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Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

113 out of 142 people found this review helpful.

Delicious Reading: Beautiful Creatures

Words, alone, cannot effectively express the LOVE I feel for this book. For this one, I definitely need more than words. Maybe words, mixed with a myriad of blissfully, excited facial expressions, with lots and lots of exaggerated hand movements thrown in, may paint a c...
Words, alone, cannot effectively express the LOVE I feel for this book. For this one, I definitely need more than words. Maybe words, mixed with a myriad of blissfully, excited facial expressions, with lots and lots of exaggerated hand movements thrown in, may paint a clearer picture. But, then again, I'm not so sure that would even suffice in capturing the intense feelings I harbor for this book.

Beautiful Creatures is a must read for 2009! Possibly for 2010 and 2011, too! It is one of those books you want to snuggle on the couch with and read its entire contents, start to finish (yes, all 567 pages) in one sitting. It's almost as if the pages themselves have been laced with some sort of happy drug, which successfully pulls you out of this world and transports you straight into the beautifully written pages this novel holds. I'm constantly searching for books like Beautiful Creatures--novels that are so yummy and delicious that you have to restrain yourself from devouring, at once-- and I'm so happy I just happened to stumble across this masterfully written, epic novel. Lucky me!

The two main characters, Lena and Ethan, seem like real people. Almost as if, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, plucked two unsuspecting teenagers from a nearby high school and inserted them into this wonderfully captivating story. What's so fascinating about these two characters is the fact that they're so real, yet so different from anyone else, at the same time. (Pure genius, I tell you!)

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 with 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.

And, in a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

The authors successfully weave this magical (in every sense of the word) story about Ethan, your typical high school boy, who wants nothing more than to leave his small home town of Gatlin, and an anything BUT normal girl, Lena, who craves the normalcy that so many take for granted--Ethan included.

Along with the sweet love story, which slowly buds from friendship and beyond, there is a little bit of everything: high school drama, heart ache, acceptance, dysfunctional families (coming from both sides), a little bit of history (for all of those history buffs out there), and mystery at every turn and twist in this blissfully original plot that leaves you salivating and constantly wanting MORE, MORE, MORE!

There is no doubt in my mind that readers will snatch this book up, instantaneously, and completely devour this delicious read. Actually, I encourage this behavior because it is just that good!

Beautiful Creatures is ultimately addictive--hence the drugs--so I strongly recommend [imagine me screaming from the roof tops] for you to pick up your copy...NOW!

Not tomorrow. RIGHT. NOW!

In the mean time, I'll be here, sitting on my couch, drooling over Beautiful Creatures, anxiously awaiting the next installment of this five part series.

www.kim-franklin.blogspot.com

posted by Kim-Franklin on December 27, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

149 out of 249 people found this review helpful.

Not my favorite

I'm usually a fan of YA paranormal. And I love nothing more than a big, fat book that lasts for more than a few hours.

Unfortunately, Beautiful Creatures just didn't resonate with me. It took an incredibly long time for anything to happen. The first 100-200 pages wer...
I'm usually a fan of YA paranormal. And I love nothing more than a big, fat book that lasts for more than a few hours.

Unfortunately, Beautiful Creatures just didn't resonate with me. It took an incredibly long time for anything to happen. The first 100-200 pages were all backstory and useless. Why would a book need to be 600 pages when more than 100 pages were pointless? It felt like very poor editing.

And then the narrator is a fifteen year old boy with the perception and observations of a twenty-something young lady. It felt very, very off, which was disappointing. I would have loved to see a strong male lead, rather than what a girl wishes a boy sounds like.

All in all it wasn't a bad book. Just not anywhere near the level it should be based on the hype.

posted by Jamagan on December 16, 2009

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  • Posted December 10, 2009

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    A really good book. A change from all the horrible authors out there.

    I am a really picky reader. I read about 4 books a month...if not more..but it's always really hard for me to pick a good book. Especially now, when there are so many awful authors out there trying to be the next Stephanie Meyer...which is exactly what they are doing. To give you an example, some of my favorite authors are Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance, Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer. My mom actually picked out Beautiful Creatures for me, and because she has the same taste of book as me, I listened and read it. It was great. Now, it's not as good as the Twilight, Harry Potter, or Mortal Instrument books. I would classify it with the Witch series by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie. However, this book is better than the Witch Series, that's just where I would classify it around. The characters are funny and you instantly love them, such as Amma and Marion. It's an adorable love story but it also has a mix of southern ism and supernatural stuff. It's a really good book. If you like the kinds of books I do you should love it.

    97 out of 115 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful Creatures Book Review

    I love to read anything dealing with mythology, and Beautiful Creatures delivered. It gives you mystery, love, humor and heartache. The fact that it written from a Male POV is one of the highlights of the book. It gives us a break from the usual Female POV that 95% of books are written in. I enjoyed learning a new world which is Casters. Its not your normal witch and spells, which is great. The connection between Lena and Ethan was well written. One question I still have is what is Ethan? and now that we know that Macon's life was bargain for Ethan, Does that mean Ethan will become a Incubus like Macon? The only reason I didn't give it the 5 stars was I sort of didn't care for the parts that talked about the battles between the South and the North. This was not my strongest subject in school. So I will tell you I am very excited to read the next book in the series Beautiful Darkness.

    19 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book, still prefer Fallen Angel more though

    Great book, still prefer Fallen Angel more though

    8 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2010

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    A Tragic, Romantic, Historical Masterpiece that I could not put down.

    For awhile now I had seen this book in the stores and online, and I tried to read it once in the store, but got caught up in another book. However, I finally checked it out of the library, and now I wish I had bought it for my own.

    The story is gripping and thrilling tale of Ethan Wate (set mostly in his point of view) who falls in love with a girl who...not wanting to put any spoilers in, let's just say...has a secret.

    Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl took a quite common plot, boy and girl are different but they fall in love anyway, but they have to face certain obstucles to be together, the authors took that and made it into something that, for me, told me a lot about myself.

    Perhaps it's just me, but Ethan is very relatable as a person and that is why I believe the authors did such a wonderful job on developing the characters and making them into something real. Because I found Ethan so relatable I cared more about him and Lena and that was how I got sucked into the book.

    Also, there are a lot of Historical aspects of this books that many people will enjoy. If you're not a fan of history, I'm not saying don't buy it, because the history is...not scarce, but you don't have to be a historian to figure out what their talking about, but it is a pretty big aspect of the book.

    The things that did it for me, and made me love this book, was Lena and Ethan's relationship. The story takes you from A. When they met and through all the twist and turns, the awkwardness, the ups and down of relationships until point B. When they fall in love and it's developed quite nicely and realisticly. Not like in many stories when they just fall in love like that.

    Overall I think people will really enjoy this book, I certainly did. The story makes you wonder about a lot of things and question the world around you, kind of like history does.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2010

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    Beautiful Creatures??

    I liked this book, but didn't feel it to be too original. The writing was good, but I felt like the women who wrote this book didn't know much about a guy's point of view. (Not that I do.) I know it sounds odd, but Ethan thought pretty much the same way as Bella in Twilight (without all of the angst). Ethan wants a girl who's not only nice to look at, but he mainly just wants someone interesting, smart, and funny. I'm pretty sure that this is not the first thing a teenage boy (or girl, for that matter) thinks of when looking for someone to date. Ethan also reads the classics-Animal Farm and the like-even poetry! I'm sorry, but that's just a bit too much for me to believe. On the bright side of the story, I felt like the conflict in this book was original. There were enough twists and turns and enough surprises to keep me interested. There were also enough loose ends so that I knew that the authors were planning a sequel. There was, however, one issue that I did have with this book. Why is the title Beautiful Creatures? There is nothing to do with creatures in this book, and I can't see how this could be figurative language. If anyone can explain this to me, please do. I truly did like this book, though, and am eagerly awaiting the sequel, Beautiful Darkness.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2009

    Just Finished!

    I finished Beautiful Creatures last night after staying up four hours way too late.

    The lowdown:

    * Worth the buy--a great book, just not mindblowing
    * Finally, something different than VAMPIRES for god sakes!
    * The love story in this book isn't developed enough, but everything else makes it a real page turner
    * There is a lot of history and back story, which is why it is so long (some of this drags quite a bit)
    * Sequel to come I'm sure!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2013

    A twisted story of true love A fantastic read about a boy named

    A twisted story of true love
    A fantastic read about a boy named Ethan looking for a way out of his small town who unexpectedly meets a caster girl named Lena. She lets him into her mysterious world and together they are forced to discover Lena’s dark secret. Lena is forced to pick sides but no matter what Ethan sticks by her side. Through many crazy adventures they find out who they really are and what they really want, which is each other. My favorite character in this book is Ethan because he is stronger than everyone else. Even though his mother recently passed away, his dad has gone insane, and he might lose Lena he is still strong enough to get through everything. This book starts off a little boring but once Ethan and Lena meet you will not be able to put the book down. I believe that the message in this book is that you choose your own destiny and that only you can decide what you want your life to be. I recommend this book to fans of love stories and mysteries.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

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    Lovely!

    Witches, vampires and psychic connections, oh my! Boy starts having strange dreams about girl, girl moves to his town, they meet, hang out and eventually fall in love. Girl is really a witch. To sum it all up a battle rages at the end between good and evil.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

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    Great, but not as great as the hype surrounding it

    Because of the hype surrounding the release of Beautiful Darkness (and because it was finally in my library, sitting all nice on a shelf waiting for me to pick it up), I picked up a copy of Beautiful Creatures. As I'm sure most of you know, I don't read summaries before I tackle books - I like being in the dark.

    Being in the dark on the whole plot, I was terrified throughout the entire novel. I spook easily (and it doesn't help that while I was reading at 2AM, my house started creaking and making weird sounds) so the whole mystery about Lena and the danger pursuing her paralyzed me with fear. But I felt cheated at the end - my fear had no reason or base. We basically read through 500 pages of speculation and what-ifs and Lena's upcoming birthday, just to get a resolution that barely lasts 40 pages. I feared the antagonist for that long to only get 40 pages of... talking? Saraphine didn't even seem like a threat. I'm supposed to assume the Darkest Caster that ever lived will go down as the way she did? I felt cheated.

    While I read this book, I was engaged in the plot but I was never excited about it. I felt indifferent, detached, even though I was still caught up in Gatlin and the Caster world. I was more interested in Casters than I was in Ethan's and Lena's relationship or Ethan's lengthy internal monologues.

    This book was huge. I felt like a lot of it could have been cut, as a lot of the events weren't really necessary to the main plot or character/romantic development. When I see a huge book, I expect something like Harry Potter - a good plot that balances between a fast and slow pacing. This book didn't balance pacing - it was just slow all around. Again, if I want to read 563 pages of a book, I expect most of it to be worth my time, and I didn't feel that with this book. Don't get me wrong. The back-stories and history revolving Gatlin was great; the redundancy in the events and in the conversations was not.

    I had conflicts with Ethan's personality. While I loved the whole idea that everything about Gatlin bored him because he had lived there his whole life (because I can empathize), he was so feminine! Kami and Margaret wrote him like a girl trapped in a boy's body. When I think of male narrator written by female writer, I think of (again) Harry Potter. At least in HP it was done well and believable. But I couldn't believe that Ethan would be able to tell the differences between smell, or that he'd care enough about girls' clothing or their prom dresses, or that he'd give vibrant details about a town he supposedly despises being in. He's a teenage boy - they absolutely do not think those things! Overall, he was gentlemanly and almost chivalrous at times, but it was too hard to believe he was so good that he was adverse to normal teenage boy behavior.

    Lena... ugh. That sums up what I thought of her very well. One time of her whining and moping around about her upcoming birthday, okay sure, I understand why she's nervous. Second time, third time, fourth... FIFTEENTH. I get that she's terrified of becoming dark, but that fact is reiterated almost every page. It gets repetitive and annoying after a while. Every time she came up (and it happened a lot since Ethan was so obsessed with her), I had to groan and prepare for a dull read about another whiny rant.

    Yet despite all of these things, I couldn't help but love the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting teen gothic novel

    The first person narrative is written from the perspective of the male protagonist (Ethan) something I did find hard to relate to being a girl and having three girls myself (J has to get in touch with his feminine side in our house or shut the door to watch sport).
    There is dramatic tension almost from the first page. The background descriptions of the characters and the setting were fantastic and really fed my technicolor imagination.
    The use of the Gothic convention of nesting (a story within a story) was deployed with great efficiency adding significance to the main plot.
    There is clever use of the history of the civil war intertwining the story, although I can appreciate the detail and depth it added to the story it is probably easier to relate to if you are American and studied the Civil War. The references to To Kill a Mockingbird were intriguing and have certainly inspired me to read it.
    I found the description of Ethan's aunts an ingenious parallel to the mythical fates or even the witches in Macbeth.
    The references to religion and voodoo were extraordinary and well written, the cross-over element between religions was enlightening. Although, I found the classification of all paranormal/supernatural beings as Casters was too much of a generalisation for me, I appreciate that all things contain good and bad elements, the yin and yang if you will, but I like my neat little categories Vampire, Witch, Shifter, etc but that is just a personal preference.
    The Gothic imagery was fantastic, I especially liked the description of the libraries (I wonder why!). The use of Latin and Welsh (yeah! WELSH) was just fantastic (not that I am biased because I am Welsh).
    The action is tightly packed towards the end of the book and the ending is a cliff-hanger.
    However, there were some elements that bothered me, I found the relationship between Ethan and Lena to be very intense considering their ages (15 & 16) perhaps it is just he mother coming out in me as I do not think I would be very happy if one of my daughters was in such an intense relationship at that age. I guess the point is that soul mates/reincarnation has no age limits. I also found Amma's changing attitude to Lena to be a bit confusing.
    On the whole an enjoyable paranormal romance/thriller with some terrific quotes.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2009

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    It pulled me in from the start

    I loved this book from the first page. It had humor, suspense, horror, romance, and a cast of quirky characters you can't help bit be drawn too. Perhaps because I live in the south...I enjoyed the town created in this book...it was so real..I could practically smell the sit, taste Amma's homemade pie and see Mason and his dog right in front of me. I hope there is more in this world..but I kind of hope not as well. It was a good wrap up..with an ending mysterious enough to keep me guessing. Somet...more I loved this book from the first page. It had humor, suspense, horror, romance, and a cast of quirky characters you can't help bit be drawn too. Perhaps because I live in the south...I enjoyed the town created in this book...it was so real..I could practically smell the sit, taste Amma's homemade pie and see Mason and his dog right in front of me. I hope there is more in this world..but I kind of hope not as well. It was a good wrap up..with an ending mysterious enough to keep me guessing. Sometimes that's all I need

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

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    DIFFERENT IN A GOOD WAY

    This book was different, but in a good way. I enjoyed that the book was from a guys perspective and didnt have alot of over the top descriptions. It provided a good break from vampires and werewolfs while still provding me with a good dose of supernatural. It took a little longer than usual to read this book because there was so much information to process that after a few lenthy chapters I had to put the book down to fully absorb it all. I was also intrigued by the story within the story. Overall this book was a GOOD READ!!!! With the way it ended I cant wait for the sequel.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

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    Great But Long

    This is a great book, compeltely orignal and unique and fresh, with believable characters and a great love story--also it's so wonderful and refreshing to look at a romantic relationship from a boy's point of veiw. Though it is a little long and can be a tiny bit of a chore to get through because of this.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    Eye-catching

    Thank you Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl for writing the best series i have ever read!!! I can't put the book down! Write more and my enire shelf will be full of your books! I love you guys!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2013

    Nothing ever happens in Gatlin or so small-town boy Ethan Wate b

    Nothing ever happens in Gatlin or so small-town boy Ethan Wate believes. Counting down the days until he gets to leave for college and escape the shadow his mother’s death has cast over his family, he never expects his world to be turned upside down. He’s seen Lena Duchannes in his dreams and when she walks into his classroom on his first day of Junior Year, he has to know her.

    Lena is the niece of Macon (Old Man) Ravenwood, a “Boo Radley” character who has been cast as the town spook for years. A cautionary tale for any child on the scent of mischief, Lena is tarnished with the same brush by the “Good Folk of Gatlin.” As Ethan counts down the days to his escape, Lena, a Caster, counts the days to her destiny. On her 16th birthday she will be claimed by the light or the dark becoming a powerful force for either side.

    This book was really interesting but had plenty of elements that ‘bothered’ me initially. I had never read a YA book from a male POV and it definitely took time to adjust but I was pleasantly surprised. Getting to hear what the teenage boy was thinking was a breath of fresh air after working my way through a pile of YA ‘heroines’ who’s only discernable difference was hair or eye colour.

    I once described this book as hard to pick up and difficult to put down. It’s a long book and took me a few weeks to finish. It was in no way an uninteresting book or badly written, it simply had a lot of slow moving passages with not a lot of action. However the story and beautiful characterisation was still compelling enough that I couldn’t leave it alone. I may have had to take a break for a couple of days but at no point was it a risk for a “Did Not Finish”.

    I really enjoyed the descriptions of Southern life, the traditions, the myths, the insular and conservative outlook mixed in with unmistakable charm. The main story of Lena’s claiming was nicely woven in with the normalcy of Ethan’s homelife, a house mired in grief over the loss of light his mother brought to their lives, his father’s inabilility to cope and housekeeper/agony-aunt/nana Amma’s struggles to keep it all together.

    I really enjoyed the time and care taken by the authors to create a rich and descriptive world inhabited by the Casters. The different powers each one possessed, the explanations of the claiming and the reveal of the Duchannes curse all kept me riveted and eager to keep going through the books slower moving passages.

    The relationships between the characters of Lena/Ethan, Lena/Macon, Ethan/Amma were all incredibly real, sweet and moving and stayed with me long after I closed the book.

    Overall this was an enjoyable read despite the slow moving parts and I look forward to reading the rest of the series and learning what’s in store for Lena and Ethan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2013

    Fantastic

    It's a fabulous book for intellectual romantics and fantasy lovers alike. It's a youthful love story with magic, sassy witches, ghost-seers, southern belles, and it's actually well written! What more could you ask for?!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2013

    A Pretty Decent Book-- Surprisingly!

    My wife indicated that I may not like this book (given its teen romance side of it) but when I was caught on a flight without a new book in mind, I started it up... and was presently surprised. In fact, I rarely put it down. I have no idea how good or bad the movie based on this novel might be (most movies based on books typically burn and I would expect this movie to as well), but the teen romance is fine and the plot moves along well with interesting surprises. The characters develop well, the plot unwinds and keeps you guessing and even the end is proboably different from what you might be thinking. I might actually read the second book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2013

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    I loved Beautiful Creatures in it's entirety. Kami Garcia and Ma

    I loved Beautiful Creatures in it's entirety. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl spun a spectacular web of a tale, and I very much look forward to reading the rest of the books in the Caster Chronicles. Honestly, I haven't a clue what to expect in the story going forward and that is amazingly exciting. It takes a lot to throw me for a spin in books and movies these days but I certainly found that this book was able to do so on a couple of occasions.




    The book is written with a slight, and endearing, southern accent that had me trying to get it right myself (I'm a New Englander, so that was pretty hopeless.) And talk about layers! The layers of this book run deep and I can only rationalize that the rest of the series will be pulling them each appart. 




    The magic in the story was intense. It was powerful, left me questioning at every turn. The history was fun and fascinating. And people, we have more than one type of love story here. But each piece fit together with a finesse and simplicity that belied it's depths. This kind of writing takes a beautiful imagination. I really can't say more without giving things away!




    Oh, by the way, (as is often the case, but very much so in this instance) THE BOOK KICKS THE MOVIES BUTT AND SENDS IT BACK TO THE STUDIO CRYING. I read the book first, and was left very disappointed with the movie.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2013

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    I had put off reading this book for a while, I think just becaus

    I had put off reading this book for a while, I think just because it seemed like your typical young adult romance story. Turns out, it was so much more and so much better. The story is told through the eyes of Ethan, your typical small town teenage boy. He plays sports, has a group of friends he hangs out with, and tries to figure out teenage girls. He is pretty much an all-American boy. Except he dreams of this girl. All the time. And then she shows up at school. And she's been dreaming of him, too. Through each page in the story we get a little more insight into Ethan's character, and really, he's just a great guy. He's smart, most definitely lovable, loyal, and determined. Lena is quite intriguing. She is dark and mysterious and tries to keep Ethan out of her life for reasons Ethan cannot understand. It turns out, though, that Lena is not the only one with secrets. In fact, everyone in the small town Ethan has lived in his whole life is keeping them.

    I loved the writing in the book. It was so descriptive and beautifully done in a way that you were able to put yourself right in the story. I am interested to find out more about Lena's background and family.

    I listened to the audio of this one. The narration was done very well. I really liked the voice of Kevin Collins for Ethan. I also really enjoyed that we got music with the songs, though it was a bit creepy. That's something you could not get from reading the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Pretty Good

    I liked the book. Ethan and Lena made my heart melt.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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