Book Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Read by Kevin Collins

Beautiful Creatures

From Goodreads.com:

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….

My Thoughts on the Matter:

Possible Spoiler Alert!

First, this is an audiobook, so I “listened to” it rather than “read” it.  With audiobooks, the narrator can often make or break a book.  In this case the narrator is fantastic, so good job choosing him.

Speaking of ‘him,’ I hit the end of this book in the middle of my commute one day and wasn’t sure I had the next one in the series downloaded and ready to go.  Consequently, I ended up listening to the first part of an interview with the authors that was tacked on to the end of the audiobook.

The first thing the interviewer focused on was the fact that, unlike much of YA these days, our book is written from a boy’s point of view instead of a girl’s point of view.  This point of the interview caught my attention, because it was something that had not occurred to me once during my “listen” of the book.  I say this as a compliment to the authors.  This was done so well that I Did Not notice it as being out of the norm, and it Did Not interfere with the story drawing me in, which it most certainly did.

Also, the authors have written a very smart book, bringing new and clever language to the age-old themes of good vs. evil and human vs. non-human (or not-entirely-human).  I love the names they give to categories of creatures.  They’re creative and make sense at the same time.

The story takes you where you want it to go, sometimes, and skillfully exposes new information along the way, keeping the reader interested without straying from the realm of (created) possibility.  It seemed to me one plot line in the book could only end one way, but it didn’t – I totally didn’t see this end coming, and it beautifully leads into the rest of the series.

I have to tell you when I hit the end of this book in the middle of my commute and realized I’d not downloaded the next one so I could go directly to it “without passing ‘go’,” so to speak, I was Pissed!  That’s how much it sucked me in…highly recommended!

This book has been reviewed for the 2013 Audio Book Challenge (and added to its page).  It is owned by me, was acquired from Audible.com, and cost $4.95.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

Book Review: Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery

Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery

From Goodreads.com:

Michelle Sanderson may appear to be a strong, independent woman, but on the inside, she’s still the wounded girl who fled home years ago. A young army vet, Michelle returns to the quaint Blackberry Island Inn to claim her inheritance and recover from the perils of war. Instead, she finds the owner’s suite occupied by the last person she wants to see.

Carly Williams and Michelle were once inseparable, until a shocking betrayal destroyed their friendship. And now Carly is implicated in the financial disaster lurking behind the inn’s cheerful veneer.

Single mother Carly has weathered rumors, lies and secrets for a lifetime, and is finally starting to move forward with love and life. But if the Blackberry Island Inn goes under, Carly and her daughter will go with it.

To save their livelihoods, Carly and Michelle will undertake a turbulent truce. It’ll take more than a successful season to move beyond their devastating past, but with a little luck and a beautiful summer, they may just rediscover the friendship of a lifetime.

My Thoughts on the Matter:

I read this book today.  Yes, in one day.  Overall I found it a nice, light, quick read.

Ms. Mallery skillfully takes the plot where I wanted it to go, with a few surprises along the way.  This is a book of a woman finding her way back to herself, to who she was but as she’s also been shaped by her life so far, along with those around her who affect and are affected by her journey.  Helping things along are some misconceptions that get cleared up, some moments of characters temporarily letting down their defensive walls, and the book ends up with plenty of happy endings to go around.

I found it interesting (and worth bookmarking to try even) that Ms. Mallery employs a method of including extra value in her book that I first saw used by Debbie Macomber (who has used both cooking and knitting recipes), by putting a couple of recipes that feature prominently in the story into the back of the book.  I may actually make her version of chicken salad and see what I think.

If you’re looking for some very well-done escapism with a deeper meaning if you’re in the frame of mind to see it, I definitely recommend this book.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.