Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Lena Duchannes is new in town and living with her uncle, resident hermit Macon Ravenwood. It’s not easy being accepted in small-minded Gatlin where daily life is dictated by the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). Life-time resident, 16-year old Ethan Wate is drawn to the mysterious Lena. What is their connection? You have to go back 150 years to find out! And what is so different about the Ravenwoods? Lena’s 16th birthday is fast approaching, and things will never be the same.
Colorful extended-family members and a dog named Boo Radley add charm and depth. Homage to Anne Rice, Stephen King’s Carrie, and Harper Lee is appreciated by the eclectic reader.
First published in 2009, Beautiful Creatures is sure to generate a lot of hype as the long-awaited movie is about to be released.
Check this out in audio book or manga, gorgeously illustrated by Cassandra Jean.
Genre: paranormal romance, Southern gothic.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
The author of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series finds a new animal muse in The Scorpio Races. Building on the Celtic myth of the water horse, Stiefvater’s capaill usice are fearsome, flesh-eating horses. Each November the Scorpio Races are held on the small, fictional island of Thisby. The capaill uisce emerge from the sea, stinking of seaweed and decay and hungry for blood. Foolishly brave riders attempt to tame and race the legendary horses. Local girl Puck Connelly has joined this year’s race in an attempt to win enough money to save her family home. Sean Kendrick follows in his father’s footsteps by winning the Scorpio Races several times. This year he races for a chance to buy Corr, his capall uisce, from his employer. Fame, money, pride, and maybe even freedom are at stake this year.
The Scorpio Races is an enthralling story that weaves elements of legend with real-life struggles to overcome poverty and position. The starkly beautiful landscape, the siren’s song of the ocean, and the majestic beauty and brutality of the capaill uisce are gorgeously intertwined with the story of Puck and Sean. Sprinkle in a hint of romance and enjoy!
Genre: folklore, mythical creatures, horses, islands, romance.