Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia

This haunting, lyrical book surprised me. What should feel like a straightforward boy/girl relationship challenged by one of them being Other becomes, in Garcia and Stohl’s hands, an evocative fantasy taking place in a Southern small town, with characters that haunt you and a love story that feels right. This even overcame my knee-jerk reaction against high-school “true love,” which usually has me rolling my eyes through works created by lesser hands. But there is much to love here, including southerners that rise above caricature, great guy friendships, and a love story narrated from the guy’s point of view. For 14 and up.

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