As a born and bred South Carolinian and lover of young adult literature, I thought Beautiful Creatures was going to be right up my alley after Amazon gave it such a high review. However, very early in the book, I realized my mistake.
The authors clearly thought it was okay to reference every cliché that has ever been made about the South and put them into 600 pages of ridiculousness. I literally threw the book against a wall at one point. I hope readers realize that the South is actually not full of towns with close-minded, backward, Civil War lovin' people with no regard for the world outside their small town. The South is a mystical and beautiful place with interesting history (that is most definitely not all good) and Southern Gothic novels usually capture that image realistically. I love it when a Southern Gothic novel points out the beauty and flaws of the South. However, Beautiful Creatures failed to give a realistic view of the 21st century South and appeared snobbish. Okay! Enough ranting about this!
Additionally, I tried and failed to buy into the main characters. Ethan was nothing like any 16 year old boy I've ever met. Lena was a bit boring. Amma could have been a good character but failed. Every kid in Jackson High School fit every high school cliché ever written.
So, as you can tell, I didn't care for this book. If you want to read a realistic Southern Gothic novel go buy "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt, Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, etc... If you want to read GREAT young adult literature with a male protagonist read all three novels by John Green starting with "Looking for Alaska".