Novel Ideas: Get lost in the world of ‘Beautiful Creatures’

The supernatural fiction series keeps the pages turning
By: Megan Houchin,
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Novel Ideas by Megan Houchin
“Beautiful Creatures”
By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publisher:  Little, Brown, and Company
Release Date:  Dec. 1, 2009
Rating: Four stars (out of 5 stars)        


Almost every good book eventually makes its way to the big screen.
“Beautiful Creatures” was adapted for film and released in theaters on Feb. 14 of this year, but the story began as a book by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl published in December of 2009. 
“Beautiful Creatures” is now part of an increasingly popular series called The Caster Chronicles. The four books in the series, “Beautiful Creatures,” “Beautiful Darkness,” “Beautiful Chaos,” and “Beautiful Redemption,” follow Ethan Wate, a mortal, as he learns that there are more things to life than basketball and cheerleaders and, even more importantly, there is much more going on in his small town of Gatlin, North Carolina than he ever would have (or could have) imagined.
Lena Duchannes is the new girl in a town where nothing changes. Inherently, this makes her an outcast to the kids at Stonewall Jackson High. But something about her draws Ethan in and even though he knows it may cost him his popularity, Ethan can’t seem to stay away from the mysterious and beautiful Lena.
Before long the two become inseparable and Ethan learns that Lena is a Caster, a race of people with magical powers. On Lena’s upcoming 16th birthday, she will be claimed to either the Light or Dark side of the Caster world for the rest of her life.
With only a couple of months remaining before her Claiming, Ethan is dedicated to protect Lena (as much as a mortal can) from the powerful Dark forces that threaten her – including the ones she might find in herself.
More mysteries unfold and even more are left unresolved as the two teens are led down the twisted path of fate that will span across four books and several years. 
Intended for a young adult audience, the supernatural fiction does contain violence and romance, but not too much of either, which makes it a great teen read.
Besides the obvious battle between good and evil in many different manifestations throughout the series, the story involves love, loss, family, fate, free will and, just like most other young adult novels, growing up.
In short, it’s just like every other book in the “Supernatural Teen Fiction” section of the bookstore, but this series is one of the better options. It is entertaining, surprisingly easy to follow considering all the twists and turns, and the characters are likable and/or hate-able enough to make you care about what happens next, which will keep the pages turning.
Megan Houchin is an Auburn  Journal editorial page designer and writer.