I’m reading the book, Beautiful Creatures, written by a pair of English teachers (well, one of them definitely is a teacher…I think the other one may do something else, but I can’t remember what). Anyway, I’m just a little over half-way finished, and I can’t find the story. Is that a weird statement?

The main characters are typical YA teens…absent parents, dealing with school pressures, and falling in love. However, just like the book I Am Number 4, both characters are supposed to be 15 years old, but they don’t talk like the 15 year-olds that I know, teach, and love. It bothers me that these “kids” sound more like 18-20 year olds…like the authors are looking back on adolescence from what they learned themselves, rather than an author like Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak) who lets the teenager “be.”

In Beautiful Creatures, Ethan falls for the new girl in town, Lena — who’s holding a secret (she comes from a long line of Casters–or witches for the rest of us). There’s some sort of connection to the Civil War down South (why does it always have to be a “down South” story with the Civil War???), and maybe that’s where my comprehension breaks down. The book reminds me a little of The Witch of Blackbird Pond where the story, the essence of the entire book, takes too long to be told. Maybe I’m just so used to events and drama happening in every chapter, that the character-driven plot is too different for me as a reader.

Or maybe I’m finding the book a little boring.

If it wasn’t 500 pages, the character-plot would be fine. If there weren’t a sequel and another on the way, maybe it would be fine. If I could get to the STORY–the problem, the “So What” (thanks Nancy Atwell) — maybe it would be fine.

If I could abandon a freaking book, maybe I’d be fine. Unfortunately, that’s not my M.O…if it was, I NEVER would have finished THE best series I’ve read this year: The Knife of Never Letting Go, and its companions.

Advertisements