"In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything."
That's the tagline for "Beautiful Creatures," the graphic novel based on Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Caster Chronicles novels; the movie based on the story is set to premiere on February 14.
"Beautiful Creatures" is a supernatural romance with a lush Southern Gothic setting and a two likable protagonists. Ethan Waters is a regular guy who plays basketball and hides his love of books, as that sort of thing doesn't go over too well in his small-town high school (despite the fact that Gatlin, South Carolina, seems to be unusually well endowed with writers and professors). Lately he has been having strange dreams about a girl he doesn't know, who smells like lemon and rosemary. Then Lena Duchannes shows up, the new girl in a town that doesn't take kindly to strangers, and immediately Ethan knows something is up. For one thing, the two can read each other's thoughts. The grownups (Ethan's housekeeper and Lena's uncle) are acting weird, and all sorts of strange phenomena start cropping up. The supernatural twist is that Lena is a Caster, someone who can do magic, and on her 16th birthday she will be claimed by either the light or the dark side. Things get stranger as the day draws nearer and it turns out that Ethan is more than just a bystander in this drama.
We have an exclusive preview of the graphic novel "Beautiful Creatures," with illustrations by Cassandra Jean; look for it in bookstores or online, or you can read it on the Yen Press app—and watch for the movie next week, starring Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert as Ethan and Lena, with Jeremy Irons as Lena's mysterious Uncle Macon.