Gatlin, South Carolina. Where the Civil War is not the Civil War, but the War of Northern Aggression. Where your friends have been your friends since birth. Where no one ever leaves. Yet Ethan Wate dreams of leaving Gatlin, and he does so through the books he hides under his bed. He is desperate for change, but as he starts his sophomore year of high school he knows nothing will.
Somehow he is proved wrong, because Old Macon Ravenwood’s niece moves to Gatlin and shows up at Jackson High. From the start she is different and has no chance of fitting in with the existing cliques. She is the New Girl that doesn’t know the rules, that doesn’t wear the right clothes, that isn’t interested in the right things. And Ethan couldn’t be more drawn to her.
They strike up an unlikely friendship, but Lena Duchannes is hiding a secret. It’s not the kind of secret that the whole town secretly knows. As it turns out, it is much darker than he ever imagined. She is from a family of casters: people that can do incredible, unbelievable feats of magic. The only problem is that she is cursed. On her sixteenth birthday, February 11, her magic will be claimed. She will become either a Light caster or a Dark caster, and if she goes Dark she may even try to kill Ethan.
As Lena’s birthday approaches, she and Ethan find themselves embroiled in the mystery of Lena’s family. If they can find out why she is cursed, they can find out how to stop her magic from being claimed—letting her claim her magic for herself.
Throughout all of this the powerful Dark caster Sarafine lurks in the background. She will stop at nothing to make Lena turn her back on Ethan and her family and become a Dark caster.
Beautiful Creatures is the first novel written in conjunction by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and is the first book of The Caster Chronicles series. The movie adaptation hits theatres next Thursday, February 14.