Thursday, November 21, 2013

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1)
Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: December 1, 2009

Narrator: Kevin T. Collins
Listening Length: 17 hours and 38 minutes
Audiobook Publisher: Hachette Audio

Movie Released: February 14, 2013
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Screenwriter: LaGravenese, Garcia, Stohl
Length: 124 minutes

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 first introduction to this series was the movie.  Never having read the book I actually enjoyed the film even though several people I know did not.  Since they had read the book they were definitely disappointed in some of the major plot changes.  I, on the other hand, was blissfully unaware.  Now that I have listened to the book I completely understand why readers were so dismayed!  So much richness of the book is lost particularly the psychological complexities of Lena and Ethan as individuals but also their relationship.

One of the things I didn't like about the movie but I loved about the audiobook was the male narrator. Kevin Collins has a beautiful Southern accent and he was able to capture the female voices in a wonderful way.  In fact, reading a YA book from a male perspective was a really nice change of pace.  I particularly liked when Ethan would interact with Macon and when Macon would interact with Amma!

The only drawback to this particular audiobook is the length.  Coming in at 17 hours it is a commitment but I am definitely looking forward to listening to book number 2, Beautiful Darkness.


  1. I really enjoyed this series, but hated the movie. Way too many stupid changes. The movie felt so rushed to me and they completely eliminated Ethan's mom's best friend! (Marianne? Was that her name? I can't remember now.) I wasn't a huge fan of the second book in the series, but I'm glad I pushed through and continued on because the 3rd and 4th books were awesome.

  2. I watched the movie and it really wasn't my things but maybe I'll give the book a try...
    Nahomi @ Books & Swoons

    1. If you like the male POV or enjoy books set in the south it really is a nice change ~Sheri

  3. Whoa, that is one long audiobook! I've debated over and over about whether or not to read these, and I think I may not. BUT I still want to see the movie sometime. Glad you enjoyed this one.

    1. If you haven't read the book I think you will enjoy the movie. most of the people who don't like the movie read the book first. ~Sheri

  4. I LOVED that book! I was happy with most of the choices until we got to the end of the movie. Then I just got plain mad. They skewered it. But, I can see how someone who hadn't read the book would like it. The problem was MOST of their movie audience were fans of the book and that is one big reason the movie didn't do well.

    I particularly enjoyed Ethan and he is one of my favorite YA narrators. And yeah, that is a long audiobook; I don't know if I could stick it out!

    1. I have enjoyed Ethan so much I am now actually looking for books with a male POV which I have never intentionally done in the past.

  5. I thought this was a great audiobook too! I've only listened to the first two. I didn't like the second one as much as the first but I did still like it! I really should continue... Link is one of my favorite secondary characters. He has more presence in the second book too. And wasn't that a crazy ending!! I still have to see this movie. Ok this comment was all over the place...

    1. so the audiobook version I had included an interview between the 2 authors and 2 editors and it was FASCINATING. I don't always like hearing authors talk about how the struggle with plots or developing characters but this time it was so interesting I think because it was teams of women working together.