Beautiful Creatures, which was co-written by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, is how I chose to hop back on the saddle after this little debacle.
It is book 6/52 and it took me over 10 days to read it. It’s not that it wasn’t good. I found myself a bit busier and more preoccupied. But I also found myself reading a book that is nearly 600 pages after my first real snag in the challenge. That’s a great way to pick back up, eh?
Beautiful Creatures caught my attention because a movie was just released based on the best-selling book. It is the first of a series of 4 books.
I had seen the trailer and commercials and was slightly amused, but after the “Oscar Wao incident” I think I needed something Young Adult, a little fantastical and possibly simple to read. Obviously, I didn’t think about the page count. The reason it’s so damn long is probably because every possible detail is written down, which is both great and exhausting at the same time.
The story is narrated by Ethan Wate, a 16 year old boy who’s mother recently passed away and who simply cannot wait to escape the small-minded small town of Gatlin, South Carolina. His father has become a shut-in since the passing of his mother (car accident) so he is mainly raised by a grandmotherly figure named Amma. When the book starts, Ethan tells us about a recurring dream he has been having in which he is trying the save a girl whose face he can never see. He’s overwhelmed by the reality of these dreams, but keeps them to himself so as to not come across as crazy. But then Lena Duchannes arrives in town, a relative of the shut-in Macon Ravenwood who lives on a manor everyone deems haunted, and everything changes. She is different than the Georgia Peach types that hold court over his high school. And more than they’ll ever know.If you’ve seen the trailer for the movie, then you know that Lena is a Caster, basically a witch, along with the rest of her family. This is all well and good, but she is not yet 16, so she has yet to gain control over her powers. And, the worst part, a curse has been placed on the women of the Duchannes family tree, in which they have no choice whether they will be claimed into the Light or Dark on their 16th birthday. What follows is a mystery to discover what will happen to Lena on her birthday and whether or not a relationship with the mortal Ethan will work out. And of course, tons of other stuff happens, because the book is forever long.
After I read the book, I was ready to see the movie (I went on Sunday) and was shocked at how completely different it was from the book. I know it’s hard to keep a 500+ page book completely intact when translating to the screen. I also know that some things just don’t translate the same. But there were SO MANY CHANGES. Unnecessary ones, too, in my opinion. If you’ve read the book and seen the movie (or are going to see the movie and have already read the book), you should check out this list of 14 things they changed.
In my opinion, it’s one thing to omit some unimportant details, but to change things? So weird.
Anyway, the book was entertaining. The day I finished reading them, the entire series (The Caster Chronicles, as they are known) was on sale on Kindle for 2.99 a piece. I obviously bought the remaining 3 and I do plan on reading them. But I’m going to take a breather for a while.
If you like the paranormal and a good teen romance, I would recommend this book. Considering how long it is, it obviously doesn’t skimp on the details. And there’s a lot more to learn, I suppose, as the books continue. It’s definitely not a favorite, but I don’t regret reading it.