I couldn’t have chosen a better first book to read about witches and the supernatural, than the interesting tale, “Beautiful Creatures.” Following Lena in the months leading up to her sixteenth birthday where she will be “claimed” by either dark or light supernatural forces was a mystical adventure. Told through the eyes of Ethan, another teenager in the book dealing with the loss of his mother, his clever and witty perspective actually made me laugh. As Lena falls for Ethan in a small Southern town, they discover that their sleepy little town is cloaked with mystery and history that will change both their lives. Though the characters are young and in high school, the magical plot and focus of the story transcended their age.
As Lena and Ethan’s romance blossoms, Lena opens up to him about the powerful forces surrounding her and the daunting deadline facing her in just a few weeks. When they find a locket on the property next to Lena’s they are transported back to the Civil War to witness the destruction caused by the Northern Army and the beginning of Lena’s family curse. As they witness Ethan’s relative die in the arms of the woman he loves, they realize that there may be more to their relationship than either of them cold possibly know. Determined the change Lena’s fate, they dig up graves, search hidden libraries, and cast spells all in the hopes that they can prevent her from turning into a Dark Caster – or a an evil supernatural.
The book was filled with older characters who provided information through their own mysterious presence and added an element of maturity to the plot. Lena’s reclusive uncle, who is compared to Boo Radley, knows more about the “claiming” than he will admit to Lena. Ethan has always thought of his housekeeper as an odd woman who believes in spells, but now he realizes she descends from a long line of mystics and knows much more about his family history than she lets on. The best friend of Ethan’s recently deceased mother plays a prominent role as the librarian to the Caster Library – a deep underground tunnel beneath the town where spell books are hidden
The plot was perfectly timed, as important elements to the story continued to unfold quickly and with purpose. Rarely was there a dialogue or scene that was not necessary to the plot. Even things that occurred in the beginning of the book which seemed trivial would later hold significant importance. Using the Civil War as a catalyst for much of the story made the tales seem even more believable. Since the setting took place in a town where Civil Ware battles had been fought, it was perfectly acceptable that families lived for generations on the same plot of land. The historical background also lent an air of authenticity to the mystical curse that was hovering over Lena’s family for more than one hundred years.
The book was romantic but also had magic electrifying the pages. The book was easy to read and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone feeling a need to read about the supernatural.