Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Could Not Finish

So, a few years ago now a friend lent me a copy of Beautiful Creatures and told me it was worth the read. I can’t say I enjoyed it exceptionally, but overall it wasn’t terrible, earning a 3-star rating on Goodreads from me. I wasn’t floored by it though, and haven’t pursued the rest of the series until as of late, because I didn’t want to waste the money on buying any of the books. However, recently I was like oh well, I’ll just borrow it from the library. Duh, that makes total sense. So, that’s exactly what I did.

The second installment in this series picks up after the first one left off, but Lena and Ethan seem to be falling apart. Lena is struggling with having to choose between light and dark, but she seems to be heading down the dark path, something that Ethan tries to save her from. We are also introduced to a new character in this novel, Liv. Ethan takes up a summer job at a library, something that Liv also does. Only, she has travelled all the way from London (I believe?) to study here for her dissertation (or something or other for college anyway…I think). Will Ethan and Lena survive these trying times as Lena pushes Ethan away to join a new crowd. And what will come of Ethan and this new girl Liv?

Well, I can’t tell you the answer two either of these questions. Not because I don’t want to write any spoilers, but because I couldn’t actually bring myself to finish this book to find out. I got about half way through this book and couldn’t do it any longer. I didn’t care about the characters or the storyline enough to actually want to find out how everything played out. To sum up this book in a few words: role-reversed Twilight.

Ethan Wate is a male Bella Swan who cries and pines over Lena, a female Edward Cullen. The more I think about it, the more the basic premise of this book reminds me of Twilight. I’m not a Twilight fan, so that could easily explain why I didn’t like this book. I found all the characters to be unlikable, not relatable, nor even enjoyable. Lena turns into a real bitch and, like in Twilight, tells Ethan that he has to leave her alone, because she’s dangerous and could kill him. They can’t even kiss because Ethan goes into a fit if they do for too long. (I’m sorry, BUT THIS IS TWILIGHT). I had zero sympathy for Lena throughout any of what I read in this book. She becomes shallow, one-dimensional, and flat-out un-redeemably mean. If I could find an ounce of care for the outcome of this book, I would absolutely not want her and Ethan to ever get back together.

But then again, Ethan is just as bad as Lena, only the opposite of her. He becomes one-dimensional and only cares about getting back together with Lena. It literally consumes him and is all he cares and whines about. And, since the story is told from Ethan’s perspective, that’s literally all we hear. How much he loves and still wants to save a girl who has turned completely cold to him and tells him to leave her alone because he doesn’t belong in her world. I can imagine that if I got further into this text, Ethan would go into the autopilot coma that Bella succumbs to in New Moon. 

Liv’s character was a bit more likable, but was not near good enough to be the saving grace of this novel. She is a strong female side character, but I just didn’t find her believable in any way, shape, or form. She is basically, keeping with the Twilight similarities, a female Jacob who provides Ethan with a distraction from Lena. However, she is supposed to be a college student, I believe, finishing up her studies, so it can be assumed that she is most likely in her early 20s, so what would she want with a high schooler pining over his first love? I don’t find the relationship or how she came all the way from London believable at all. Also, Garcia and Stohl’s writing of her accent is half assed and also very much not believable. If you’re going to introduce a character with an accent, please do it write and study the accent a bit before writing it.

Now, for my final complaint: the storyline. I found the premise of this story to be very similar and redundant of the first book. I was also told that this book ends very similarly to the first one. But, that would have been the least of the worries of these two authors if they had actually written an intriguing storyline. Most of this story falls flat and is drowned in WAY too much flowery dialogue. There is little tension throughout what I read and most of the paragraphs are dedicated to flowery descriptions or dialogue that further the story in no way. It’s basically like wow this scene is really pretty. Let me tell you everything about this pretty scene and give no reason why you should care or how it relates to the story. Garcia and Stohl were boring me to death and caused me to not feel an inkling bad about putting this book down merely half way through.

Honestly, this book was a train wreck, and I have zero desire to pick up any of the books in the series again or to read anything else from these authors. Thank god I borrowed the copy I was reading from the library, because I’d be excessively upset if I had spent money on this story that appealed to me in no way.

Sorry this has been such a negative review, but I really, really disliked this book. Of course I understand that many people do like this series. And, if you like this book, great. Although, I’m assuming anyone who liked this book probably didn’t read this full review. So, everyone who is still reading, thank you, and I hope I saved you from potentially picking this up and wasting your time and/or money.

Until next time, here are my social media links, as always, where you can follow, add, and interact with me anytime: Tumblr, Goodreads, Instagram. Have a great weekend everyone! See you again on Sunday for my weekly wrap up.

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7 thoughts on “Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

  1. I had the exact same response to The Beautiful Creatures series, it seemed wholly anticlimactic. I started reading it back when Twilight was popular (and yes, during it’s early stages when I was an awkward middle schooler, I was a Twilight fan, but I now realize (since I minored in Sociology) that the Twilight series is pathologically unhealthy in regards to gendering, relationship dynamics, and treatment of minorities, and Beautiful Creatures seems to fall into that same trap. But you made it further than me, I never even finished the first book…. Glad that your post appeared on my Reader, because I really enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I completely agree! I, too, was once a young, lost Twilight fan before college came along (I majored in English and minored in English Literature, a predominately liberal field, so that helped me realize a ton of problematic issues). Beautiful Creatures was just a mess and I have no desire to pick up any other books in the series. I’m just upset that I wasted time on it when I could have been reading something more worthwhile for me. I should have never picked it up off the shelf at the Library haha. I’m glad you found my article and enjoyed it! Thanks for reading !

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I, too, enjoyed Twilight once upon a time, but it now clashes to much with my strong liberal beliefs. It’s just not for me anymore. And this book also wasn’t one that was right for me. I don’t think you’re missing much from staying away from the Beautiful Creatures saga. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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