Book Review Break

It's Christmas break for us teachers, and this week, we're reading and/or reviewing. Recently erica read:

 Beautiful Creatures 

This was the top teen pick on Amazon last year, so I saw its cover all over the place during 2010. I like to read paranormal even if I don't write (much of) it. Plus, it was written by two authors and since we've been co-blogging, christy and I have talked a bit about co-authoring (nope, nothing in the works other than curiosity).

So I've looked at it in the bookstore a few times. Read some reviews. Wasn't totally sold and didn't know exactly what it was about (I LOVE spoiler reviews and LOVE reading the last chapter first, but am also trying to convince myself not to do that. Hello New Year's resolution #124).

I have to admit, I read this book in two or three days. That's the good part of this review. If you love, love, love this book, you might want to skip to the end of this. Sorry.

The read-through went quickly because I was out-of-town for a couple days and it was the only book I brought, plus I got it while my laptop wasn't working, so my Kindle purchases and own ms's were on lock-down. Also, this book didn't give me a lot to think about, so it went by quickly.

In my opinion, Beautiful Creatures was about 300 pages too long. I never fell completely in love with the characters and spent the first 75% of the story wondering what in the world these people were and why.

So, that's cryptic, huh? Here's some specifics: it opened with a dream, it uses about six (sorry, I don't want to look it up, but it was long) pages to describe the boring ride to school and then says he lives in a tiny town where nothing is more than 8 blocks apart (including his house and the school), and I really, really felt like I was reading an account by a person who was outside-looking-in instead of a heartfelt first-person narrative.

Some of it is clever, sure. A lot of different paranormals all living in one family. A small town with lots of eccentrics and a group of mean girls that would make Lindsey Lohan move away. No real sense that this was written by two separate authors. Alas, however, not enough to make me pick up the next one. Which says a lot, because I'm usually a sucker for a series. 

There. I did it. Although I feel a little bad, I did a book review of a book I didn't love - or honestly, really even like that much. Did you read and love it? If you did, please comment - I would love to hear more about what worked for you (since it seems to have worked for a lot of people. read the reviews here on Amazon).

(christy got the hunger games trilogy for christmas and is busy reading her way through it!  yay!)


  1. I did love it but I completely get where you're coming from. It was a literary heavy book with a lot of description and down time, which I like. But not everyone does!

  2. It's great that you have time to read other works. I've been to wrapped up in editing, WIP, and blogging to actually read a book.

    This is one thing I will try to do this coming year.

    Erica, you did a nice job on reviewing a book you didn't like. Although I have to admit I miss your humorous razors edge bluntness.

    I mentioned you in my blog post today, if you get the chance pop over.


  3. I didn't read this book, but I read another "page-turner" that sold a lot (Still Missing) and had similar issues. I hate when a page-turner isn't satisfying (even if it's just popcorn filler). On to the next!
    Happy New Year, ladies!! B

  4. I love that you reviewed a book you didn't love-- my first review ever was like that, and I felt guilty for days afterwards. Now I feel affirmed in my choice. :) Happy New Year!

  5. Heather - you made me laugh a little. You know, I do write romance - lots of down-time, but no, not literary-heavy!!

    Michael - Your post today was very kind. I try to save my riotous wit for private email critiques, though! :)

    B - You're right, time to move on. (don't get me started on the girl with the dragon tattoo series. i sooooo wanted to like it, but couldn't)

    Su - glad to help! My sister is a voracious paranormal reader and actually called me while I was reading it to ask me if I had ever read it and what I thought of it (she had the same issues I did). That's when I knew all opinions are important and decided to share!

  6. I'm in the process of reading it right at the moment. About 3/4 through. And, honestly, I wish it was shorter. There is a lot of time spent on things that don't really matter and things that could be said in 2 pages rather than a chapter. So far I like it okay, other than that. It's okay. lol

    Great job on your review too btw.

  7. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I think it was important to review a book you didn't love. If we only reviewed books we liked, what would be the point? Well, what I mean is, honesty is important. We're aspiring writers and we need to learn what works for us as readers because that may help us find what works for us as writers. Thanks, erica! Christy


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