This past Christmas I read Beautiful Creatures for the first time (and the only time, but I’m assuming there’ll be subsequent readings at some point). I fell in love. Not with Ethan or Link or Uncle Macon, but with the plot and the originality of the book. Last night, I finished the series with Beautiful Redemption. Boy was that a let down.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. I loved the second book and don’t really remember much detail from the third one, but I was really hoping the last book would make me cry and leave me with a feelings of great loss, a huge hole inside of me that could only be filled with…Stephanie Plum and Morelli. Hey, I’m a shallow, shallow girl, and I like what I like…and that just happens to be Joe Morelli.
Part of the reason I don’t think I enjoyed the book as much actually has a lot to do with myself and not with the book. I don’t really like the whole changing to Lena’s point of view a third of the way through thing. However, this surprises me. When we suddenly switched to Jacob’s POV in Breaking Dawn, I loved it. When we see things from Rhett’s POV instead of Scarlett’s, I enjoy it. But, part of the enchantment I felt with the first book and the subsequent was that it was from Ethan’s POV. I really liked having this different perspective, reading a love story told by the guy. I never fell for Ethan like I have so many of the heroes I read about, but I love him in a different way…like a brother or friend, I guess.
Why do I not like Lena’s perspective, though? Because I think she’s weak. I blame me feeling this way on conversations I’ve recently had with my cousin, Carrie, and Michael about female characters. Carrie is always explaining to me why she doesn’t like weak female characters, how they ruin the progress we’ve made as females, and why she loves Katniss for being so strong. I get that. I agree. Weak girls in life or in fiction annoy me. I never realized I felt this way about Lena until Michael and I started talking about books, though. I was telling him about how I never fell for Ethan and asking about how female characters are written in boy books since that’s something I’ll never experience. He told me that he likes female characters when they are strong. All the while, I’m reading Beautiful Redemption and thinking to myself that Lena actually is a very weak girl. I’ll admit that she got stronger after Macon’s death, but let’s look at the facts here.
She’s a big hero or whatever in her head for helping Ethan get back to our world after his death, but really, she’s not. She didn’t do anything but a few crosswords, and she had to have Ethan show her that he was communicating through them. John and Link and Ridley and Macon did everything. They got the Book of Moons from Abraham. They killed Abraham. They did everything in the past couple books that I’d been thinking Lena did. Heck, if we’re being honest here, I think Rid might just be the mastermind of everything, which I’m totally cool with (I so love her and Linkubus). Then, Ethan’s the one who got out of the Otherworld and took his page from the Caster Chronicles. Granted, Aunt Mercy, the Trueblood guy with the snakes, Lila Jane, Sarafine, Xavier, and Amma did A LOT for him. They basically told him everything he had to do and defeated most of the bad guys for him, but he did a fair part himself so I’ll give him some credit. He did, after all, admit that he had a lot of help.
I don’t want to say it’s a bad book. I just didn’t get the feeling I expected when I turned the final page, closed it, and placed it with all my other books. I just feel…unsatisfied. But, whatever. It’s probably just me (I need to find some other opinions before I’m convinced of this though). I just finished Gerald’s Game by Stephen King, too. That was a great book…until I got bored somewhere around page 350. I’d still recommend that one. Well, on to Plum Lovin’. I missed you, Stephanie and Morelli.