Friday, March 22, 2013

The Caster Chronicles #1: Beautiful Creatures

Ethan Wate is haunted by dreams of a girl he’s never met. When Lena Duchannes moves into his small southern town of Gatlin County, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her. And he is determined to uncover the strange connection between them, even if it means uncovering the one secret that could change everything.

Author(s): Kami Garcia (Website, Twitter) & Margaret Stohl (Website, Twitter)
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Buy online: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Book borrowed from the national library
(Actual) Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ethan has lived in Gatlin all his life when Lena Duchannes, a new girl moved in town - in a small town like Gatlin, a place only visited by people on occasional holidays much less stay to live in. That's something of big deal for people in Gatlin. Gatlin County is nothing like a city, full of colors and sophisticated people but creepy, gloomy, crept by discomfort-sorts and fear. Ethan has been haunted by dreams of a girl he never even met and when he saw Lena, he is drawn to her in an instance though he has no clue why. He is about to find out. 'Beautiful Creatures' is set in the South where Victorian old streets still exist and built over a hundred years in a small town of Gatlin County. The book is mainly in Ethan Wate's perspective which makes him the protagonist in first-person narration. There's also some parts that is in third-person narration.

'Beautiful Creatures' is also spell-binding, magical, and spine-tingling as Ethan let us in his train of thoughts about his discovered knowledge of his small town he was not expecting what it really is to be like.

I have my favorite characters - Ethan and Macon.

Ethan is funny, charming especially reading his thoughts in the first few pages and I enjoyed reading through his points of views. Classic guy, really. He also has some common things that I can relate to what he says like he hasn't been sitting in the front-row all his school years. Me too. Sitting in the back-row feels more like myself and not really wanting teachers' too much attention on me. At least not all the time. Ethan is pretty stubborn but really determine. He wants things his way. If he doesn't get what he wants, he will push himself until he gets it not in a bad way but in good way. I feel sorry for Ethan too. He's got only his Amma to take care of him even though he's still got his dad. He doesn't give up on his dad though he feels like his dad already did it on him. It shows that he'll always be there for his dad no matter how his dad looks at him or whatever and that's unconditional love. I'm also glad that he is an ambitious character. He knows what he wants for in his future. He exactly knows what he wanted to accomplish in life, for example: to be a traveler.

Macon is another one that showed his love towards his niece also has got a sense of humor. Every thing that he does is for Lena and her own safety. He is a protective uncle who will stand with Lena all the way, not wanting danger to come near her.

The story has got me always leaving confused particularly at the middle, it got hazy and unorganized. I kept guessing and guessing, I thought the author would somehow answer my questions if I just continue reading. It was a little draggy too. 

"Teenagers—everything is so apocalyptic." This quote rang true because most teens do not look at the brighter side and always think that every thing would come to end. When actually, you can still turn things around if you do not give up. Do things you have to do.

"What is the opposite of two? A lonely me, a lonely you." I am still not sure whether this is a break up quote. To me, it means beyond breaking up though. It means that both has many things that can be listed in as 'opposite' between two people but there has to be a simpler, one has nothing that can be further be broken down in - both are lonely. Doesn't necessarily a break up quote but rather there's a similarity, probably a chance for the two to be one if they emerge.

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves, that we are underlings." True that! This quote speaks to me the most and for Ethan too. It is not up to the stars whether we want things to happen, it is in us that we have the power to change things the way we want them to be. It is all up to us.

The cliffhanger was frustrating, I never thought it would be like that. It could be better if it has something significant that will truly lead to another good sequel. I still wish to continue reading the series. I believe that as it goes, I think there's more to this book series and I'm not just going to lose interest just because of a not so good ending with a cliffhanger.

I care about the main character, Ethan and Lena. I saw the theme when Lena was bullied and simply being judge by her appearance and her outfits. As of today, most teens face cyber bully or judge by their appearance and left to eat by themselves because nobody wants to be their friends - that's a conflict I see in the book. Many judge their friends because of appearance. Teens should learn that it's not in the looks that you get to have friends. It's in attitude and in your character not appearance.

There's also a lesson learnt in the book that reminds me of this quote:

"Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it."

Ethan and Lena saw that history is repeating itself therefore, they are the only one who could prevent the tragedy from happening again. Same for us, in reality, we should not make the same mistakes in order for us to learn and realize that our wrong doings. Change them to the right thing, one where we can all approve on.

Being different stands out and with a little bit of mystery to go along with, Lena has that that Ethan was drawn to her more than the people in Gatlin, a town with ignorance. His ordinary and simple life has turned around into much more interesting and alive that's got his eyes fully on different insights that's lurking his small ignorance county. There's a quote that sound the bells:

"Be different. Everyone is already taken."

So be different. Each of us are unique!

Last but not the least, Ethan and Lena taught me a good lesson about relationship problem especially where the other can't cope with the relationship any longer and want to call it done. If you're going to break up with your partner, make sure to ask them that the decision they want is final. If she/he still has a feeling for you and vice versa, then don't do it. Example (SPOILERS)  in the book between Ethan and Lena:

Lena: "Please don't make this harder. It's not what I want, either." 
Ethan: "Then don't do it.
Lena: "I just think things will be easier this way. It doesn't change the way I feel about you."

See. That's what I mean by being certain to what you really want to do next in your relationship. Talk it out first. You never know your partner still have feelings for you, does not want to break up just yet. Your partner might just need more support and encouragement whom they can say all his/her problems to.

It's fascinating the author could combine many genres in one. Historical, and a few beautiful symbols and signs were also used to make it magical, fantasy.  To readers, who loves fantasy, romance, historical. This book is definitely dedicated to you!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Review Updates

Until You're Mine by Cindi Madsen