I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting into when I picked up Beautiful Creatures. Like Twilight, it seems like the kind of YA paranormal romance that people love to hate. Somehow it managed to stay off my radar until now despite being released while I was still teaching high school English, but lately I’ve been wanting to read light, fluffy fun stuff and nothing else and I’ve had to do some targeted browsing to find more of it. Thus Beautiful Creatures appeared one day as I was tunneling deep through a rabbit hole of fantasy stories written for audiences decade(s) younger than me. When I noticed it was set in the South, I was sold. Something about the advent of summer makes me crave books about hot, sticky, swampy places, and if dark secrets and magic are involved, all the better.
And you know what? For the most part, I really enjoyed myself. Beautiful Creatures is a perfectly adequate diversion if that’s what you’re in the market for. If I put on my snobby English major hat, sure, I could pick it apart like a kid in science class armed with a scalpel and presented with a formaldehyde-soaked frog. But why would I want to do that, when I could sit back with a sweating glass of sweet tea, slide on my shades, and let the story of reclusive witches and dark magic wash over me? Which, I should note, is even easier to do if you choose the audio version, read by the silky-voiced Kevin T. Collins in a delightful southern drawl. His voices for the doddering elderly aunts had me in stitches.
I say, if you like it, don’t fight it. Beautiful Creatures is lazy summer fun that goes down like ice cream on a hot afternoon.