Set in a small southern town, Beautiful Creatures (2009) revolves around Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes. Ethan is born and raised in Gatlin and can’t wait to get out. He runs with the "in" clique and is a basketball star. Then Lena comes to town. Lena is an outcast from the start because she is not from Gatlin and she is different, she is also part of one of the founding families that has always been at odds with the rest of the town…mostly because for some mysterious reason their plantation house was the only one left standing after Sherman’s March during the Civil War.
Ethan and Lena fall in love through a series of interconnected dreams and supernatural occurrences. Ethan soon learns that Lena is a “caster” and that she is about to be “claimed.” She will basically become dark/evil or light/good. Their mission is to make sure that she goes light. Along the way all of Lena’s caster family gets involved and all the mean, prejudice, and closed-minded townspeople cause all kinds of angst for the young couple.
This novel is very gothic in nature, as you would expect, and starts very promising in its uniqueness. It is reminiscent of Anne Rice, only for a younger audience. It has some humor as well. I thought it was great that the Lena’s reclusive uncle names his dog Boo Radley after the character from To Kill a Mockingbird. A little over half way through the book though it starts losing its uniqueness, it even has a scene directly out of Stephen King’s Carrie (which would have worked if it had been acknowledged and poked fun). I think the ending was weak at best. I am sure there will be a sequel but I will skip it.