Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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I have a rule: If I’m going to see the movie, I have to read the book first. For most novels, it’s been a tried and true method of never being disappointed. There’s only been one book I’ve read where the movie was actually better.

However.

I didn’t have any real interest in reading Beautiful Creatures¬†because I didn’t have a whole lot of interest in the movie. The soundtrack was good, the trailers were alright but it seemed like every other witch movie I’d seen. And then I read the synopsis (because I wanted to know) and I was blown away. I HAD to read this book. It helped that it also came highly recommended from my sister.

And the first three quarters of the book were amazing. The characters were brilliant, the setting was not too far from where I live which was great, the story line was familiar but unique and probably the most original and surprising thing was the novel is narrated by the boy, Ethan. This way we were learning about Lena with Ethan as opposed to Lena spilling everything. So the novel was chugging right along, everything was great, suspense was building, the characters were doing crazy things and it was awesome…

And then it just lost steam. The ending felt rushed. Lena was doing things out of character (which I could attribute to her being afraid, but it didn’t read that way). Ethan had lost his forcefulness with her and had turned back into a puppy-dog type character. To have such a build up and then have the finale over with in like twenty pages was disappointing. I thought the characters deserved more than that.

I plan to read the sequels because I may have missed something. Time and space goes kind of wonky so I don’t know if we were supposed to feel like we were under Ridley’s spell during the concert as well. Beautiful Creatures¬† was good and I would recommend it to anyone (and I did to one of my Southern friends because I think the family dinner scenes would be very familiar to her).

Basically, I chose to read the novel because the ending of the movie was so perfect and then it was completely different. Has this taught me to just read the novel before looking up anything about the movie? Probably not.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

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Rick Riordan’s Egyptian series, The Cane Chronicles, follows siblings Sadie and Carter Cane.

The first in the series, The Red Pyramid, introduces us to Sadie and Carter who only see each other a couple of times a year. Sadie lives with her maternal grandparents while Carter travels the world with his father studying Egyptian gods and goddesses. Of course, in actuality, Carter’s father is figuring out how to summon and then free a group of trapped Egyptian gods much to the surprise of his two children.

I don’t know why this series isn’t pulling in my interest as well as Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson did. Perhaps there isn’t enough romance yet? The kids are extremely well-behaved and logical, which Percy and Jason were definitely not. The gods are actually more involved than either series but that takes out the surprise.

I really had no intention of reading this series until I found out that Percy and Carter were eventually going meet each other. Not to mention, plugging through the book and picking up subtle nods toward the other two series is a lot of fun.

All in all, the book was well done and funny. I will definitely be reading the next book, The Throne of Fire, and the ones after that. But apparently Percy will always be my first love.