Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures - Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia

I had been planning on reading this book for a while now because I thought the concept sounded pretty cool. Most of the supernatural books I read feature a female main character and a male supernatural being, so I was looking forward to the change of pace. Unfortunately, I could not like the main character in this, Ethan Wate.

Ethan thinks almost everyone in his town was unintelligent, and that opinion is repeated over and over again during the book. At one point, he says he does not have an accent (unlike every other person in his town) because he was raised by professor parents, meaning because he is intelligent. The book tries to present him as truly being far more intelligent than everyone else in the town, although this was ruined for me when he (as a high school student in Algebra II) needed to cheat to simplify 7x-2(4x-6) on a pop quiz.

He also judges everyone. According to him, half the girls in the schools are sluts because they bought their dresses for a dance at a certain shop. Near the end of the book, he says that all the girls at a concert look skanky wearing tank tops and baby tees and dancing.

And then there was the lack of questioning things within the book. Ethan almost dies at one point making out with Lena, and, instead of questioning what just happened, they do nothing about it. I would feel a near-death experience would be worrisome. Ethan repeatedly says it feels like she shocks and burns him and makes him short of breath when they kiss, but he never questions why and just keeps kissing her. And then there is

the mother of his best friend who he says is acting incredibly weird. On Halloween she shows up at his house and tries to enter the house but is blocked by wards that had been put up. He never questions why the wards (that are supposed to block evil) would block her or why she is acting so strangely lately

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There was also a choice in terminology that both creeped me out and annoyed me.

Macon is revealed to be an Incubus after Ethan catches him in his room late at night. Now, my first reaction to finding out that he is an Incubus, feeds on humans to survive, and is in a teenage boy's room is that he is a traditional incubus. Even after Macon reveals he only feeds on dreams, it was kind of too late. An incubus is a sex demon. If you are going to make a whole race of creatures that are differentiated by what they feed on, I really would rather you make up a name for them or call them something generic like "demon" and then differentiate what type by tacking on "blood" or "dream" to the front because the use of the term "incubus" has already taken my mind in a direction you did not want it in. Also, Macon says Ethan's belief that Macon was a vampire is ridiculous because vampires don't exist. That reaction itself is ridiculous when Macon goes on to talk about the Blood Incubus, which feeds on blood to live. Like a vampire.

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I was not a fan of the relationship in general. It felt more like they're together because they're "meant to be" than that they're really in love. And there were problematic things that I really felt should have raised a red flag. Like

Lena casually wiping the minds of her aunt and cousin so they wouldn't remember something she had just done

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. I feel that should have raised a red flag for Ethan. She saw nothing wrong with this and felt no guilt. If I were Ethan, I would have been wondering what would stop her from doing the same to him. And then there was Ethan's instant obsession with Lena that would have worried me if I were her.

The book itself could have been a lot shorter. There was a lot of repetition that quickly became irritating. Ethan's assertion that Gatlin was the place where nothing ever happened, until now when things suddenly started happening, got more ridiculous with each repetition. And his pointing out of the obvious got old too. When I'm told it was as if something happened, I can figure out that it hadn't actually happened without him telling me that.

Overall, I cannot say that I enjoyed the book. Ethan was a frustrating character to have to listen to and I could not find it in myself to like him. And it's rather difficult to like the book when you can't even like the main character.