This novel is a nugget of Southern life not often found in YA these days. Often, books set in the South are Civil War laden and Historical Fiction. Beautiful Creatures, with its modern day Gatlin setting, was not your "typical" YA location. For this reason, I liked the book. The fresh perspective and setting gave characters some room to stand out from all the dystopian love tragedies out there.
However, I don't know what it was about this book that left me wanting more, feeling somewhat unfulfilled. Something was missing. There was this constant vibe of Twilight and Harry Potter and something else. As I read, I felt like some parts were overwritten, like missing his dead mother, and other parts were underwritten leaving me to fill in the blanks, like dad and his lack of writing.
I wanted to love this book. I was pulled in by the sensory language (Lena's hair constantly curling and uncurling) but then left hanging there by the lack of character depth and development in some of the key auxiliary characters (even Amma seemed lacking). I still intend to see the movie in hopes the plot will be redeemed, but sadly, I'm just not feeling the pull to read the rest of the books in the series.