Amidst all the cosplay and hot geek guys kissing at San Diego Comic-Con, there was also a panel on the hard-hitting topics: “What’s Hot in Young Adult Fiction?” Film School Rejects has the full recap, but what struck us was the mention of Beautiful Creatures. We’ve heard this novel name-dropped several times already this year, as fans old and new are picking up the book by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl in preparation for the upcoming film adaptation.
Shooting wrapped in New Orleans in late June—but wait, you’re wondering, how did I not even know that this series exists? It’s OK, we’re late to the game, too. Here’s everything you should know about the books, the movie, and whether it could replace Twilight for your supernatural reading pleasure.
1. Beautiful Creatures is the first book in The Caster Chronicles series, and seems (to me, at least) to incorporate elements from the two hot vampire series out right now. You’ve got the dreamy setting of Gatlin, South Carolina, similar to Mystic Falls from The Vampire Diaries. But instead of a human girl stumbling into some supernatural world, the genders are reversed: The star of the books is Ethan Wate, a Gatlin resident who starts having dreams about new girl Lena Duchannes. It turns out she’s a Caster (like a witch) and that on her sixteenth birthday she’ll be claimed for either Light or Dark. Even though Ethan has no powers, somehow he’s the one who can protect her. So, you still have a male protagonist obsessed with protecting the girl, but at least she can do some magic.
2. As you’ll see in the above photo, there’s Lena doing some sort of magic on a date with Ethan. Playing the new star-crossed lovers of YA are Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert. They’re both relative unknowns, though I dare you to tell me you haven’t seen Alden’s face somewhere and wondered who that kid was. Rounding out the cast is an impressive array of talent including Emma Thompson, Emmy Rossum, and Viola Davis.
3. There are five books in the series, with three published: Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, and Beautiful Chaos. Book four, Beautiful Redemption, comes out October 23rd. In the meantime, screenwriter Richard LaGravenese has adapted the first book for film. Though the name isn’t that recognizable, you’ll know him from his scripts for A Little Princess, P.S. I Love You, and most recently Water for Elephants starring Robert Pattinson.