is compared with Boo Radley (“To Kill A Mockingbird”). He lives in a ‘hauted’ house and never comes out. But today his niece, Lena Duchannes, comes in town to live with him.

And this is where I think the author made the habitants of Gatlin overreact. The minute Lena steps into school, everybody hates her. Weird things happen and everybody turns against Lena. Except for Ethan. This is, ofcourse, totally obvious. He likes her the minute she walkes in and they get to know eachother. I think this part of the book takes a long time, but that’s good. They aren’t just friends in a blink of an eye. It takes a while.

Ethan and Lena fall in love and Lena tells Ethan about her secret: she is, in fact, a very strong Caster. And in a view days, her life will change radically.

And then the story starts to become a rollercoaster. The moment Lena turns 16, she will be Claimed to Dark or Light. Lena is afraid she’ll turn Dark like her niece Ridley. Ethan wants Lena to turn Light. The closer they get to the Claiming, the more complecated their story becomes. From old stories they learn that it’s impossible for a Mortal (Ethan) and a Caster (Lena) to be together.

This part of the story is really exciting to read. Lena reveals more and more of the Caster world to Ethan which is so much cooler than our Mortal world. Ethan is madly in love with Lena and from the things he thinks and says, it’s clear he will never give up on her.

Lena finds out her mom is not dead. As a Caster, you’re not raised by your parents, but by any other close family member, so she was told her parents were dad. Her uncle, Old Man Ravenwood, actually called Macon, had always lied to her. But the truth is much more complicated, since her mom is the Darkest Caster alive. Sarafine, Lena’s mom, wants Lena to turn Dark. This a really intresting turn. I never saw this coming. Just like the end.


Hold your breath because the end of the story is one big explosion of happenings. Sarafine shows up, Ridley (a Sirene, she can persuade people to do anything) almost kills Ethan’s dad, Ethan almost get killed, Macon gets killed (holy shit, cried my eyes out) and in the end Lena stops the ‘Sixteenth Moon’. She’s not claimed.

End of story. BAM.

Take a deep breath, I told myself. Remember there are three more books, this is not the end of the story.

So, what did I think about the book? First of all: I loved it! It’s written in a way you will love Ethan and his love for Lena. Ethan is one of those persons who stays positive until the end. Second: the story is pretty original. I’ve never read a story about a girl turning Dark or Light on her sixteenth birthday. And third, what I found really refreshing, you see everything happen through the eyes of Ethan. Most of the YA stories are about girls. This one is about a boy.

There’s only one thing I didn’t like: Sometimes, things take so long. Ethan going to his old Aunts, Ethan doing this, Ethan doing that. I was looking forward to Lena so much, I couldn’t stand is if Ethan wasn’t busy with her (I think I was a bit obsessed).

I want to finish my review with a few questions:

– Will Lena be Claimed?
– What is this ‘Sixteenth Moon’-song about?
– Is Ridley really ‘bad’?

I think this book is in the first place, for people who love the read a book as some kind of a detective: while reading you find out things and if you put the pieces together, you’ll understand things faster than Ethan does. Also, this book contains a lot of flashbacks, which makes it all a little bit more historical. This book is not TOO romantic and doesn’t contain TOO much violence or gory details.

If you have any questions or comments, be my guest! (Since I’m Dutch, you can also react in Dutch!)

Nanouk Meijer

Nanouk is the founder and owner of the website. She runs the website, takes care of the lay-out, give-aways, social media, book reviews and events. She is 25 years old and graduated from 'Comparative Literature' at Utrecht University. She is Digital Product Manager at HarperCollins Holland and staff reviewer at YA Books Central. She breaths books.

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