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Extended Audio Sample Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (123,691 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl Narrator: Kevin T. Collins Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Beautiful Creatures Series Release Date:
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Beautiful Creatures is set in the fictional town of Gatlin, South Carolina—a small place where hardly anything new ever happens. All the townsfolk are narrow-minded people who reject anyone who doesn't fit the mold, and this applies in particular to the town shut-in, Macon Ravenwood, who is often compared to Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird. When Macon Ravenwood's niece, Lena Duchannes, comes to town, she is immediately under suspicion merely because of the way she looks and dresses, since she isn't dying her hair blond or working on her tan like the other cheerleaders. However, things get worse when Lena inadvertently uses her powers to shatter a window in the classroom.

Everyone is convinced that there is something suspicious and wrong about Lena, and the only person who is drawn to her is Ethan Wate who has been dreaming about a girl that looks like Lena for months now. Soon, Ethan and Lena find that they can communicate telepathically, and they run into a locket which is a dark talisman. When they hold it together, they are transported back to the Civil War and can see the story of a young woman named Genevieve unfolding there.

It turns out that Genevieve is Lena's ancestor, just as the man she loved is Ethan's. However, due to one of Genevieve's spells going awry, there is a curse on Lena's family. Lena believes that, on her sixteenth birthday, she will be claimed by the dark. Given that Lena is a caster i.e., a spell-caster, and powerful one at that, her going over to the dark side would be disastrous to her and the world at large. Will Ethan and Lena be able to thwart this fate?

This is a beautifully written, humorous novel that makes fun of the narrow-mindedness of Southern small towns. Most of the people in Gatlin refer to the Civil War as "The War Between the States" while older people call it "The War of Northern Aggression." Ethan laughs at these attitudes and once writes a paper titled, "The War of Southern Aggression." Of course, he gets a D but he shows us that he's a boy who thinks for himself and doesn't just accept what people tell him. If anyone can help Lena get rid of the curse, it's Ethan.

Beautiful Creatures is co-written by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia. Margaret Stohl is a graduate of Amherst College, has a Master's in English from Stanford and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. She studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She has worked extensively in the video game industry, and she and her husband are cofounders of 7 Studios.

Kami Garcia has a Master's in Education and taught in the Washington D.C. area, after which she moved to L. A. where she became a teacher and reading specialist. She lives in L. A. with her husband and two children.

Beautiful Creatures has recently been made into a movie directed by Richard LaGravenese, starring Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich, and co-starring Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson and Viola Davis.

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A smart, modern fantasy—a tale of star-crossed lovers and a dark, dangerous secret. Beautiful Creatures is a delicious southern gothic that charms you from the first page, drawing you into a dark world of magic and mystery until you emerge gasping and blinking, wondering what happened to the last few hours.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Here’s a story that stays with you long after you put down the book. The setting is haunting, and Lena and Ethan are supported by a rich cast of family members, friends, and enemies. The plot has enough going on that this is more than just a ‘boy meets girl—who might become evil and destroy everything’ story.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

  • “Readers who like angst-filled teenage romance will be swept up by the haunting and detailed atmosphere, the conventions and strictures of southern life, and a compelling and dimensional mythology.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “There’s plenty teens will like: romance, magic, hauntings, and the promise of more to come.”


  • “Narrator Kevin Collins is eminently likable as Ethan Wate…Listeneres will be charmed by the setting and story elements—call it southern gothic meets contemporary witchcraft—and by Collin’s skill with all of it.”


  • “This book has it all: a creepy setting, a deadly curse, reincarnation, spells, witchcraft and voodoo, plus characters that simply will not let the reader put the book down until finished.”


  • “In the gothic tradition of Anne Rice, the authors evoke a dark, supernatural world in a seemingly simple town obsessed with Civil War reenactments…The intensity of Ethan and Lena’s need to be together is palpable, the detailed descriptions create a vivid, authentic world, and the allure of this story is the power of love.”

    School Library Journal

  • “[A] smart, textured, and romantic southern gothic…Ethan’s wry narrative voice will resonate with readers of John Green as well as the hordes of supernatural-romance fans looking for the next book to sink their teeth into.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A 2011Audie Award winner

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Jillian | 2/16/2014

    " This irritated me from the beginning. I couldn't get into this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Melissa Curtis | 2/13/2014

    " Read it for book group, now I've got book two on reserve at the library. Good story, love the male lead. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Liz Covert | 2/1/2014

    " I really liked this book, and immediately downloaded book 2 to start listening to. Unfortunately, it only earns 3 stars from me because it took several times starting the book to get into it. The first HALF of this book draaaaaaaags. Great story. I look forward to finishing the series, and to watching the movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Amanda Dominik | 1/7/2014

    " A good book to recommend to Twilight fans, this one has the female as the supernatural. "

  • > Show All
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