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.

Because This Blog is My Soapbox and for No Other Reason Than I Can

Cadeusus

Abortion is a medical procedure by Lizz Winstead on Huffingtonpost.com.

Related Media:

Oh, and I still miss you, Grandma!

A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Round

The “A Word A Week Photo Challenge” lives here.

As I follow skinnywench in my reader, she reblogged this post and I decided to steal this idea to construct my own post – thanks to both of you in advance!  (I was originally going to approach all these photo challenges by going out and Taking New pics for them, but this is much easier!)

Honey - Round

A very well-designed honey dispenser I found at Gulfstream Restaurant.

Paint - Round

The two colors of paint in my recently finished garage – the light grey on the right is the walls and ceiling – the cobalt blue on the left is the architectural details (the fuse box cover, the joist and pole that hold up part of my house, the garage attic ladder door and a few other details in there).

Recessed - Round

More garage stuff – we got one of these to see how we would like the light it produced and we did, so I took this pic when we went back to get more so we could make sure to get the Same one again!

Red Jewelry - Round

This is a jewelry set I got two of for the holidays – one for me and one for a girlfriend!

Rings - Round

These are the rings I wear on my left thumb.  If you want to know more, please see “I’ll Take Red Please.”

Sloppy Joes - Round

This is a pan of homemade (from scratch) Sloppy Joes Hubby had cooking on the stove the last Wednesday of my Radiation Therapy.  For more info on that, do a search on my blog for the keyword “Radiation.”

AHO - Round

This is one of two photos of my organic produce delivery through Abundant Harvest Organics from this week (delivered to my porch last Saturday).  See those beautiful round navel and clementine oranges both?  So sweet and delicious!  Not to mention the Russet potatoes, butternut squash, broccoli and fresh dill!

Checkers - Round

This is a checkers set I crocheted, including round crocheted checkers, that I gave to my work colleague who has a couple of not-quite-ten-years-old grandsons – she sent me a pic of them playing with it!

Dashboard - Round

The dashboard in a rental car I had last year after getting hit on the way to work – photographed as proof against them charging me for gas at their outrageous prices.

Invisibelt - Round

I wear a fair amount of untucked shirts, so I got one of these wondering if it would do away with the belt buckle bulge – the jury’s still out on this.

Jewelry - Round

The card of an artist I met at a local show whose jewelry I like and want to be able to find again in the future.

Mrs. Mays - Round

Yummy round fruit-nut-chocolate snacks!

Pancakes - Round

Mmmmm!  Pancakes and sausage links for brunch!

Siggi's - Round

Now this is my very favorite yogurt – thicker than Greek even, and they use only agave nectar (a low glycemic index, all-natural sweetener).  Currently, I’ve only ever seen it carried at Whole Foods Markets here in So Cali.  I’m hoping like the Greek yogurt craze, this will make it to the traditional supermarket chains too!

Amiata - Round

This was from a bar of soap I got at the same local farmer’s market as the artist’s business card above, and I took a picture of it so I would know what it was if I liked it and wanted to get more.  Turns out I Didn’t like it and the picture is still in my camera roll.

Bloody Mary - Round

Bloody Mary from the Egg Plantation.  Round olives, round glass –  need I say more?

Glazed Mug - Round

A cup I saw from an artist (again?!) at the local farmer’s market.  Wasn’t ready to buy it that day, but the pic reminds me of it if I want to go back again.  Seen from above it’s, well, round.

Boobie Beanie - Round

This is what’s known as a Boobie Beanie.  I made it for someone I work with when she had her second son.  It’s a hat for the baby to wear when nursing.  Cute, huh?  She didn’t precisely ask me to make it, but showed it to us as something fun and I surprised her with it at her work shower.  You might have to think about it for a minute to see the ’round’ part.  :-O!

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

Illumination

This is the beautiful robin’s-egg blue sky after yesterday morning’s storm blew away – illuminated by a haloed sun.

The inspiration for this post is here.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

Writing Challenge: Starting Over – Up at Midnight

Reposted January 14, 2013 re Writing Challenge: Starting Over.

Midnight-clock

There’s one day of the year when being up at midnight is a “thing” – New Year’s Eve.  Here in the US that was last night.

I’m not a big New Year’s girl.  Never really have been.

Yesterday I had a half day of work (they shut down extra early and sent us all home) and I came home to rest (see “What Looked Like ‘Better’ Turned Out to be PMS and a Full Moon“), which ended up being a late nap (about 4pm-6pm).  I knew that would screw with my night’s sleep, but as quickly as I fell asleep after lying down, I apparently needed it.  And I was off work today, so who cared if I was up half the night.

And I was.  And then some.

After waking up and having separate dinner together with Hubby (we both kind of fended for ourselves according to personal taste at the moment but prepared and ate together – you can do that when there are no kids to feed), we both settled in to rest – me still from the radiation fatigue and him from some crazy long days at work last week and a relatively active weekend.

We were having nice quiet time separately in the house together and along about 11ish I checked on him – sound asleep in his room.

I went back to bed and finished the book I was reading.

The Winter Palace

The time was about 11:40pm.

I picked up a new book (which I have decided is my first book of 2013 . . . because I can) and started to read it.

Beautiful Disaster

It grabbed me right away, so I forgot about the time.

Then I heard noise from outside.  It only took a nanosecond to realize what the noise signified.

I looked up from my book.

There I was, alone in bed, Hubby safely and peacefully sleeping in his room, a book in my hand, still hearing the year turn.

I took a moment to just be.

In a way, though it was near 15 hours ago, I feel like I’m still in that moment.

I could hear my neighbors fresh starts being shouted to the Universe, and thankfully I was not required to participate.

I felt something in that moment that is lurking still somewhere in my consciousness.

I don’t know what to call it.

I do not have the sense of transition that often comes with this night/day.  I do not have the relief of leaving the year in the past or the societally-imposed hope for a better year upcoming – behind me are two surgeries and destruction (yes, it’s actually what the real goal of radiation treatment is, even if saying it that way makes some people uncomfortable) of my cells – ahead of me are more surgeries and chemical castration in the form of anti-hormonal medications leading to artificial, forced menopause.

I’m very glad that when I go to sleep tonight, this year’s official “Holiday Season” will be over.  A few more days of being wished “Happy New Year” and facing the expectation that I display hope and joy in response to same, and then maybe I can breathe easier.

Being where I am in my cancer treatment, I have no realistic expectation that most of 2013 is going to be much better, easier or more fun than most of 2012 – that’s my reality.

I believe lots of people Do have that expected hopefulness and transition happening for them, and if you are one of them, I am truly glad for you – I just ask that you please not expect me to feel and display the same this year.

And before you try to buck me up, I’m okay with where I am just now.  I’m trying to just sit with it until it shifts.  And it will, in it’s own time.

Check with me a year from now, I may feel differently.

I went back to reading my book for a few more hours; I couldn’t put it down.

I finally took a 2nd Benadryl, which forced my eyes to close.

It was 4:00 am.