Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Magic, Southern Small Towns, First Love, Family, Choice
Ethan is a small town boy counting the three years until he graduates high school and can move far away—but when Lena Duchannes comes to town, he falls in love and finds himself in the middle of the Casters’ magic world and he must find a way to be with her and save her from turning Dark on her sixteenth birthday. Ethan and Lena are both likable, smart characters and their supporting cast of eccentric uncle, goofy best friend, shut in father, sassy librarian, mystic Southerners, prejudiced Southerners, and Casters (think witches) make for a wild and entertaining story. Ethan narrates the story giving a human perspective as he slowly learns more about Lena’s family and fights the prejudice of his town against her unusual family. Amidst a backdrop of hatred, DAR meetings, secret libraries, and Civil War reenactments, a story of finding out who you are and what you believe in pops off the page. Would recommend highly for anyone looking for a good fantasy without vampires and werewolves (also it does have sequels but it can absolutely stand on its own).
Later books: Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos, Beautiful Redemption