Before I even started my blog, I knew I wanted to set a few challenges for myself in 2016. There were a bunch of series I wanted to start and a bunch to finish. I also wanted to actually take a second look at books that I had previously labeled “Nope” for some reason or another. Usually due to others reviews I decided not to read certain books, and I decided that simply wasn’t fair and I wanted to give the books a try, because maybe I would find a book that I actually really enjoyed. You can check out the original post here.
My first book in this “Nope Challenge” was Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
Caster Chronicles #1
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end?
In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .
There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.
There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it’s been promised. And no one can stop it.
In the end, there is a grave.
Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.
Obviously since this was on my “Nope” shelf, reviews had warned me against it. But I really just had to see it for myself. So where should I start?
The writing is really bad. Honestly, I recognized this on the second page. I can sometimes look past bad writing if I’m invested in the plot. Hell, I’m not winning any awards for my writing. But, it was really, really bad in this. And, on top of bad writing, the pacing of the plot is too slow, yet oddly jumbled and confusing at many points. I mean, I enjoyed the overall plot. I thought the world Garcia and Stohl created was interesting and deep, if only a bit confusing, but this book did not have to be 500 pages. There are some books that do. There are some books that NEED to be 800 pages long and every single word is important. This is not one of them. Again, take 200 pages off, speed up the plot and it probably would have gotten a better rating, bad writing and all.
I liked the setting. I haven’t read too many “Southern Gothics” and this book really made me interested in them, mainly because it didn’t do that great of a job creating the South for me. I mean, I know the South can still be pretty backwards (well America can just be pretty backwards sometimes, so it’s wrong to just point to the South), but I have a real hard time believing that this book is supposed to take place in the present day with how they treat Lena. Totally not believable. But I am totally interested in reading more Southern Gothic stories.
I did like that it was a male POV, except for the fact that it was so hard to remember that Ethan was a dude. He didn’t sound like any 16 year old boy I ever met. I’m not trying to say that he wasn’t manly enough, I just think that the authors don’t know how to write from the male perspective. I wasn’t a huge fan of Ethan, but he wasn’t half as bad as Lena.
Lena, hmm I don’t even know what I can really say about her except I hated her. Like if there is nothing you can do about possibly going dark, then get the fuck over it. She was so god damn melodramatic I wanted to rip my hair out. Honestly, Ridley was the best character and it made me realize that I am sick of reading about the “good” side. The dark side might be a nice place to set a story.
Both Ethan and Lena are extremely stupid. I mean they have this whole conversation over what the clue “Claim Yourself” means. That’s when I lost it. I would have thrown the book across the room if I hadn’t been reading on the computer or if I hadn’t been at work. Their romance was so disgustingly gag-worthy. It’s insta-love of epic proportions, even if they don’t admit it right away. The way Ethan thinks about Lena makes me want to throw up. Not even my high school boyfriend was that cheesy.
The ending was entirely too convenient and it made me pretty angry.
This would have been a great book. If not for the characters. Or the pacing. Or the writing. Obviously I finished it. I read 567 pages, so it gets 2 stars because I just need to prove to myself that I didn’t waste my time.
Why I didn’t want to read it: Reviews
Why I changed my mind: Popularity
Do I regret reading it?: Not exactly
Will I continue the series?: Probably not