Is it just me or did Lena Duchannes remind me of that girl from ‘Sky High’?


I’m at a point, I think, where I can actually start reading for fun.

Not that reading isn’t always fun, but when I do read I usually end up reading something that will turn into a book review for Friday’s paper. And I’ve read a lot of really great books this way. But, it’s still work.

I read four books in one week though. Four. Though most of them were relatively skinny, and I was pretty exhausted after the week, I ended up being able to work a few weeks ahead of schedule. Enough so that I decided to take on Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures.

Nic and I really liked the movie. I was a little apprehensive at first, because it just seemed like another Twilight (which I also really liked, as a single entity that doesn’t necessarily need a flock of copycats). I was surprised when I found Ethan, the main character in Creatures to be a cool, grounded, interesting character. And so I checked out the book

[Note: I think I’m competing with the entire teen and tween community of my town. When the book finally came back to the library, I darted over there, before work, to check it out before it was gone again. Not the finest moment for my 25-year-old self.]

The book is large, peeps. And, after my four-book week I felt a little sluggish turning these pages for three weeks on end. It’s pretty good–I liked the historical dips here and there and the southern cultural references. I guess I was just expecting more.

I was kind of expecting the romantic vacuum that Twilight had. That book was practically all panting and anguishingly-long separations (like a day and a half). In this one, Ethan tells us over and over how much in love with Lena he is, but I didn’t really buy it.

That, and Lena kind of reminded me of that girl from Disney’s Sky High. The main character’s best friend/love interest who makes vines shoot out at the villain. I had this weird morph going through my head. Half the time I was reading, I pictured Lena as Alice Englert; the other half, she was Danielle Panabaker.

I still want to read the other three in the series: Beautiful DarknessBeautiful Chaos, and Beautiful Redemption. I may need to wrestle down some summer breakers to do it, but we’ll see.


Ethan Lawson Wate is caught off guard when Lena Duchannes, the niece of the elusive Macon Ravenwood, moves to town to live with her uncle. The entire small town of Gatlin, South Carolina knows the Ravenwood family is strange, and ostracizes Lena as a result.

What Gatlin doesn’t know, however, is that the Ravenwoods are supernatural beings. Lena is a witch, and on her sixteenth birthday she will be Claimed for either the Light side or the Dark. 

The secret to her Claiming lies in part with Ethan and in part with a mysterious locket that holds a key to the past for both Ethan and Lena, and for the mystery that threatens to separate them as her birthday looms closer.


About katepadilla

I write for the Spencer Daily Reporter in Spencer, Iowa. I keep blogs lifebythebooks, Save Me, San Francisco, and Beauty and Beast Buy a House. I'm also hard at work writing a short story collection inspired by the music of Train.

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