With the end of the Twilight series, an audience of all ages now has to find a new supernatural romance story and a new heartthrob to pine over. Luckily, the answer to their fangirl prayers was answered about three years ago. Enter Beau
tiful Creatures, part of The Caster Chronicles series.
When I first heard about the series, my initial thought was it sounded more Harry Potter than Twilight. It wasn’t until I saw the movie trailer (I believe the movie is out in 2013) that I decided maybe the book was worth a second look.
The series is written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and takes place in a fictional small town in South Carolina called Gatlin. The narrator/brooding heartthrob is Ethan Wate. Sorry ladies, he’s human. The first striking thing about this book was the ending of a “chapter” titled “Before.” He’s describing his small town and how nothing happens, and then he says, “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. I never even saw it coming.” Those chilling words lead the reader into the story.
Ethan is a sophomore in high school and the story starts on his first day of school. He lives with his recluse of a father and his housekeeper Amma. His mother died in a car accident and his family is still grieving. His father locks himself in his office day and night and only emerges for a few minutes before he gets back to work on “the great American novel.”
The night before his first day back, he has a haunting dream about a young girl he has never met before and this isn’t the first time he’s had the dream. There’s also a strange song called “Sixteen Moons” on his iPod and the lingering scent of lemons and rosemary in his room.
Link, Ethan’s friend, picks him up for school and Ethan asks Link about the strange song, thinking maybe it was one of Link’s band songs. When Ethan goes to find the song on the playlist, it’s suddenly gone. The song disappearing of his iPod won’t be the only strange occurrence to happen to him today.
A new girl had arrived at the school, and according to Wate, his high school has not had a new girl since “third grade.” The new girl was the niece of Old Man Macon Ravenwood. I liked the way the authors described Ravenwood. They used a To Kill a Mockingbird reference and said “ Old man Ravenwood made Boo Radley look like a social butterfly;” a silly and enjoyable throwback to a classic story.
Finally, after a long day at school, Ethan finally learns the girl’s name, Lena Duchannes. Amma tells Ethan to stay away from this new student. Of course when a teenager hears this, they immediately do the opposite. Ethan and Lena develop a strange, supernatural relationship. The readers eventually learn that Lena is a caster, and at her 16th birthday, she will either be chosen by the light or dark. If she is chosen by the dark, she will lose everything she cares about. She keeps a countdown to her birthday on her hand, as a dark (no pun intended) reminder of what’s to come.
This is a story that will please any young adult reader who’s looking to fill the Twilight or Harry Potter void and it even has some intelligent references to history and classic literature that gives it a little more depth (slightly). Check it out for an easy but entertaining read.
Written by: Katie Sperduti