Beautiful CreaturesBook - 2009
From Library Staff
In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
“I'm just the librarian. I can only give you the books. I can't give you the answers.”
“I never loved you any more than I do, right this second. And I'll never love you any less than I do, right this second.”
“We are given to the great, for great purpose, to great ends. We are given to the grave, for grave purposes, to grave ends.”
“The days we spend apart bleed together until time is an obstacle we must overcome.”
AgeAdd Age Suitability
green_giraffe_387 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 30
SummaryAdd a Summary
When Lena moves to Gatlin both her and Ethan's life changes forever.
On the first day of school Lena catches Ethan's attention and they fall in love.
But Lena has a mysterious family and on her soon sixteenth birthday either the light or the dark claims her and she thinks she's turning dark.
Not wanting to end up like her mother, her and Ethan do anything to keep her from the dark.
Teenager Ethan Wate is obsessed with his urge to finish high school and go on to college in order to leave behind the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina behind, until a mysterious girl begins to inhabit his dreams. When he meets Lena Duchannes, a newcomer who has just enrolled in his school, Ethan knows she is the girl in his dreams. Lena is rejected by the rest of her classmates for being the granddaughter of Macon Ravenwood, whom the town's superstitious residents consider to be a devil-worshiper. But Ethan gives her a ride anyway and they fall in love. Lena reveals to her new boyfriend that she is a witch, and that on her sixteenth birthday she will be claimed by either the forces of light or of darkness. She will remain in the light, but only if she does not remain in love with Ethan. To make matters worse, her evil mother, Sarafine, is casting spells to push Lena to the dark side. Ethan joins her in a search to find a magic spell to save their doomed love. Will the lovers succeed?
Ethan Wate’s can’t wait to get away from Gatlin, a small town with no surprises and painful memories, but when the beautiful girl who has been haunting him in his dreams moves to town this all changes. Lena Duchannes is unique; she isn’t just another small town girl with blonde hair and a short skirt. She isn't afraid to be different, and she is definitely different… Lena is struggling to conceal her out of control powers and deal with the curse that has haunted her family for generations. Ethan and Lean are drawn together and they struggle to find a way out of the curse, and save Lena from being claimed.
Lena and Ethan are a nice couple Their troubling occasions want you to find out what happens this instant. It makes you want to jump into the book to experience the action going on at first person veiw.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is set in fictional Gatlin, South Carolina. The novel is told by protagonist Ethan Wate who lives with his writer father and housekeeper Amma who is “more like [Ethan’s] grandmother.” The story begins on the first day of Ethan’s sophomore year when he wakes up from a recurring dream he’s been having about a girl he doesn’t know. That morning he finds a “creepy- almost hypnotic,”  song called Sixteen Moons on his iPod and also notices the smell of rosemary and lemon. At school Ethan find out there is a new girl this year which is surprisingly because Gatlin “hadn’t had a new girl in school since the 3rd grade,” the new girl is “old man Ravenwood’s niece.”  Macon Melchizedek Ravenwood is the town shut in and is often compared to the character Boo Radley from To Kill A Mocking Bird in the novel. Ethan later hears Lena playing Sixteen Moons in band.
When Ethan drives her home he almost runs over Lena who is standing on the road in the middle of the storm looking for someone to help with her broken down car. When Ethan notices she smells like lemon and rosemary he realized that Lena is the girl from his dreams. He soon learns that Lena is a Caster, a person who can use magic, and that on her sixteenth birthday she will be claimed for either Light or Dark. Ethan tries to find a way to save Lena from going Dark and solve the mystery of how he is connected to Lena. At the same time Lena is trying to handle the whole town turning against her “we don’t take kind to strangers [in Gatlin].”(Garcia 123) Lena and Ethan discover that they are connected through years of Gatlin and Caster history.
I liked this book. It was interesting, the paranormal aspects were fairly unique, and I love a story with a long family history like this one has.
But I just liked it. It never grabbed me and demanded that I keep reading. I think, mostly, this was because the pacing was off. There was too much time during the story when I was relaxed and not worried about whether the characters were going to get out of trouble. Sure, there were intense moments when I was glued to the pages, but then things slowed down too much and I was lulled into a strange sense of security. This made it too easy to set the book down.
Beautiful Creatures is a good story. I think it could have been great if it had been shorter, which would have increased the tension and kept the reader glued to the pages through the whole story. Or, at least, if it had a bit more depth to it with the characters and setting.
Overall, the only thing that really set it apart was the paranormal aspect, which was really interesting and unique. Unfortunately, it's not enough.