Mook Review: Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures – Novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl



As a huge fan of young adult fantasy, I was disappointed to find such a well-talked about novel to be so boring.  “Beautiful Creatures” was really nothing to write home about.  I found it quite erratic, the characters underdeveloped, and the plot line muddled.  When I first read the synopsis, I really felt this concept had potential but it was a story perched up on a fence, teetering one way and then the other.  Basically, I felt Beautiful Creatures was doomed to fail in general.

One issue I really had with this novel was the various story lines that all were supposed to “come together” in the end.  The problem was, they didn’t.  The way each plot line written seemed very processed and artificial; from the Civil War flashbacks, to Casters and Seers, and secret libraries, there was nothing truly concrete about it.  Each character was lacking depth and was so cookie cutter and stereotyped I just couldn’t get into it.  The character of Ridley in particular was most disappointing; when she first shows up in her sexy outfit, blonde and pink hair, and sucking on a lollipop I couldn’t stop my eyes from rolling.  It took a lot for me to even finish Beautiful Creatures and I was totally dissatisfied.

When it comes to Young Adult series, skip this one.  There are so many better series out there to read (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, even Divergent and the Matched trilogy) and Beautiful Creatures will just leave you disappointed and feeling like you’ve wasted your time.

“Beautiful Creatures” – Directed by Richard LaGravenese 



My expectations for the “Beautiful Creatures” film were somewhat in the middle.  I felt that there was a standout cast here and sometimes a good script is all you need to amplify a story.  Specifically, I was looking forward to seeing Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, and Jeremy Irons and their portrayals of Amma, Ridley, and Macon, but I was well aware that the movie could be a total bust.

Frankly, the movie could have been a lot worse.  I’ll start by saying Emmy Rossum totally put Ridley in a new light, rather than just the sexy Siren who is so stereotypical and far fetched in the book, she was attractive and sultry in a much more realistic way in the film.  I was shocked to find myself smitten with Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan Wate; he was incredibly charming and adorable – everything the character in the novel was lacking.  However, I couldn’t say the same about Alice Englert as Lena.  She was just so…. blah, for a character that was supposed to be so powerful.

Truthfully, there wasn’t much that could have been done to make the movie amazing given the story line, but I found they did a good job.  Taking away all the little sub-plots that seemed pointless (the “Sixteen Moons” son, Ethan’s Dad, etc) really helped focus on what was important with the story.  But even with all that the story was just ok.  In light of the recent franchise movie surge, I doubt “Beautiful Creatures” will really take off.  There is too much competition out there, and this story is just too contrived and artificial.

Mook Rating  ★