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Beautiful Creaturesby Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Oh, what a fine, fat book this is. Beautiful Creatures plays out over 600+ pages, and every page is worthwhile. There are some wonderful, rich, and powerful sentences that need to be reread. The main character, Ethan, has a strong voice; you’ll wish you could be his friend. The entire book will have you reading in a Southern accent. In the Southern Gothic tradition, the town of Gatlin plays a character, with its Civil War history, small-town bigotry, and cooking contests. Gatlin's good old average Americana is balanced with an underlying layer of strange mystery. There is a distracted librarian with hidden depths, crazy aunties with a surprising strain of sanity in their sweet madness, and a lovely and turbulent teenage love story. And sometimes, it's funny! The authors find humor in the oddest of moments. I loved this book from the very first page to the very last page. I loved the cover. I loved the afterward. Beautiful Creatures is one of the best books that I read in 2009.
Synopses & Reviews
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
Praise for Splintered:
"Fans of dark fantasy, as well as of Carroll’s Alice in all her revisionings (especially Tim Burton’s), will find a lot to love in this compelling and imaginative novel."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Alyssa is one of the most unique protagonists I've come across in a while. Splintered is dark, twisted, entirely riveting, and a truly romantic tale."
"Brilliant, because it is ambitious, inventive, and often surprising — a contemporary reworking of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’’ with a deep bow toward Tim Burton’s 2010 film version."
—The Boston Globe
"It’s a deft, complex metamorphosis of this children’s fantasy made more enticing by competing romantic interests, a psychedelic setting, and more mad violence than its original."
" Protagonist Alyssa...is an original. Howard's visual imagination is superior. The story's creepiness is intriguing as horror, and its hypnotic tone and setting, at the intersection of madness and creativity, should sweep readers down the rabbit hole."
"While readers will delight in such recognizable scenes as Alyssa drinking from a bottle to shrink, the richly detailed scenes that stray from the original will entice the imagination. These adventures are indeed wonderful."
"Attention to costume and setting render this a visually rich read..."
"Wonderland is filled with much that is not as wonderful as might be expected, and yet, it is in Wonderland that Alyssa accepts her true nature. The cover with its swirling tendrils and insects surrounding Alyssa will surely attract teen readers who will not disappointed with this magical, edgy tale."
—Reading Today Online
"Creepy, descriptive read with a generous dollop of romance."
—School Library Journal
YALSA’s 2014 Teens’ Top Ten
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 crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever--and one secret could change everything.
Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.
Now shes out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.
When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.
A thrilling romance filled with ghosts, rebellion and revenge!
Paul has always known he was a Protector, fated to serve a Speaker who could hear the voices of spirits lingering after death and help those souls find peace. Vivienne never listens to the voices of the dead.
Paul has always followed the Protectors rule book, preparing diligently for the day when hed be matched with his Speaker and fulfill his destiny. Vivienne never does what shes told.
So when Paul is matched with Vivienne, they both find the pairing less than satisfactory. But a kidnapping, a malevolent spirit and a power stronger than both of them may just prove that they are two halves of the same whole.
In a stunning story about the beauty of fate and the power of secrets, Mary Lindsey returns to the world of Shattered Souls with a breathtaking thrill ride of a novel.
Perfect for fans of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Beautiful Creatures, Lauren Kate's Fallen and Maureen Johnson's The Name of the Star.
About the Author
Jessica Spotswood lives with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. She's never happier than when she's immersed in a good story, and swoony kissing scenes are her favorite. You can visit her at www.jessicaspotswood.com.
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