Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

Published in: 2009
Pages: 563
Edition: E-book
Book #: 1 in the Caster Chronicles

Description: (Taken from Goodreads.com)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

My Review:
Back in March, (or was it February?), I recalled seeing the adverts for the movie version of this book, and thinking to myself “it’s time to read this book, you’ve been meaning to for years, now it’s time”. And for once, I actually listened to that little niggling voice in my head, downloaded this book and read it over a week. (I’ve ignored said voice since then, and have not indulged in reading anything else that has been made into a movie lately, even though I really want to. I just don’t seem to get the time I used to, sigh.)

So… it’s about these two teenagers, who are in a middle-of-nowhere town in the south, and they fall in love, because they are both outcasts, in one way or another… look, I’ll be honest here. This book is tough for me to review- I’ve put it off for about… well… I read this back in March, and I’m only just reviewing it now. I enjoyed the book, I was surprised by this, but I actually did. It wasn’t anything groundbreaking or new, it was a typical boy-meets-girl story, people disapprove but love conquers all, and with a dash of magic thrown in for good measure. But it was enjoyable to read.
But I kinda came away from the book and thought to myself, they made a movie out of this? What exactly made them stand up and go ‘yes, this is the book we want to turn into a movie?”
You know what I mean, you read a book to try and figure out what the attraction was, what drew Hollywood to these pages? I couldn’t personally see it, but that’s not to say it was a bad book. It was good, it just wasn’t anything astounding.

I finally got around to seeing the movie too, now it’s out on DVD and months after I read the book. I swear, since staring full-time work, I’ve had no time to do anything!!! The movie was, well, it was completely different, yet exactly like what I imagined. Make sense? No? Well, now you slightly understand why this was so difficult to review. In the movie, the characters weren’t what I imagined, but the scenery was exactly right.

Of course, I spent the majority of the movie yelling out what was in the book that they had missed out, or details they had gotten completely wrong. I think it’s the curse of the reader, to watch a movie after reading a book and notice all the wrongness of it. But to do ti the other way around is madness- I would be picturing things that Hollywood had already shown me, rather than making my own images and ideas and exercising ye olde grey matter a bit.

Final review:
Beautiful creatures rating: 7.5/10. Like I said, I did enjoy the book. It wasn’t astounding, but it wasn’t boring either. It was readable, some bits were downright addictive, but I still cannot see the special something that made this book stand out from the millions of others out there.
Beautiful creatures, the movie: I’d rate this the same, a 7.5/10. It wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t bad. I’m still unsure what special element exists in the story that required to to be a movie, but it was a fairly well-done movie.
Would I re-read the book? Yeah, I would. I tend to want to re-read a book after seeing the movie version, just to really confirm how different the movie was. And then watch the movie straight after reading the book, to confirm that again. I’m bizarre like that, and it usually becomes a viscious cycle. Who would I recommend it to? Well, it is a teenage fiction, aimed purely at the female of somewhere around 11 – 19. It’s based in highschool, it deals with changes out of one’s control, first loves, unreasonable parents and the urge to be different. It’s teenage angst in one neat little package, and it’s female-aimed. Maybe this is why I didn’t seem to click with the book, because I’m out of the teenage drama years and no longer can relate to the story? Tis a sad realisation, that one.

Links:
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6304335-beautiful-creatures
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beautiful_Creatures_%28novel%29
Book website: http://beautifulcreaturesauthors.com/
Kami Garcia’s website: http://www.kamigarcia.com/
Another book website: http://beautifulcreaturesnovels.com/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Creatures-Kami-Garcia/dp/0316231657
Movie website: http://beautifulcreatures.warnerbros.com/
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1559547/

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