Monday, May 10, 2010

Beautiful Creatures: The Setting

A while back, I did a guest post for Here it is just in case you missed it.

There’s one thing I’ve noticed when it comes to most YA books. The plot comes first, then characters, and the setting comes in last. How many novels have you read recently where the setting is not only mentioned prominantly, but is also a huge factor to the story?
When reading Beautiful Creatures, I was taken back by the vivid description of Gatlin county. The weather, the buildings, and the history were all planned out and written so well that I, a resident of South Carolina, went to a map to see exactly where this town was located.  It’s hard to “get” the feeling of a small town in the southern United States without actually living in one, and yet Kami and Margie did it while living in California!
Any small town can be boring, but in the South, it’s intensified. The hot, sticky summers last for months, and the heat and humidity can create a feeling of claustrophobia that makes the hours drag.  Entertainment choices are very limited. There’s not much to do, unless you go to the next town over, and even that can get old when that town isn’t much bigger than the one you’re living in.
In small southern towns, everyone does know everything about everyone else, and the people have very long memories. Not only are the people in everyone’s business, they can be incredibly small minded. These people really do revolve their lives around Civil War reenactments, and historical society meetings. Ethan’s feelings about his town are pretty accurate too. There really are two kinds of people: those who get out early, or those who are stuck.
Kami and Margie have done an excellent job with their settings and characters, and I am still blown away by their accuracy.

If you haven't read Beautiful Creatures yet, DO IT! Head over to or to learn more! 

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book too. I couldn't believe how seamlessly the two authors wrote it together. And you are right, the Southern town was so vividly described.



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