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Extended Audio Sample Beautiful Creatures Audiobook, by Kami Garcia Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 5 3.55 (33 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: December 2009 ISBN: 9781600248474
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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.”

    Booklist

  • “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.”

    AudioFile

  • “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.”

    VOYA

  • “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 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 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 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 Amanda Dominik | 1/7/2014

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurel Peffer | 1/1/2014

    " Engaging teen lit about witches. Wasn't much invested in the characters, but the author did a great job describing the southern culture of this small town, which added a great layer to the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Ann | 1/1/2014

    " I see the negative reviews, but I enjoyed the book and the series. It relies a bit on convention that kind of oozes overuse, but the story holds up. The plot is decent and the characters work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Juliet | 12/20/2013

    " The idea, a new spin on witches and their world, was a fairly interesting premise. It's pretty much what kept me going through the book. I really couldn't get behind the romance, from the beginning it felt forced and neither character was very well developed. Usually after reading a YA novel, I can't wait to read it over again or at least my favorite parts, but I didn't feel that way after reading this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elisa | 11/30/2013

    " The beginning was promising but I didn't think Ethan was a good representation of a teenage boy. The end was kind of disappointing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie Junkers | 11/29/2013

    " Truly enjoyed this book. Entertaining, kept my interest and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 10/23/2013

    " i would give it 10 stars if they were available... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scarlett | 9/20/2013

    " It was a good book very unlike the movie but WAY BETTER. It was good i'm surprised to say I enjoyed the starcrossed lovers and forbidden love bit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April Lewis | 9/18/2013

    " This book was so powerful! It created suspense, romance, and so many surprises along the way. I've never been so in love or into a book in a long time. Incredible story, can't wait to read the next one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Khairunisa Putri | 6/15/2013

    " keburu pengen baca yang ke-2 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chastity | 1/2/2013

    " I absolutely loved this book! Can't wait to read the next one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita Smile | 12/3/2012

    " Este libro es ideal, una historia fresca, divertida y misteriosa lo tiene todo "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marci Kline | 10/7/2012

    " loved it can't wait for the movie on Tuesday "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jordyn | 5/28/2012

    " It was ok not great "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorie Riviere | 3/30/2012

    " I loved this book. This book grabbed my interest from the first page. First book I've read in a long time that was hard to put down. Very entertaining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Morgan | 3/1/2012

    " Like most other reviews I've read, it was a little difficult to get into this book. As soon as I got past learning all the things you need to know this book was great. I am on holiday and read the book in just a few days. I can't wait to continue the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gabby Swim | 9/26/2011

    " Beautifully heartbreaking. I loved it! Can't wait to read the next one in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerry | 9/13/2011

    " I quite enjoyed this even though I suggest it is not for my demographic. Obviously designed to do for witches, what Twilight did for vampires and a little derivative in that sense. Quite a fun read though. Not sure I will continue the series however. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sonja Bornman | 8/21/2011

    " This was awesome, I must admit here and there were chapter's that my consentration was a bit lost. When it comes to the history of the Gatlin. But still i could not stop. I am now busy with the second one Beautiful Darkness.....it is even better. :-) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorie | 7/21/2011

    " I really enjoyed this one, and can't wait to see what happens in the next book! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Riza | 7/14/2011

    " If this was any indication as to what the movie would've been like... I'm glad I saved my $20 "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 5/22/2011

    " I read this because my daughter wanted to. There wasn't anything uncomfortable in it- but I just found myself thinking, "yada yada yada." Which probably isn't a great recommendation. It was okay- but I won't be reading the rest in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaisa | 5/22/2011

    " Wonderful book. Can`t wait to start the next one... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracett | 5/20/2011

    " I loved the southern gothic horror feel to this book. I even love the beautiful cover, which in a rare move in the publishing world, fits the story well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 5/18/2011

    " I really loved this, EXCEPT for Lena. She was way too predictable/personality-less. Ethan on the other hand-what a cutie! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elise | 5/17/2011

    " Wow, I love this book so far, I'm not even done yet and I'm comepletly hooked! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maddy | 5/17/2011

    " I kinda liked this book. I feel like it drags on a bit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tatiana | 5/17/2011

    " What a fun read this was. I found the characters particularly wonderful and the story to be quite entertaining.

    Once I started reading it, I really couldn't put it down. Read it in about three days! Could not wait to read the second! :D "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cyndy | 5/16/2011

    " it's okay, but the romance is so...draggy. And kind of annoying. But I like the whole paranormal thing though, even if it is kind of a cliche. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stephanie | 5/16/2011

    " Seems like a fan fiction. Very amateur writing style. Couldn't bring myself to finish reading. "

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About the Author

Kami Garcia is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of the Legion series, which is being developed as a major motion picture. She is also the coauthor of the Dangerous Creatures and the Beautiful Creatures novels, of which the first book was made into a major motion picture by Warner Brothers, directed and adapted by Academy Award–nominated writer Richard LaGravenese.

About the Narrator

Kevin T. Collins is an actor, singer, narrator, and recording artist with a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has performed in numerous theater performances, including Angels, City of Angels, Paradise Lost, and on television in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, As the World Turns, and The Guiding Light.