Good book, weird marketing

I don’t know what I expected Beautiful Creatures to be about, but it was not what I got. I really wouldn’t classify casters as creatures, and only two of them were ever described as particularly beautiful.

The cover art, with the purple swirly text appealed to me, but I would guess it deterred a lot of young men from picking up the book. I think this is a big mistake on the part of the cover art designers, and the young men because the book could be enjoyed by a male audience.

Here’s why:

  • The narrator is a teenage boy
  • He is a basketball player, he’s intelligent, he spends some time describing pretty girls.
  • Small town guys in particular would appreciate the commentary on the seemingly limited options Ethan has
  • Ridiculous high school culture and the pressures of fitting in are appreciated as a serious problem and mocked simultaneously

That being said, it is a love story, which may continue to be a turn off for the male audience but I’m not one for romance and I didn’t find it too cheesy. Actually the love story that touched me the most wasn’t the main one but the one where Ethan’s dad was so heartbroken at his wife’s death. His inability to deal with her death, and what that did to the family was the most genuine part of the book for me.

It was enjoyable, and has some interesting commentary but I felt like it could have been 100 pages or so shorter. It dragged in the middle of the book, with the intension of building suspense but it was unnecessary.

There is a large focus on the fate vs. free will debate, leaning heavily towards fate for most of the book. I didn’t like this, but that is largely because I can’t stand the idea of not having a choice whether you will grow up to be good or evil. To simply become evil when you come of age because of fate is a bit too much for me.

If this is made into a movie I will go, half because I want to see the insane dresses that are described at length by the narrator who thinks they are ridiculous.

Librarians and libraries are portrayed in a mix of stereotypes, both good and bad in such a way that I wasn’t sure whether to feel complimented or offended. I think I could write an essay just about how libraries are seen in this book.

Interesting concepts, lots of potential, but could have used a lot of editing.


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