Tonawanda News

Features

February 11, 2013

BOOK NOOK: Love is in the air for magical teenage series

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Lena doesn’t want to “go dark,” but feels there’s a chance she might be headed in that direction after a serious of mishaps puts small-minded schoolmates and townsfolk in danger. And of course going dark would put a bit of a strain on her budding romance with good-guy — and mortal — Ethan. 

Although there are another three Beautiful Creatures books after this first one, I was left feeling like there should have been more to the series’ first offering. I listened to it as an audiobook, so I really had no idea where I stood in terms of just how much of the story was left until the audio file pretty abruptly moved into acknowledgements mode. 

Wait, that’s it?

Lena never becomes anything more interesting than a dull, mopey teenager. Heck, that describes most teenagers, but, come on, she’s a witch and the main character of a book ... let’s spice things up, ladies. Ethan is slightly more compelling, but ultimately powerless (and not just because he’s not magical) and horribly love sick.  

And the small town of Gatlin seems to have come straight out of “Gone With the Wind.” I’m not sure Garcia and Stohl could have gotten much more stereotypical about small southern towns and their people.

“Beautiful Creatures” lacks the complexity of plot and character development found in the Harry Potter series that makes them so appealing to readers of all ages. This series, heavy on the romance — like the Twilight books — will probably mostly appeal to love-sick teens and pre-teens. 

Which makes the casting of two Oscar winners, Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons; Oscar-nominated Viola Davis and Alice Englert, the daughter of art-house film director Jane Campion, a bit puzzling. Perhaps the film will bring something to the table that was missing from its original source material.

Contact features editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116.

• WHAT: "Beautiful Creatures" • BY: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl • GRADE: C+

Contact features editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116.

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