Beautiful Creatures

Synopsis:

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlinhas 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 Lenamoves 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.


The Phoenix’s Perspective

In my previous post, I explained that if I know a movie was made from a book, I would usually wait until I read the book to actually see the movie. Beautiful Creatures is one of the few situations where I saw the movie first. I can’t say it was the best movie I had ever seen, but it wasn’t bad.  The plot was clear – two teens that are destined to be together even though everything/everyone is getting in their way including the darkness that threatens to claim Lena on her 16th  The special effects were nice and the acting wasn’t horrid.  I’m not going to lie — I won’t be running out to get the Blu-ray, but I enjoyed it.

Now that I have read the book, all I can say is that I am amazed and upset. The movie created this vision of a love that cannot be broken, but the book lets you know that there is so much more. There is so much that was left out and/or changed that I felt like I had seen the plot to a movie that tried to rip off Beautiful Creatures.

There were characters that were left out and I am not talking trivial characters — we are discussing characters that are vital to the story and background, characters that help explain the connection between Lena and Ethan (because we all know there is something bigger than just love at first sight happening).

There are whole events that were not only discarded but also completely changed. It is difficult to truly explain it without giving spoilers, so I won’t. I guess I can only explain by comparison.  It feels like watching Lord of the Rings but they left out Lord Elrond and made Saruman the bad guy instead of simply a pawn used by Sauron.

The movie even added a plot twist that never actually occurred in the book, which causes the ending to occur completely differently. I am unsure if and how they plan on producing the sequel, Beautiful Darkness, because the movie ends with Lena having come to terms with everything that has occurred somehow while the book leaves her in a much darker and confused state of mind. I think artistic license went too far here because we are no longer following the same characters in the same story.

Putting all that aside, the book was a good read with a great message. The idea of being claimed takes away all of one’s free will and desire to just be. Claim yourself – a message left behind by Ethan’s mom – becomes the centerpiece of this novel.  It is a reminder that our legacies are created by the choices we make.  If we don’t like the way things are going, then we need to make new choices no matter what anyone else says the outcome will be.


Would I add it to the library?

I am excited to move onto Beautiful Darkness and follow Lena on her journey to be herself.

 

Genre: Fiction – romance, paranormal, gothic
ISBN: 9780316077033
Rating:  good

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