Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Sunday, January 27, 2013

Plot Summary:
After making the ultimate sacrifice for the girl he loves, Ethan is not caught between two worlds. Although he is dead, he is in a place where those with unfinished business wait until they are able to cross over. Confused, and scared, Ethan did not expect to see his own mother caught in this place. However, after realizing the situation between his mother, and Macon, Ethan understands why she is there; hence, her ability to send messages through songs. For Ethan, he is not willing to accept his death and wants nothing but to return to Lena. After visiting Aunt Pru, who is also not ready to move on, he learns that there is a way to return to realm of the living and that it will be dangerous. Lila, Ethan's mother, is not happy with this idea and tries to persuade Ethan to stay, but, ultimately, Ethan must return because he was not supposed to die. Contrary to what he believes, Ethan's fate was decided for him and he has an opportunity to change everything. After visiting Obidias Trueblood, he learns that his name and death had been written in the Book of Casters and if he rips out his page, he will return to the mortal world. However, he must find his way to the Far Keep and get the book from Angelius himself. What he doesn't realize is that there is actually something worse than death--but eternal darkness. Ethan has no idea how he is going to get there, but he must if he ever wants to see Lena again. After being instructed on how to get to the Seam, which is the beginning of his journey, Ethan decides to contact Lena and Amma through the local newspaper and asks for help. Lena and Amma know that Ethan needs them, but Link and the others are not quite sure. In fact, Link, whose powers have been growing, has dedicated his life to look out for Lena even if it means that she is unwilling to accept Ethan's death. For Lena, she refuses to give up on Ethan and when she sees that he is asking for help, she is determined to get him everything he need including the Book of Moons. The problem with this request is that Abraham Ravenwood has the Book and they don't know where to look. Not to mention, how will they be able to get it to Ethan. In this thrilling conclusion, Ethan will take on all of the evil that has threatened his world and destroyed Lena's family. For Lena, this is the opportunity to bring back the boy she loves who not only restored the balance in the Caster World, but the same boy who never gave up on her. There is plenty of action and madness so get ready for an ending we may, or may not, be ready for.

Critical Evaluation:
 I can honestly say that I was not anticipating the ending of this series. As I kept reading, all I can think of was: "Wait, I am running out of pages so where is this going?" What I appreciate about these stories is that both Lena and Ethan have grown so much and it gives the readers hope that no matter what life throws at them, they will be able to overcome anything. Clearly, the bond between them can never be broken because they were destined for each other. I guess my greatest fear is what if the drift apart? I will say that I encourage the teen girls I work with to not get bogged down in relationships since they will be going off to college an experiencing new things and meeting new people. But, in this case, I am sure everything will be all right since they both defied death, imminent destruction, and the pains of adolescence. Bottom line: the authors have ended this series on a bittersweet note and we don't exactly get the happily ever after we want. Honestly, if the authors did not give us this ending than the entire series would have been ruined (aka Twilight series). The hardest part for me is not knowing if Lila moved on and the fact that Amma had to fulfill her end of the bargain. If readers don't remember, think back to the meeting with the Bokor. Like all things in life, we all need to have a little faith that everything will turn out for the best. For everyone in Gatlin, they are clueless as to what has been going on, but thanks to the bravery and perseverance of two innocent young people they can go on with their lives. For teens, this series has shown just how precious and valuable they really are whether they have magical abilities are are just plain normal. Everyone plays a specific part in life, which makes them unique, necessary, and irreplaceable. I am sad to see this series end, but am ready to move on just like Ethan and Lena and see what the future holds, especially with the upcoming movie adaptations.

Information about the Author:
According to their website:
Margaret is a veteran of the video-game industry, and after working with Activision (now Activision Blizzard) and Westwood Studios (now Electronic Arts), Margaret became a co-founder of 7 Studios with her husband, Lewis Peterson. She has previously been nominated for Most Innovative Game Design at the Game Developers Conference.

A graduate of Amherst College, where she won the Knox Prize for English Literature, Margaret earned a master’s degree in English from Stanford University and completed coursework for a doctorate in American Studies at Yale University. Margaret was a teaching assistant in Romantic Poetry at Stanford and in Film Studies at Yale. She attended the Creative Writing program of the University of East Anglia, where she was mentored by the Scottish poet George MacBeth.

Margaret loves traveling the world with her daughters, who are épée fencers, and living in Santa Monica, California, with her husband and two bad beagles.
Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in her journals. She has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13” on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She still lives in LA with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer)


Genre:
Teen Supernatural Romance
 
Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up
 
Books Similar to Beautiful Redemption:

Awards & Recognition:
From Amazon.com

"The fourth and final installment picks up after the massive cliff-hanger in Beautiful Chaos and doesn't disappoint." (Entertainment Weekly )

"The Beautiful Creatures novels contain a potent mix of the gothic, the mythic, and the magical. Readers can look forward to more of what they love in the final installment, Beautiful Redemption, as they follow Ethan's compelling journey to its bittersweet close. With original characters, complex world building, and crackling prose, this is masterful storytelling." (Deborah Harkness, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches )

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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