January 20, 2020

Paranormal Book Club: Beautiful Creatures

The Paranormal Book Club is a casual book club I'm in with my friends Rachel, Kristin & DJ, and it came into being because we decided we wanted to revisit (or experience for the first time) a few older YA paranormal books and series together. We read our first book together in 2019 (it was The Iron King by Julie Kagawa)... and then promptly dropped the ball. But we were really determined to pick things up again this year, and after figuring out a more manageable schedule, I really think we're going to be able to do this pretty regularly.

This month, we all read Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl. Of the four of us, I was the only one who'd read it (though we'd all seen the movie). I was curious to see if the novel would hold up to what I remembered, and what the other three would think. 

What were your initial thoughts about the book? Were you excited to read it?

The first time I read Beautiful Creatures was before my days as a book blogger and Goodreads member. I was looking forward to revisiting it with the Paranormal Book Club this month, simply because I did remember enjoying it (even when it scared me) all those years ago. Plus, because we all had very strong opinions about the film (spoiler: not my favorite), I was curious to find out what the other three would think.

What was your favorite quote or passage, and why did it resonate with you?

"The right thing and the easy thing are never the same." That line definitely stuck out to me because it's so true. Or, at the very least, it tends to feel that way to me when I'm faced with making a choice between these two things in my own life. I've learned (sometimes painfully) that picking the right thing might be harder in the present, but will lead to better things in the future... though it doesn't mean I always make the right call.

Which character did you relate to the most, and what was it about them that you connected with?

I'm going to pick my one of my favorite characters as my answer: Marian Ashcroft, who is a librarian and the Keeper of the Lunae Libri. Not only do I relate to the fact that Marian loves books a whole lot, but she's loyal to those she cares for and also is willing to help however she can (even with the restrictions placed on her). She's also got a firm understanding of who she is, and I can always really connect with that in a character I read about.

Was there anything you wanted to see more of in the book, like more page time for a secondary character or a plot point you wish was explored more?

I've always enjoyed Ridley Duchannes, and obviously would like to see more of her story. (Thankfully, the spin-off series is apparently about her, so I may just be getting my wish!)

What are your final thoughts? Would you read this book again and/or continue with the series? Would you read another book written by the same author/s?

I still ended up enjoying the novel on this second read! Overall, this book is very compelling! The biggest appeal it has for me is the lore. It feels very rich in detail and potential for future plots, and I’m curious to see how it continues to expand in the rest of this series. I also thought the plot was entertaining, if typical of a YA book in that era in many ways. There are just two things that knocked my overall rating down a bit: 1) not being a big fan of either Ethan or Lena in general and 2) being only mildly invested in their romance (and finding a lot of it cheesy, admittedly). I’d overall still say that I liked Beautiful Creatures a lot, and I’m hoping to read the rest of the series before the year ends.

I'm really glad we started out the year on a mostly successful note (except for poor DJ), and I'm looking forward to our next Paranormal Book Club read. If you're curious about what everyone else thought, check out their posts:


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