Monday, January 28, 2013

DNF: Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Hey, look!  It's another DNF! 

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?
Here's my something nice:
The covers of this book (and the rest of the series) are very attractive.

And here's the stuff I shouldn't be saying (writing) at all:

This series has been on my radar for a while, though I never really bothered to look into the subject matter.  I knew they were paranormal romances for a YA audience.  In other words, I didn't expect great literature, but I enjoyed Twilight for what it was, and I thought this might be similarly enjoyable fluff.

Nope!  'Twasn't to be.
One thing I did know in advance was that this series was set in the South, and that piqued my interest.  (I should've known better!)  However, the very first two paragraphs made it perfectly clear that this wasn't the South-- it was the Stereotypical South.  A podunk small town that anyone of intelligence tries to escape.  Ignorant hicks everywhere you look.  Characters who drop their g's and heap on the drawl-- except the protagonist's family, who don't speak with that nasty Southern accent, because they are Educated.  (Ugh.)  All the characters (except the special few) are narrow-minded and/or dim-witted, and apparently everyone's obsessed with the Civil War:
Only folks down here didn't call it the Civil War.  Everyone under the age of sixty called it the War Between the States, while everyone over sixty called it the War of Northern Aggression, as if somehow the North had baited the South into war over a bad bale of cotton.  Everyone, that is, except for my family.  We called it the Civil War.  Just another reason I couldn't wait to get out of here.

Um, no.  Where I live (in the South), it's extremely rare that the subject comes up at all.  So get over it, authors.   Please stop trying to define us by something that happened nearly 150 years ago.

I thought possibly that I, being a Southerner, was more sensitive to all the negative stereotypes than other readers, but reviews springing from other places indicate that it's not just my imagination-- and yes, it is insulting.

Apparently both authors live in L.A. (that's "Los Angeles", not "Lower Alabama") and from what I can see, the one who claims to have "Southern roots" grew up outside of Washington, D.C.  Despite what some may try to tell you, D.C. is not really part of "the South", so as a true Southerner (as in, if I go much further South I'll be living in the Gulf of Mexico), I'm skeptical of all this "Southern roots" hogwash.  ;o)

Setting aside that issue (even though it's a biggie for me), the story-- or what I read of it, which was about 7% of the book-- was lacking in other ways... and based on reviews, it doesn't sound like it gets much better.  So you know what?  I'm not going to waste any more time on it.  NEXT! 

P.S. "There were no tourists this time of year.  They wouldn't take the chance during hurricane season."  Uh, what?  How hard is it to drive away, if there's a hurricane coming?  And when is tourist season, if not during summer/early autumn?  I live in a coastal county where we do get the occasional hurricane-- yet the tourism industry is alive and well.  Trust me, tourists come every year.  If it looks like a storm's coming, they'll pack up and drive somewhere else-- as do many of the people who live here.  (In other words, you know not of what you write, authors.)