The first Wild Wednesday post appeared on 4th of July – which is super easy to remember because it happens to be Independence Day in America, yes, that same day on which Will Smith dragged an alien across the desert. Anyway, I’ve ran out of ideas what to post on this special day of the week (for now, I do have something planned for Summer/Fall) and I thought why not expand this blog a bit further – books! Now, I have been reading a lot this month and will continue to do so because like some of you might already know, the entire Game of Thrones series is waiting for me patiently. Now, feel free to express your opinions on this matter, do you happen to be interested in book reviews? Would you prefer books that have been made to movies/shows or just random reads? I’m not going to flood the blog with reviews of things people are not interested so, fire away your thoughts about book reviews as a part of this movie blog (on Wild Wednesdays of course).
Having that introduction kind of interfered with my original plan of having a clear structure to this post but I’ll do better next time (if there’s interest towards this type of posts). Until then, I wanted to explain why this book actually came to my intention and I’m guessing its no mystery to many of you – Beautiful Creatures was made into a movie that premiered on Valentine’s Day 2013. Now, with these types of young adult movies that are based on books, I do have a certain system of actually reading the book before I see the movie and therefore,here’s the book review of Beautiful Creatures.
“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.” – GoodReads
What came as a surprise was the fact that the plot was presented from a male perspective. I think I’m not the only young adult fiction fan who’s used to reading stories through the eyes of a young girl, it was like that with Twilight, The Hunger Games and the Uglies series. Therefore, at times, it felt a bit awkward that the male character, Ethan Wate, was describing situations though the actual plot revolved around the girl, Lena Duchannes. More precisely, she was a witch or, as the book referred to her, a caster who was approaching her 16th birthday on which she was going to be claimed. The story progressed very slowly in the beginning, they were basically waiting and trying to find a solution for her destiny, which meant being forced to be either Dark or Light. It took ages for the story to develop and get to a point of action, quite frankly, I was bored through out the first half of the book.
Second part, especially the last few chapters of the book where focusing solely on the event that was the whole point of the book: the birthday. Now, there were many face-palm moments before and during this event which made it all sound too childish for my taste, especially since the characters seemed to be catching on to things a lot slower than the reader. Frustrating at times, there were still moments in the plot where things got interesting but it was soon forgotten and buried under clichés.
I had a personal problem with Ethan Wate’s character which meant I was not connecting with him at all. He was a person who came across some very serious information and things about not only Lena’s past but also his own but some how he dealt with it in a very shallow way. Love does make people stupid, right? Anyway, I think my initial surprise of reading the story from a male perspective became an obstacle throughout the book and therefore my lack of interest towards Ethan’s character.
Lena on the other hand was a much more complex character, full of secrets and self-doubt throughout their “adventures”. Her family was also extremely colorful, from her uncle Mason (who by the way was my favorite character) to her mother. While I have less issues with Lena’s character, the main problem was the added disconnection with her family due to the fact that the story was told by an outsider. Now, when the plot would have been described by Lena, the whole family would have had a different vibe, as mysterious but with more insight.
Beautiful Creatures tackles the world of magic but from a perspective of a mortal, who is referred to have some kind of magic as well but it is not totally explained (maybe because it’s the first book of the series). While the plot sounds promising, the way the story progresses is simply way too slow for my taste. It is also extremely chopped up and as it took me ages to finish it, I’m quite sure the flow of the story is its biggest downfall. Positive points of the book are to do with characters that are outside the main duo, both Mason as Lena’s uncle and Amma as Ethan’s strong willed mother figure are well developed and interesting to read. All while Ethan’s and Lena’s romance and relationship never seemed to push the right buttons.
Despite of the fact that I haven’t seen the movie, I’m already certain that it would be better than the book for sure. Not just because the plot will be shortened and the less important things will be left out the story but because the movie version has a strong cast. Jeremy Irons as Mason is already more thrilling than the middle part of the book. Interestingly enough, just as the book’s main duo felt a bit distant, the movie version has two unknown actors as leads – I’m most likely going to continue my love for the supporting characters in the Beautiful Creatures on the screen as well.
Beautiful Creatures movie review: