Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beautiful Creatures – Avoid if Possible

When watching previews at the movie theater, I saw a preview for a movie called Beautiful Creatures. The premise of the movie looked like another teen-magic movie, but there were a few points in the plot that caught my interest. At the end of the preview, I saw the words popup “based on the novel Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl”.

I am a firm believer that reading a book is always better than watching the movie-adaption of a book. So, the first thing that I did was pick up the book at the library. I had been in the mood for a good teen-fiction book, but I had not found a book to satisfy that craving in a while. It was with tenuous hope that I started reading Beautiful Creatures.

I am sad to say that I am still looking for a good teen-fiction read. My quick review of the book is this – If you loved the Twilight series, you will enjoy this book. If you could NOT stand the Twilight series, you will hate this book. Unfortunately, I fall into the latter category and only finished the book by sheer force. LOL

The first 250 pages of the book are the annoyingly-standard teen relationship drama:
  • Boy – I live in a small town where nothing happens.
  • Girl - I traveled so much, and now I just want a normal life.
  • Boy – You’re hot.
  • Girl – I can’t tell you anything. I hate you. Go away.
  • Boy – I don’t care. I’ll love you anyway.
  • Girl – No
  • Boy - *follows girl like a stalker*
  • Girl – OK. I’m a supernatural being that can’t control her powers.
  • Boy – OMG! I don’t know if I can be with you. But I really want be with you.

Seriously… just skip the first 250 pages.

After that, there are some slightly interesting twists to the plot, and the main characters finally start to develop personalities (if only very small ones). My favorite part is the caster library, because who does not like a giant, secret library. :D

The book offers two possible endings to the story, but of course, it takes the obvious third answer. There’s really no other option for it to take when you learn all the details of the original to options. I mean, they can’t kill everyone off, because then there would not be any potential for a horrible sequel or a please-spare-us trilogy.

As we get down to the dirty details of why I don’t like this book, let me first say that if it came down to someone reading this book or never reading a book, I would tell them to read it. It is better to read trash than not to read at all. However, that being said, I really wish that people would have higher standards in what they write and/or read.

What was bad about the book:
  • The two main characters (and most of the others) had no personality. There was no depth to them, and they presented little challenge to the reader.
  • The plot had a few interesting points, but those points did not make up for the glaringly obvious direction of the story as a whole.
  • I know I write and edit for a living, but still, let’s use grammar check before publishing. Seriously, even Microsoft Word knows you are not supposed to start a sentence with the word “And”.

What was good about the book:
  • I learned that I do have the will power to finish a book, even if it is awful. LOL

If you are looking for a good teen fiction book to read, please avoid reading Beautiful Creatures. Instead, pick up “A Great and Terrible Beauty”, “A Sea of Trolls”, “Terrier”, “Graceling”, or anything else by the authors of these books.

Remember, you do not have to settle for poorly written books! :)

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