Beautiful Creatures - Soon to be a Motion Picture
Title: Beautiful Creatures
Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: December 1, 2009
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.
Our Little Discussion
Kelly: Well basically it's about this guy who feels like he is drawn to the new girl who just moved to Gatlin, Lena. He then finds out that she is part of a family of Casters. They are like witches but different. Every Caster has a different ability and they can only do stuff concerning that ability. (Then maybe you can carry on?)
Kristin: As you get further along in the book, you see that the casters are divided up between light and dark. There's been many secrets held inside the Duchannes family and Lena may actually pay the price. She's haunted by a song about her "choosing" which happens when she turns 16 and she's justifiably scared.
2. There are so many great characters in the book, how would you describe the main characters?
Kelly: Ethan: Well to me Ethan is quite an awkward human, even though he is part of the popular crowd. He is also a complete Southern Gentleman, his momma raised him right as they would say. He is also very loyal and trust worthy. He goes beyond the limits for anyone he cares about.
Kristin: Ah, Ethan. He's everything Kelly said and more. We would all be lucky to have an Ethan in our lives. I love that Ethan doesn't let Lena and her weird ass family scare him away, because, honestly, I would've run for the hills.
Kelly: Lena: She is very secretive but is also a loving soul even though she gets bullied by the entire town for being part of the Duchannes family. She would do anything to protect the people she loves, but she isn't perfect. She is flawed just like everyone else.
Kristin: Lena: Most definitely she is flawed, but she's got her reasons. I love her because in my eyes, she is strong, even when she's at her worst. There are times when she's so overwhelmed and held down by her choices, that she hides from reality, but that is exactly why Ethan is so good for her. He drags her out and forces her to face life. Like Kelly said, he'd do anything to protect the ones he loves...even from themselves.
Kelly: Link: The awesome best friend of Ethan. I love Link. He is my favourite. He is strong in what he believes in and he may seem a bit thick in the head sometimes but that is not the case. He is very observative.
Kristin: Link: Honestly, there were times he got on my nerves, but he does have a strong sense of morality and helps Ethan and Lena even when he's not sure he should!
Kelly: Amma: I love this woman. Her crossword puzzles cracked me up. But she has a lot of secrets she has kept from Ethan, most of them I never agreed with. She is fiercely protective over Ethan. She is a strong character that makes decisions never to benefit herself, only those around her.
Kristin: Amma: Amma is simply awesome. She's raised Ethan and has been a positive influence on him always. However, like Kelly said, she's been keeping secrets from Ethan. Secrets he should have known. But isn't that how all YA books are, if someone would just tell the character what he needed to know, all the problems would be solved. But being a young adult is about discovery and making your own way in the world. I believe that's what Amma wanted for Ethan.
Kelly: Macon: The scary, intimidating uncle of Lena who lives in Ravenwood Manor who everyone fears. His only concern is for Lena. He is the father she never had. He tries to be as good as he can.
Kristin: Macon: He is the person with the most secrets in a world where no one is what they seem, least of all Macon. I admit that he was the most interesting for me to learn about. As his story line unfolded, my mouth continued to drop. So many shocking discoveries.
Kristin: Ridley: I love this lollipop sucking bimbo, except she's really not as ditsy as she appears. She's dark and pissed. She's jealous of Lena and Ethan, so she'll compel just about anyone to do her bidding. What happens when that person is Link? Well, I suppose you'll have to read to see.
3. What scene stuck out most in your mind from the book?
Kelly: I think the face off at the end with Sarafine and Hunter. It was beautifully written.
Kristin: I highly enjoyed the stand-off also. Sarafine is the darkness incarnate. I loved to hate her though. The entire scene, start to finish, enraptured me. I felt like I was right there with them, though I would have rather been anywhere but there.
4. Are you looking forward to the movie? And why?
Kelly: Of course I'm looking forward to the movie. I love book to movie adaptations. It's a different world with a very gothic feel to it. It's very unique. I think people will love it.
Kristin: Oh Yeah! I honestly haven't been this excited for a movie since Twilight (love, hate...I don't care, just allow me to have my opinion.) Yes, I know everyone ran to the Hunger Games, and I enjoyed the movie, but I think the special effects in Beautiful Creatures are going to be amazing, and the darkness behind the entire story draws me in.
5. With all book to movie adaptations, fans get anxious about whether the movie will live up to their expectations. What are some of your concerns?
Kelly: Oh Gosh I really do have a lot. Like what have they cut from the book? What did they add that wasn't part of the book? What did they change? It's quite scary to think about it. With the featurette I heard them call Macon a caster and I was like, uh that is not true. The dude's an incubus! Also I'm worried about how they made Ridley look so much older. Where is Lena's charm necklace? That ends up being very important in future books.
Also, they cut Marian? Seriously?? She plays one of the major roles. You don't just cut a major character. That's like cutting out Ridley. So yes I have a lot of concerns
Kristin: My main concerns revolve around the usual - what did they cut out of the movie, what did they change, and what did they add in. I've seen several shots of Ridley and it seems she changes her age from day to day. She is older than Lena and her crew, so to me it's only natural that she would appear a little older. And right now, since I've only seen the featurette which takes clips of the movie and blends them all together in order to capture the most dynamic moments so people will show up in droves. The thing is, on trailers and featurettes, they take things out of context and you never know, Lena may actually wear the charm necklace, just not in that scene. Who knows. I'm not making any snap judgments about the movie until I see it. I'm hoping for the best.
6. Let's talk about casting. I mean, they didn't just choose no name actors, there's some well known, award winning actors in this film. Do you like the casting choices? (I'm going to talk about each one as I answer.)
I love that they cast Jeremy Irons as Macon. It's perfect in my eyes. I think he will be able to capture the correct essence.
Alice Englert as Lena I never had a problem with. She has the right look I just don't know her acting.
Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan, yeah still not seeing it, maybe if he looked younger but the guy looks 27.
Viola Davis as Amma is perfect! They couldn't cast anyone better and from what I've seen I think she is going to be great.
Emma Thompson as Mrs Lincoln/Sarafine. Why they didn't get a separate actress for Sarafine I do not know. I mean she does make an appearance at the end. But I love her works so she will be great I'm thinking.
Emmy Rossum as Ridley. She is a tad too old for Ridley but I do think she will be able to portray her correctly.
Thomas Mann as Link. Yeah absolutely perfection!!!!!!!
Jeremy Irons: When I read he was going to be Macon, I thought, "Wow, could they have chosen anyone better. No."
Alice Englert: I'm not familiar with any of her acting, so I'm with Kelly on this one. She has the right look to be Lena, hopefully her acting will live up to the hype.
Alden Ehrenreich: Totally unsure about this move. He just doesn't live up to my "Ethan" standards. Sorry.
Viola Davis: She's going to rock Amma. She's been amazing in everything she's done and I can't see where this would be any different.
Emma Thompson: I'm okay with her playing Mrs. Lincoln and Sarafine. She's one of those people who can look completely different with a slight make-up change. I think we'll all be surprised on how good she'll be.
Emmy Rossum: Some say she looks too old, but as I mentioned before, Ridley is older than the rest of the gang, and even though Emmy is 26, the scenes I've viewed with her as Ridley, she's completely captured her character.
Thomas Mann: Nope. Not in any way, shape or form is he my Link! Just sayin' - Link's an athlete, he should have a little more muscle on him, not just skin and bones.
7. What's the scene you are most looking forward to seeing recreated?
Kelly: Honestly? Everything. I can't wait to see the whole story come to life!
Kristin: Ha! True, Kelly. However, I'm looking forward to the dinner scene where the house gets upset and everything goes wacko. I'm also excited to see the stand-off scene, but aren't we all.
8. Will you be sitting in the theater the very first night?
Kelly: Well I'll only get to see it on the 22nd of Feb since that's the day it will get released. But on that day, I'm there!
Kristin: I'm hoping to go on release day, but several things factor into that wish, so...