Readdicted Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Standard

Readdicted Reviewers

Title: Beautiful Darkness

Authors:  Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Genre: YA Supernatural Fiction

Goodreads Book Summary:

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan’s eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there’s no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town’s tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

Rating: 4 Stars

REVIEW

This book was a great read, a good second book in the series.  It left me wanting to read more, and glad I could dive right into the third.  It was fast paced and there was a lot to keep me interested and I had a hard time putting it down.  But at some points throughout the book, I was disappointed with the writers’ ability to explain.  My biggest complaint is that yet again, as with the first book Beautiful Creatures, I found myself making a lot of assumptions.  I was also realizing that some of the things I thought were described one way in Beautiful Creatures were described differently in Beautiful Darkness.  This may have been my perception, but it is the author’s job to give the reader an experience.  If I have to stop and question anything, I blame the author.  Usually, it’s not my fault this happens.

What is amazing about these books is the amount of detail for each character, and for the setting.  The people come alive, and the town of Gatlin is like another character.  It is clear that the authors have experienced the South and have done their research.  The mix of a little history in with it makes me very happy as well.  I loved the introduction of the new characters and the further development of Amma and Macon and Abraham.  Spending so much time in the Tunnels didn’t take away from the richness of the story.  In fact, I loved the Tunnels in the first book of this series and I really wanted to know more.  Many questions were answered as well, while giving me more information in the story, they also raised more questions.  The story is building, not repeating.  The darkness in this series doesn’t infiltrate Ethan, which is why I love him as the main character.  I found myself so frustrated with Lena, and yet sympathetic at the same time.  And the ending made me salivate for the next book.  Again I loved the casual first-person point of view.  Instead of just hearing Ethan’s thoughts, I felt like we were conversing, and he was telling me this compelling story.

I am still not sure if these are buy-worthy…meaning hard copy purchase.  There’s something wonderful about having your favorite books all sitting together on a bookshelf.  So far, I have the ebooks.  They make it easier for me to read wherever I find myself, but at the same time, I am so ready to read a real book again!

COVER

Again the cover is lame.  I do love the font, and the purpose of the cover is achieved.  Readable author names, the title stands out, and the covers all tie together while still having an individual message.  This one shows stairs surrounded in darkness, and most of the book takes place in the Tunnels.  Still, there’s something so blah about the picture behind the text that makes me want to puke.  I do like the different color choices for the text…although……just wait for my review of Beautiful Chaos…..

AWESOME FUNNESS

Here’s a link to the two trailers out for the movie that comes out early 2013.  When I rewatch them, I get all excited and goosebumpy. Hooray!

Advertisements

Readdicted Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Standard

6304335-1

Title: Beautiful Creatures

Authors:  Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Genre: YA Supernatural Fiction

Goodreads Book Summary:

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

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.

Rating: 4 Stars

REVIEW

This book either gets rave reviews, or tanked reviews.  I’m completely convinced it’s because some people don’t have patience.  Because when I started this book, it was hard to get into.  I liked the narration, I liked that it was from a guy’s perspective (even though I usually can’t get into books with guy narrators as well), I loved the language and the setting and how incredibly well written the characters were.  But it took awhile for me to get there.  At first, the characters seemed either cliche or flat.  And the drama just wasn’t enough.  Or too much.  Definitely one or both of those things.  By about the middle of the book, however, I was pretty into it, and I flew through the last bit.  Anyone that says this book is not well-written probably didn’t finish it or something.  It is different, but that is what I love.  I love love love different.  And I think a lot of people like what they like and don’t want to see anything different.

The book’s main character is Ethan Wate.  And then there’s Lena, the caster girl he falls for.  They have an unexplained connection.  Ethan’s best friend, Link, was probably the flattest character for me.  I felt like I couldn’t figure out his motives, or what he wanted, or why he was loyal and if that was really what he was.  At least at first.  There are a ton of supporting characters, and Amma is my favorite.  The character development is one of the best things about this book.

Because this book is written in first-person, and a pretty casual first-person at that, some details feel left out.  If Ethan knows something, it isn’t explained that well.  So some things I was just guessing, and later in the book or in the series, I realized I was all wrong in some of my assumptions.  No reader wants to feel like an idiot, so that’s where the star gets dropped.  There were a lot of questions I had, a lot of things that went unexplained and even unaddressed.  Things that if I was a character in the story, I would have said, “um, duh…what about this?”  But I was also aware that this is a series, so I calmed the heck down and ignored it the best I could.

I am well on my way into book three and so glad the fourth just came out last month.  I meant to read these by October, but the library gave me other books instead, and I ended up just getting the ebooks of them so I could read them now.

COVER

The font is fancy and fun, and yet still readable.  The author names stand out but don’t take away from the cover.  The background is BORING though.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad there isn’t a girl with a flowy dress on the front, but the trees just aren’t creepy enough.  I would’ve enjoyed something more like the trees from the first Fallen book, but without the girl.  These trees just look like a negative image and they bother me.  I do like the purple of the font and how it stands out from the black, and I like how the cover is simple and not overdone.  So mostly good job on it.  It will catch your eye but not annoy you too much.  Can’t ask for too much more than that, but it isn’t art.

AWESOME FUNNESS

Here’s a link to the two trailers out for the movie that comes out early 2013.  Yeah, I’m so going to this movie!  Also, I want to know what that song is in the trailer…cuz holy heckles it gave me goosebumps!

Book Hauls >> Katie’s August Reads

Standard

For August, I want a little of everything.  I’ve thrown in some dystopian, apocalyptic, contemporary, mythology, etc. etc.  Maybe that’s what I always do.  I tend to be scatterbrained.  I also like having a different type of book to read when I finish whatever I was just reading…for two reasons.  One to give my massive brain a break, and two, so I don’t compare too critically with what I just read.  If I read Article 5 right after I read Delirium, right after I read Matched, right after I read The Hunger Games…well it would all just blend together, and I wouldn’t see the uniqueness each book brings.  Instead I would get all hissy, pissy, and I would nitpick.  You don’t want that.  So here are my August reads.  Let me know what you think!

readdicted reviewers book reviews

Pure by Julianna Baggott

readdicted reviewers book reviews

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

readdicted reviewers book review

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

readdicted reviewers

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

readdicted reviewers

The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

readdicted reviewers

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

readdicted reviewers

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

readdicted reviewers

Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

readdicted reviewers

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Both Starcrossed and Article 5 have been reviewed by Connie here on the Readdicted Reviewers blog already, and as I have already finished one of these, I can tell you right now our tastes are definitely different.  So don’t worry, they won’t be the same.  I know you were worried there for a minute.

Book Haul >> Katie’s July Reads

Standard

July selections!  Because I know I’ll be hiding from the Nebraska summer heat and humidity inside where it’s nice and cool…..here’s my ambitious list for July:

(Gee….notice a theme here with the covers?  Girl sillhoutted against a dramatic scene, her back to the reader…)

The release of the fourth and final installment of the Beautiful Creatures series is in October…AND they are making a movie of this book, so I have to get on the bandwagon here and see what all the hype is about!  One book a month will get me to October and I’ll be reviewing Beautiful Redemption as soon as I can get my hands on it!

I recently happened across Lauren DeStefano’s blog…and instantly fell in love with her quirkiness and writing style.  This book wasn’t originally on my list, and I’m not sure when I will get to reviewing it, but I wanted to read it asap.  Here’s hoping her books are as awesome as she is!

I got a chance to hear Tosca Lee speak a few months back.  I’ll probably post on that sometime soon…but in the meantime, I want to read the book she signed!  And the second book just came out recently, so I’ll probably read that next month.

This book is just fracking cool (yes I’m a nerd, if you get that reference…).  It’s totally visual.  A novel told through pictures.  So yeah, I’m going to check this out from the library and see if it is something I want to own.

That’s a total of ten books.  Plus the self-published goodies I’m working on for a special August post.  Be on the lookout for what I thought of these and more in the coming weeks!