Book reviews

Review: Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures.png

Rating: 5/5 stars!

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Publish Date: January 8, 2013

Length (kindle edition): 590 pages

Book Synopsis: 

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin 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 Lena 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.

My Review:

I discovered this book by discovering the movie trailer! I was searching for a movie to watch, and stumbled upon Beautiful Creatures. The trailer was extremely intriguing and dramatic, though I have to say the main thing that caught my attention was the Florence and the Machine song playing throughout it! Like all good bookworms, I would never watch the movie first, so I added it to my extensive ‘To Read’ list, and didn’t watch the movie (yet).

When the time came for me to read this book, I was excited. On Goodreads, it has a lot of popularity, and I’d heard of it before, but never spoken to anyone who had read it. My excitement was suitable. I loved this book.

One of the things I liked most about Beautiful Creatures was the fact that it was written from the perspective of the “boyfriend” rather than the “girlfriend,” so to speak, because it gives the book an interesting dynamic that isn’t all that common. How many of your favourite YA romance novels are written in the girl’s perspective or both the girl’s and the boy’s?

Ethan (the narrator) is an extremely likeable character. He is neither popular nor unpopular, he has realistic views on life, and an interesting taste in literature. Lena (the “girlfriend”) is probably one of my favourite characters of all time. She is very different to characters she could fall into the same category with. She is the perfect balance of strong and insecure. Her words (spoken and unspoken!) are well thought-out, especially her writing. I just adored the communication between her and Ethan. Also! Robert Frost is one of her favourite poets, just as he is one of mine! Amma and Uncle Mason are also characters I love. A lot. The series is also set in the South, which is a nice change from suburbia, where a lot of books I’ve been reading lately are set.

I was slightly irritated by the stereotypical, ‘It’s too dangerous for you. I love you but it’s not safe for you so I’m breaking up with you.’ Moment, but it was over relatively quickly and I suppose that it was somewhat necessary for the development of the plot. Other than that, there are very few faults I can name for Beautiful Creatures.

 So, you should definitely read this book. I just started Beautiful Darkness, the next book in the series, and I’m hoping it’s equally as good as its predecessor!  

Favourite Quote (there are so many I don’t know how I chose one): “She was wearing a purple T-shirt, with a skinny black dress over it that made you remember how much of a girl she was, and trashed black boots that made you forget.”

Did I cry? Yes. Frequently and profusely.

Book reviews

Review: The Promise of Amazing


The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Rating: 3.8/5 stars 

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

Publisher: Baltzer + Bray

Publish Date: December 31st 2013

Length (kindle edition): 320 Pages

Book Synopsis:

Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

My Review:

One of my friends was reading this book, and the more it kept popping up when she’d take it out of her bag the more curious I was. Eventually curiosity overtook me, so I downloaded it onto my kindle, and began reading.

The Promise of Amazing is a good book. It’s well written, with plenty of relatable quirks, including a Coldplay mention (high five, Robin Constantine!), the characters are likeable, with Wren being a character you can easily see similarities to. However, I feel like the plot was rushed. I know, I know, a vast majority of YA romance novels involve a whirlwind romance, and I’m not knocking that! A lot of the time, I love it. It’s part of the charm. But it just doesn’t seem to work for me in this novel. (Spoiler ahead!) And it seems to me like after finding out that Grayson is a (retired, perhaps?) criminal, working in what can only be described as a gang of petty thieves, she is extremely upset and leaves him… for a tiny little while… and then everything is okay! He was stealing things with his friends so that they could party in Amsterdam! i.e. not even for some deep-rooted good cause! Plot issues aside, The Promise of Amazing is a lovely, feel-good YA book, not to mention a relatively quick one to read. So, apart from the too-swift moving nature of this book and the protagonist’s unrealistic quota for easy forgiveness, this is a good book, and I would recommend you read it.

Favourite quote: “She stood out against the colourless day, improbable and beautiful. A wildflower in winter sprung up from a crack in the concrete.”

Did I cry? Maybe a little bit? Just slightly teary-eyed, perhaps?