I had only recently started noticing movie posters and previews for the movie Beautiful Creatures and felt oddly compelled by the advertisement for the movie. However, the ads were not compelling enough for me to actually pay to watch the movie. Instead I was not-so-secretly hoping that in the coming months, it would be one of the free movies I'd get to watch on an international plane flight; after all that is how I watch the majority of my movies these days. In any case, before that, since this movie is based on a teen lit series, obviously I needed to read the books first. Fortunately for me, my husband happened to catch the Kindle Deal of the Day over Presidents' Day weekend for the Beautiful Creatures series ($2.99 for each) and I snapped up the deal. I'm currently halfway through book two in the series and I've gotta say, I'm hooked! Here are the reasons why I think this is one of the better teen fantasy series:
1. A 'ship to root for: I think that Ethan and Lena are just such a great couple. But at the same time, when they're not together, I feel like there's something very real about the emotions taking them down that path and so it's okay. As a result, I'm not totally against other developing relationships either. There's a lot of gray area with the 'ships, but it's acceptable for a strong shipper like me.
2. Ethan > Bella: Bella was simply not that likable in the book, and only marginally more likable (for me) in the movie. Ethan is an extremely likable protagonist, which is helpful when the book is written primarily from his perspective!
3. A little less predictable: I'm in Book 2 (Beautiful Darkness) and I'm still not quite sure where it's going!
4. Southern culture: The mix of modern day "Southern" culture intermingled with post-Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression) society is pretty interesting and unique to this series. (Well, for a teen lit series, that is.)
5. It's well written. I'm not usually one to notice how well or poorly written a book is because I'm so engrossed in just the story. But while reading this series, I've actually been impressed with how the story unfolds and the quality of the writing.
6. Bromance: Ethan's friendship with Link is a little bit more a side story but constant in Book 1 and comes into play much more in Book 2, but it's a great friendship.
7. Flashbacks: The book interweaves in the past really well with the flashbacks that the characters are pulled into throughout the stories. The flashbacks show a glimpse of the town of Gatlin during the Civil War, but also clues as to what's coming in the rest of the book/series. I really like how it plays into the storytelling and development of the characters, present and past.
Hopefully my enthusiasm for the series doesn't wane as I read the rest of the books. I really hope I like how this turns out and that the movie doesn't suck.