Beautiful Creatures is set in the fictional town of Gatlin, South Carolina—a small place where hardly anything new ever happens. All the townsfolk are narrow-minded people who reject anyone who doesn't fit the mold, and this applies in particular to the town shut-in, Macon Ravenwood, who is often compared to Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird. When Macon Ravenwood's niece, Lena Duchannes, comes to town, she is immediately under suspicion merely because of the way she looks and dresses, since she isn't dying her hair blond or working on her tan like the other cheerleaders. However, things get worse when Lena inadvertently uses her powers to shatter a window in the classroom.
Everyone is convinced that there is something suspicious and wrong about Lena, and the only person who is drawn to her is Ethan Wate who has been dreaming about a girl that looks like Lena for months now. Soon, Ethan and Lena find that they can communicate telepathically, and they run into a locket which is a dark talisman. When they hold it together, they are transported back to the Civil War and can see the story of a young woman named Genevieve unfolding there.
It turns out that Genevieve is Lena's ancestor, just as the man she loved is Ethan's. However, due to one of Genevieve's spells going awry, there is a curse on Lena's family. Lena believes that, on her sixteenth birthday, she will be claimed by the dark. Given that Lena is a caster i.e., a spell-caster, and powerful one at that, her going over to the dark side would be disastrous to her and the world at large. Will Ethan and Lena be able to thwart this fate?
This is a beautifully written, humorous novel that makes fun of the narrow-mindedness of Southern small towns. Most of the people in Gatlin refer to the Civil War as "The War Between the States" while older people call it "The War of Northern Aggression." Ethan laughs at these attitudes and once writes a paper titled, "The War of Southern Aggression." Of course, he gets a D but he shows us that he's a boy who thinks for himself and doesn't just accept what people tell him. If anyone can help Lena get rid of the curse, it's Ethan.
Beautiful Creatures is co-written by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia. Margaret Stohl is a graduate of Amherst College, has a Master's in English from Stanford and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. She studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She has worked extensively in the video game industry, and she and her husband are cofounders of 7 Studios.
Kami Garcia has a Master's in Education and taught in the Washington D.C. area, after which she moved to L. A. where she became a teacher and reading specialist. She lives in L. A. with her husband and two children.
Beautiful Creatures has recently been made into a movie directed by Richard LaGravenese, starring Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich, and co-starring Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson and Viola Davis.
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power—and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
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