I know, I know, this is like a bajillion years late, but it’s been a busy few weeks at the day job, what with restructuring and all that unsexy stuff that goes on with corporations. But it’s going up now!
I have to admit that I’ve long seen Jenny Han’s Summer series on bookstore shelves but never really had the urge to pick up a copy, mostly because I was very deeply into Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia’s Beautiful Creatures series. I picked them up pretty quickly when I heard she was coming over, and even picked up her latest, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.
And while I like the Summer books well enough, I absolutely lovedTo All The Boys I‘ve Loved Before. So I was really pumped to talk to her about it during this interview. Aside from that, we also got to touch on issues of diversity in YA (young adult) books, as well as whether one really needs an MFA to become a successful writer.
The people who’ve been reading the blog for the past two years know that, with the exemption of “Beautiful Redemption“, I have been a verybigsupporter of the “Beautiful Creatures” series. I quite frankly bawled at the end of “Beautiful Chaos”.
When news of the movie adaptation came out, I was understandably excited, especially when Jack O’ Connell was first cast in the role of Ethan. Then he got replaced by Alden Ehrenreich, and I was a little bummed.
BUT THEN! Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons got cast as Sarafine and Macon, respectively, and I felt myself getting excited for the movie adaptation again. Add to that the fact that the movie had some pretty impressive trailers, and I was quite pumped to see it over the weekend.
If their track record is anything to go by, writing partners Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl are a force to be reckoned with.
All three books in their “The Caster Chronicles” series have not just achieved commercial success, but critical acclaim as well.
The first book in the series, “Beautiful Creatures”, made it onto Amazon’s Best Books of 2009, placing fifth in a list that consisted of 100 books. The book made it to the New York Times Bestseller list, and is now a movie starring Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons.
The next two books, “Beautiful Darkness” and “Beautiful Chaos”, charted on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists respectively, with “Beautiful Darkness” debuting in the top three.
Will Garcia and Stohl’s winning streak extend to “Beautiful Redemption”, the last book in “The Caster Chronicles”? Or will it be a lackluster end to a series that had such beautiful beginnings?
The dynamic duo of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl has certainly proved profitable over the past couple of years.
Ever since the pair came out with “Beautiful Creatures” in 2009, they’ve been jumping from one success to another. Not only was “Beautiful Creatures” a New York Times bestseller, it was hailed by Amazon as one of the best books of 2009, placing fifth in a list that consisted of 100 books.
“Beautiful Darkness”, which came out a year after, was also a success, rocketing up the New York Times Bestseller List. To top it all off, the series looks to be adapted into a movie by Warner Brothers.
This year, the series enters the final stretch as Garcia and Stohl bring us “Beautiful Chaos”, the penultimate book in the four-part series. The pair bring us back to the small, fictional town of Gatlin, South Carolina, where teenage lovers Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes continue to grapple with the many difficulties – mortal and supernatural – that continue to plague their relationship.
Here’s my review of “Beautiful Darkness” that came out last year, pretty much copy-pasted from the website of the paper I write for. A lot of stuff got cut because of space concerns.
Back in 2009, the writing team of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl broke into the field of young adult (YA) literature with a splash, via the publication of their debut novel, “Beautiful Creatures”.
Moody and atmospheric, “Beautiful Creatures” was hailed by critics and readers, propelling it up the New York Times Bestseller list and prompted online retailer Amazon.com to name it the Best Teen Book of 2009.
In “Beautiful Creatures”, readers are introduced to the fictional town of Gatlin, South Carolina, where 16-year-old Ethan Wate has been having terrifying dreams about Lena Duchannes, the niece of neighborhood recluse, Macon Ravenwood.
Throughout the novel, Ethan discovers that Lena comes from a long and powerful line of Casters, supernatural beings who have various magical powers. He also finds out about the centuries-long curse that has plagued Lena’s family: On the night of their 16th birthday, Casters in Lena’s family are “Claimed’’ either by the Light or the Dark – without them having a say in the matter.
By the novel’s end, things have come to a standstill for Ethan and Lena. Lena has avoided being Claimed, but has lost her beloved Uncle Macon in the process. Sarafine, Lena’s mother who is intent on turning her Dark, has escaped and left Ethan with the knowledge that he and Lena can never be together without him ending up dead in the process.
Hanging above all of them is the choice that Lena has to make on her 17th birthday – whether to side with the Light or with the Dark.
Most, if not all, of these conundrums are given a satisfying resolution in “Beautiful Darkness”, Garcia and Stohl’s follow up to “Beautiful Creatures”.
It was around 2009, I think, that I first heard about Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s young adult work, “Beautiful Creatures”. It came with such intense hype — Amazon named it one of the best books of 2009 only a month after its release — that I immediately snatched it up the moment it showed up in local bookstores.
I started reading “Beautiful Creatures” with a little bit of trepidation, as that large hype more often than not results in equally huge disappointment, but found myself pleasantly surprised by the book. When “Beautiful Darkness” came out a year later, I got myself a copy immediately.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I finally got myself a copy of the third book in the series, “Beautiful Chaos”, and I can’t wait to get started on it as soon as I get my suddenly jam-packed work schedule in order. But just so everyone has an idea about this series, I’ll be posting the reviews of “Beautiful Creatures” and “Beautiful Darkness” that I wrote for my day job while I’m reading “Beautiful Chaos”.