Publisher/Year: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010
How I Got This: Interlibrary loan
Why I Read It: I've been dying to read it since I read Beautiful Creatures and with the upcoming release of Beautiful Chaos
Rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.
Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
Wow. Again, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl have blown me away, and now I'm really counting down the days until Beautiful Chaos.
I had been waiting to read this since I finished Beautiful Creatures and I'm glad I finally got around to it. This time around, we get a deeper look into our favorite characters making this a more emotional read all around. Ethan and Lena have hit a bump in the road, so much of the time spent in this installment involves examining their relationship and what each of them are willing to do for each other. As someone who adores character development, I loved reading this one, and now I especially feel like I've known these characters forever.
I also really enjoyed how Kami and Margaret don't leave their readers hanging. It has been quite a while since I read Beautiful Creatures, so I was a little worried that this book would just jump into things and leave me behind in the dust. Never fear though--I never had that problem. At the same time, they did this so skillfully that I don't think it would be annoying to read this right after the first book. Sometimes, the beginnings of sequels are so mundane and repetitive that it takes like 50 pages to get into the actual story. Not in this case.
Above all, though, the writing is what takes the cake for me with this series. A lot of times, YA can come across as fluffy because of the writing style. Here we have a complex plot and stunning writing. Honestly, it reminds me of how everyone suggests the Harry Potter series for a well-written YA series. I adore the Gothic style. It's beautiful. Really, there's no other word for it.
And that ending?! Uh, hello, I need Beautiful Chaos like NOW!