Beautiful Creatures
Beautiful Creatures

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Series: Beautiful Creatures Vol. 1   

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Annotation: In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.
Catalog Number: #33234
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2010
Pages: 563 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-07703-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-48681-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-07703-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-48681-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2008051306
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Ethan has lived in Gatlin, South Carolina, his whole life, as have generations of his family. If there's one thing he knows, nothing changes. Enter Lena Duchannes, and suddenly nothing is the same. Like most southern gothics, this story hides a secret, one that links Ethan's and Lena's families. Otherworldly elements abound: Lena, from a family of spell casters, is waiting for her sixteenth birthday to see if she'll be claimed by the Light or the Dark. Meanwhile, Lena and Ethan, who can read each other's thoughts, are traveling back in time to the Civil War, when two star-crossed lovers meet their fates. Throw in secret mystical libraries, a literal witch hunt, dead parents, and the snarky girls and sports teams of high school, and there's a lot going on here. Maybe too much. The 600-plus pages could have been cut to make a tighter, better story. Despite the bulk, there's plenty teens will like: romance, magic, hauntings, and the promise of more to come.
Horn Book
Nothing ever happens in Ethan's small town of Gatlin, South Carolina, until he meets Lena. Lena, along with her eccentric family, is a Caster (like a witch), and Ethan falls in love with her despite the danger she represents (there's a curse involved). Patient readers are rewarded with a multifaceted Southern gothic saga that culminates in a dramatic good-versus-evil showdown.
Kirkus Reviews
This smart, textured and romantic Southern Gothic takes place in Gatlin, S.C., where cheerleaders and the basketball team run the high school and the Daughters of the American Revolution and Civil War re-enactors run the town. Ethan Lawson Wate, raised by his authoritative and spiritually inclined housekeeper Amma in the months since his mother's death, can't wait to leave Gatlin's predictable monotony. Then Stonewall Jackson High's first new student in years, headstrong, vulnerable and expressive Lena Duchannes, shows up driving her reclusive uncle's hearse, and Ethan recognizes her from his dreams. Compelled to explore his connection to the new girl, Ethan learns that Lena's family are magic Casters and that Lena's supernatural fate will be chosen for her when she turns 16. Community outrage, emotional tension and Lena and Ethan's doomed search for a way around her uncertain destiny build to a boil in the expansive but tightly plotted march toward Lena's 16th birthday. Ethan's wry narrative voice will resonate with readers of John Green as well as the hordes of supernatural-romance fans looking for the next book to sink their teeth into. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)
Publishers Weekly
Garcia and Stohl's debut is a tale of star-crossed teenage lovers entwined with history, magic, and family. Narrator Ethan, a high school senior being raised by his distant father and their tarot-reading housekeeper, longs to escape the history and sameness that afflicts his hometown of Gatlin, S.C. He gets his wish when he meets beautiful Lena, who arrives in town to live with her reclusive Uncle Macon (making her an outcast as well). Ethan and Lena connect quickly and intensely: he sees her in his dreams, they can converse telepathically, and the discovery of a buried locket gives them Civil Warera visions. Ethan realizes that there is a magical dimension to stultifying Gatlinand that he, Lena, her family, and even his mother's death are all wrapped up in it. As Lena's 16th birthday approaches, bringing life-changing consequences, more questions are raised than answered, and the protracted climax is a long time coming. But readers who like angst-filled teenage romance will be swept up by the haunting and detailed atmosphere, the conventions and strictures of Southern life, and a compelling and dimensional mythology. Ages 12up. """"(Dec.)"""" .
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up Ethan Wate, a high school sophomore, plans to escape his small Southern town as soon as he can. Life has been difficult since his mother died; his father, a writer, has withdrawn into his study. Then Lena Duchannes arrives, and this strange new girl is the very one who has been occupying his dreams. She and her kin are Casters, beings who have supernatural powers. Getting to know her exposes Ethan to time travel, mortal danger, and love. The teens can hardly bear to be apart, but Lena's 16th birthday, when she will be Claimed for dark or light, is only 6 months away. To save her, they fight supernatural powers and the prejudice of closed-minded people. Yet, good and evil are not clearly delineated, nor are they necessarily at odds. In the Gothic tradition of Anne Rice, the authors evoke a dark, supernatural world in a seemingly simple town obsessed with Civil War reenactments and deeply loyal to its Confederate past. The intensity of Ethan and Lena's need to be together is palpable, the detailed descriptions create a vivid, authentic world, and the allure of this story is the power of love. The satisfying conclusion is sure to lead directly into a sequel. Give this to fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight (Little, Brown, 2005) or HBO's "True Blood" series and they will devour all 600-plus pages of this teen Gothic romance. Amy J. Chow, The Brearley School, New York City
Word Count: 147,695
Reading Level: 4.5
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.5 / points: 21.0 / quiz: 134708 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.2 / points:35.0 / quiz:Q48490
Guided Reading Level: Z
Fountas & Pinnell: Z

The first book in a lush gothic fantasy series for younger readers of Charlaine Harris and fans of Cassandra Clare.


Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of <st1:city u1:st="on"><st1:place u1:st="on">Gatlin</st1:place></st1:city> 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 <st1:place u1:st="on">Lena</st1:place> 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.


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