Lena Duchannes moves to the small Southern town of Gatlin to live with her uncle Macon Ravenwood, the town recluse. Unfortunately her arrival is not met with open arms. The “Mean Girls” of her high school treat her terribly based on rumors they’ve heard about her family. Lena is harboring a secret that will either change her life for the good or bad.
Ethan Wate is a guy who’s lived in Gatlin all his life and is looking to escape. He’s been part of the in-crowd and is looking to get away from the stagnant life he’s been living. Then one day Lena comes to town and all that he knew changes.
Lena and Ethan worlds collide an explosive way.
When I first saw the trailer for the movie and found it was based on a book, I was hitting the Barnes & Noble app on my phone and ordering it. I couldn’t wait to dive into this book.
First off the book is narrated by Ethan. We get to see the world through his eyes. Basically Ethan is tired of the mundane life he’s living. He talks about how the only theater plays movies that are already out on DVD and how the library still has a card catalog. You get a sense that things in Gatlin really don’t change much. He’s lost his mother. His father is a recluse. No wonder Ethan is ready to get out of Gatlin and get on with his life.
Having Lena arrive in Gatlin re-energized Ethan’s life. She was dark, beautiful and mysterious. Plus if the stuck-up folks of the town didn’t like her, he knew that there was something significant about Lena.
My favorite characters in the book were the sisters. They were a trio of elderly women that Ethan looked in on from time to time. The interactions between the women were hilarious.
“Aunt Mercy put down her tiles, one at a time. I-T-C-H-N.
Aunt Grace leaned closer to the board, squinting. “Mercy Lynne, you’re cheatin’ again! What kind of word is that? Use it in a sentence.”
“I’m itchin’ ta have some a that white cake.”
“That’s not how you spell it.” At least one of them could spell. Aunt Grace pulled one of the tiles off the board. “There’s no T in itchin’.” Or not.”
Other interesting characters was Amma, Ethan’s caretaker. Although she had a quick tongue, you knew that she loved Ethan and cared deeply about him. Ridley, Lena’s cousin comes to town like a bat out of hell. We quickly learn that her arrival is not an amicable one. Her character is very dark and cunning. She definitely adds some melodrama to the book.
I was anxious to see how the book was adapted for film. Before I give my opinion, I will say that I watched this movie late in the evening, which is not a good time for me to watch movies. I found myself falling asleep at some parts. I enjoy going to movies in the a.m. because I’m more alert.
I just thought the movie OK. I felt like some scenes were rushed and it wasn’t as intense as I thought it should be. In the book some great characters I thought added a little something extra were taken out in the movie version. The young actors cast as Lena and Ethan were fantastic. Now I know kids look much older than they are and I didn’t believe they were 16 years old.
I didn’t particular care for Jeremy Irons as Macon Ravenwood. In the book he came across as this dashing, dark and fashionable man. Ummmm, I wasn’t feeling the outfits Irons was sporting in the movie and honestly, he looked really old.
The character Sarafine played by Emma Thompson was too campy in the movie version. In the book she was dark and intense. She didn’t care who stood in her way. She was focused on getting what she wanted.
I could go on and on about why I didn’t really care for the movie. I know Hollywood is marketing to a tween crowd but I wish they would have made the movie more intense, dark and thrilling for the moviegoers. My opinion is one of millions. There are a lot of people who really enjoyed Beautiful Creatures.
Will I read the additional three books? Hell yeah. I downloaded the other three on my Kindle Fire last week. Truth be told, they were on sale for $2.99. I couldn’t pass up a deal like that. Ha!!
Beautiful Creatures captured my attention and I really want to see where Ethan and Lena will end up.