Teens’ Top Ten 2010: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl is one of the Teens’ Top Ten Nominations for 2010.
Ethan Wate can’t wait to get out of Gatlin, South Carolina.  As a high school sophomore, he only has a couple more years before he’s free of this small town where nothing ever happens (unless you count the yearly Civil War Re-enactment).  That is, until Lena Duchannes moves to town.  Lena is the girl of Ethan’s dreams, literally, and he forms a relationship with her that changes everything.  
Lena moves to live with her uncle, the town recluse, and is an instant outcast at school.  Ethan doesn’t care what his in-crowd friends think of Lena because he is drawn to her.  Lena and Ethan have a psychic connection that neither of them can fully understand.  It is because of this connection that Lena lets Ethan in on her family secrets.  Lena is from a family that has supernatural powers (called Casters) and a long history in Gatlin, a family with members who don’t always turn out to be good.  Ethan and Lena are in a race against time to unlock the secrets of her family’s past before her sixteenth birthday when Ethan could lose her to the Dark forever.
I first picked up this book it was because I thought it would appeal to fans of Twilight and I would be able recommend it to them.  After I started reading, I was really intrigued by the plot, which has elements of the supernatural, mystery, and gothic romance.  The small town setting of the novel was expertly written.  Gatlin could be any small southern town where tradition is honored and outsiders are suspect.  The story is original and the casters are a refreshing break from the vampires and werewolves that seem to dominate young adult fiction these days.  The only criticism I have for this novel is that there is a lot of energy spent on setting and plot and not enough on developing the characters.  This flaw will hopefully be remedied in the second novel, Beautiful Darkness, which is due out October 12, 2010 (You can place an online request for it now, however).
To read more about the Teens’ Top Ten, click here .  To request this book from Wake County Public Libraries, click here .  Voting begins August 23, 2010 and ends September 17, 2010.  To vote during these dates, click here.

Reviewed by Jane from Eva Perry Library

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