by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Ethan lives in the small southern town of Gatlin, South Carolina. Not much happens in Gatlin, the people who live in Gatlin have lived there all their life and can trace their families back to the Civil War. As far back as Ethan can remember, no one new ever moves to Gatlin, until Lena Duchannes arrives. When Ethan first sees Lena, he recognizes her from the dreams that have been haunting him at night. He is drawn to her, despite his grandmother’s warnings. Ethan and Lena are connected by history and also by something supernatural. Lena comes from a long line of Casters, or witches that are cursed to become good or evil Casters on their sixteenth birthday. As Lena’s sixteenth birthday approaches, Ethan and Lena become closer and find that not only can they communicate telepathically, but they also share visions of a supernatural event that took place during the Civil War. Lena is not a common Caster, she has more power than most, and is terrified of going dark. Ethan believes that Lena has a choice and as his feelings for her grow stronger, they both race against time to try and figure out some way to break the curse.
Beautiful Creatures is a beautiful read. The setting of Gatlin, South Carolina is just as much a character in the book as Lena and Ethan. This book is epic, though, at about 600 pages but if you stay with it you will experience a great love story, historical mystery, and a very interesting supernatural mythology created around the Casters. Beautiful Creatures is part of a series, called the Caster Chronicles, and books 2 and 3 are available now. There is also a movie adaptation in the works, and casting has just started for the movie. According to the blog Hollywood Crush, the first character to be cast is Amma and she will be played by the Oscar nominated actress Viola Davis (The Help).