Beautiful Creatures Discussion Recap – Week 1

SPOILER WARNING: This post discusses the plot of the book Beautiful Creatures. If you have not read the book and don’t want to know what happens, don’t read any further.

Looks like we’re off to an awesome start!! Is everyone enjoying the book so far? I’ve already squeed a time or too and my my my I bet that fan girl swoon *thud is just around the corner. You know it has to be. So, how do my chickies feel about it so far?

Fragile, first off a huge thanks for hosting this book discussion. I wouldn’t have picked this book up except for how much you were tweeting about your enjoyment of it and still, without the book discussion, it might have languished on my “to-read” list for who knows how long. And I’d be missing out on the wonderment that is BC.
– One Pushy Fox

I love how the book starts! It had me thinking WTF from the get-go!
– Ruby

I love Love Love Love Love Love lovey love this story.. It make you really think of the many different things going on surrounding the relationship and accounts coming together to seem like one connection.
– mypetpet

I must say the first couple of chapters boggled my little brain. I think I was looking for the immediate love like Twilight and although it is caturing my interest, i still have yet to get really into these characters.
– Ivy Lane

I was super surprised to read a guys POV but it doesn’t bother me at all. Isn’t it funny how lately so many books are written in a certain POV? Or I should better say they just became now so popular. Well, it has a certain charm, you know what’s going on in the ones head but all the rest remains unclear.
– Mrs. Vanquish

I’m hooked and intrigued and can’t wait to see where this will go.
– SophiaAnne

Now that’s just fabtastical!! Super excited that all my little loves are having such a swell time reading. BUT! Is it possible that we can all Fan Girl-up and visit the quaint town of Gatlin? Does anyone have a map?

So is Gatlin, SC a real city like Forks, WA? I haven’t done my research on that yet…I will after I post this though!!
– mypetpet

I totally googled Gatlin, SC to see if it was a real place – looks like there’s no place to have a tourism boom ala Twilight in SC. Though based on the mention of Lake Moutrie, which is real, it looks like it would be down towards Charleston and towards the coast, rather than upstate SC. (loves Google Maps)
– SophiaAnne

/* fragile interrupts as usual */

As I said in the chapter post, I grew up (and still live in) Alabama. My hometown was pretty large (~175K) for Alabama standards, but DH’s hometown? Isn’t even considered a city by the US Census and isn’t on most maps. The entire county he lived in had 35K people, and his graduating class had around 30 (it was the largest they ever had at that point). Everybody knew everybody’s business, and DH says most people there were related by blood, at least distantly. (He moved there when he was in 6th grade and was always the outsider.) To me, Gatlin sounds like a bigger version of DH’s hometown.

What did other Southerners think?

As I said.. I grew up in MEGA SMALLSVILLE and yeah… everyone knew everyone. Everybody was in ANYBODY’S business and if your last name was ADERHOLT or HESTER or DeVaney then you were the big balls of the town. I sooo get this! So, the story is very acurtae with small town gossip.
– Greta

I think one reason I was intrigued by this book from the start is because of the setting – I grew up in a small town one state north of the imaginary Gatlin, and though we weren’t as immersed in Civil War recollections, being mountain folk, the other elements ring very true – how everyone knew each other and each other’s business, the social pecking order built on arbitrary things, the limited access to everything, and the general claustrophobia living there entails…when I was a teenager it felt very suffocating, and much like Ethan, I was counting the days to escape. Although some elements feel slightly exaggerated by Garcia and Stohl for effect, for me they did an excellent job of capturing the flavor and feel of a small Southern town overall.
– SophiaAnne

I live in the south and the school I went to was big, but it didn’t stop people from being judgmental!
– Ruby

Well I grew up with Greta just up the street! Talk about a small town, we were in it! This small town surrounded us with rumors about everybody! Anyone ever watch the movie Steel Magnolia’s? Well if you have then you will totally understand me…Get this, growing up, I woas told that I can’t hang out with Greta because she’s a bad influence!!!!
– mypetpet

Hey, mypetpet: you do know they were right about Greta, don’t you? 😉

I grew up in a small town in Southwest Virginia. Some people don’t really consider Virginia to be part of the South but I always have. I feel the book does a great job in its portrayal of a small town. My town is a lot like Gatlin. Everyone knows everyone’s business. There are NO secrets here!…In the book the local hang out is the “Stop and Steal” but the “cool” hang out when I was in high school was the parking lot at Hardee’s. haha! *shakes head while mumbling crazy small town people*

P.S. KatieDid, I totally think you’re Southern.

Even the ladies from outside the South thought the book’s depiction of a small town rang true:

I grew up in the countryside of pennsylvania, but cannot honestly answer question one well. It seems typical of small town life.
Ivy Lane

I was raised in the Southwest, in a State that didn’t have much to do with the Civil War, but we did have our fair share of small towns around. Of course we had the jocks and cheerleaders who looked down on anyone who wasn’t them, but a lot of people were different by the way they acted and how they dressed. I guess I can’t really relate to the outsider situation just because you looked different.

I did not really grow up in a small town, but several of the same principles apply all over. There are the popluar kids and the outcasts and the popluar kids can be very cruel no matter what the size town. I am sure a small town is worse since everyone knows everyones business.

Well, I’m from Germany and honestly we don’t have towns like this. Sure, we have small towns but you are super fast in a nearby bigger city. So I can’t really imagine that. Although I have been in the States a few times and hubs and me also drove around quite a lot and sometimes I saw towns where I thought “wow, what are they doing here? Where do they shop and what do they work?” As I said it’s hard coming from Germany to imagine towns like that.
Mrs. Vanquish

I can relate to Ethan in so many ways. I grew up in a small Central Illinois town, population 2500. We moved to my father’s home town after my Grandfather died, my dad wanting to be closer to his mother. No movie theater, no stop lights, all we had were 6 bars, a bowling alley, and a real Italian pizza place. There were 26 people in my class until our school district consolidated with two other towns my senior year. This catapulted my class to a whopping 65 people strong. In a town and school this small, everyone knew your business.
Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

I love LOVE books about the south. I’m from the boring old midwest and I’ve always been drawn to Southern lore – it’s so mysterious to me. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to read this book, in fact.

I have never lived in a small town and even though all teen-agers experience peer-pressure, I can’t even imagine how intensified it must be to feel that pressure in the crucible that is a small town. Just the idea that everyone from my high school (which had over 300 student just in my year) would have known the most intimate details of my personal life makes my skin crawl. YIKES!!!!! There’s your horror story right there! LOL!!!
One Pushy Fox

I’m not sure if you got it from my post, but you’ll definitely get it from my comments on on the rest of them: I LOVE ETHAN! Oh, yes, so much so that, if he were a vampire, I’d have to add him to my vampire org chart (and we all know who’s CEO, right?). Anyway, I really love that the book is from Ethan’s POV.

Note to Stephenie Meyer: We ❤ the male POV hard. Three words for you, babe: finish Midnight Sun.

Anyways, I could completely understand why it took Ethan, who admittedly was not a fan of the status quo, a little while to decide his need to know the new girl was more important than what the minions around him thought. While it’s sometimes hard to do those things as a college student or adult, it’s almost impossible to do as a teenager, when all you want is to be liked and accepted.

I love the fact that Ethan is able to overcome his fear of being unpopular, even if he hesitates for a moment!

Ethan seems like your typical teenager, wanting to get away from his typical world; outside of his comfort zone, per se. He seems lonely depsite being one of the “in-crowd”.

I believe it’s going to be extremely hard for him, and I don’t see how it would be any different if Ethan and Lena were in college or adults. I can only see it being different if they both suddenly moved to another town, or possibly another state.

Poor Ethan wil have a hard time when people finally realize his whole fascination with Lena. Although I’m not sure if he really cares later on. He is so focused on her and getting to know her and finding out about his dreams that it seems to me right now as if he’s willingly paying the prize. …Adults also judge easily people just from the first sight. But they are mostly not that obvious about any disproval like kids… University is a place where so many people are studying at the same time, so at least in Germany there are always groups of people clustering and other which are more the loner. But nobody cares as much as in High School
Mrs. Vanquish

I’m not sure how HARD it will be for ETHAN to face the disapproval of everyone because he digs Lena. I’m not too sure he’d care… BUT!! I do think this would be a bit different if he was an adult (I’ve never been to college so I have no clue if there are cliques there). In High School its all about the cliques and who sits where and who wears what and who saw who. BUT… as adults… I think it would be a tad different. You’re more mature and aren’t going to worry much about who has cooties and who has the antedote.

I think Ethan will have a very hard time going against his friends for Lena since he does seem to be very much a part of the “in” crowd. I think it would be different if they were in college or adults because peer pressure should become less of an issue as you get older. I know that is not always the case, but it should be.

I think Ethan wrote Lena off because of the crowd he was with at the time. He doesn’t of course think that because he was so curious at who she was, her name, what she looked liked, and was even thinking if this girl could be the one..It’s all a peer pressure mentallity, which I think is very acceptable. We always have the different thoughts in our heads that nobody knows about!

Ethan does judge Lena at first and I don’t think he even realizes it. He is somewhat your typical teenage boy but then he’s not. Ethan knows what will happen if he goes against his friends and pursues Lena. I think this will be a good thing because if he really wants to get out of Gatlin and be different he needs to learn the ways now. I think it might be different if they were in college but not much. They might not have as much drama but would still be facing the same complications.

But, as a few of you pointed out, Ethan’s upbringing may give him the edge he needs to survive his judgemental peers:

Ethan’s a 16 year old boy, and he’s never had the kind of distaste directed at him that the cheerleaders direct at Lena from the start, so it probably won’t be a cakewalk at school to face disapproval. But he’s portrayed, to me, as having a slight edge in facing the disapproval of the town than perhaps Link would, for a couple of reasons. First, his parents weren’t the run-of-the-mill Gatlin parents – both are professors, and Ethan’s own awareness of the irony of the town’s obsession with the “War of Northern Aggression”, the banality of the Emilys and Savannahs, etc., suggests he’s never been fully in step with his classmates to start with – although he’s taken steps to fit in by joining the basketball team and hiding his love of books. But his mother’s death seems to have also numbed him to the point where he’s checking out already on what they think – he mentions that he barely practices basketball, doesn’t always hang out with the team as expected, and he’s collecting brochures for colleges far away and counting days until he leaves. So while facing the disapproval of the town probably won’t be easy, he’s from a family that’s probably always been a little out of step, and he doesn’t care that much about their opinion anyway. What probably will be harder is facing Amma’s disapproval – she does seem to be someone’s opinion that he values.

I got the impression from the start that Ethan was more different than he was willing to admit to himself. I agree with SophiaAnne when she says that while facing the disapproval of his peers probably wouldn’t be a cakewalk, he appears to have a slight edge in that his parents aren’t cookie-cutter townies (in fact his mother isn’t even originally from Gatlin). So while I think it will be difficult, if Lena is the girl he’s in love with before first sight, I think he would. He’s doesn’t appear to be so flighty as to let peer-pressure get in his way.
One Pushy Fox

I think Ethan knows that he will be ostracized if he pursues Lena. He has lived in Gatlin his entire life and has seen the outcome of such decisions. Being the son of professors makes it easier for him to do something different. It also helps that his mother, who was an outsider, was such a great influence on his life. The values she had instilled in Ethan made it easier for him to follow his heart. I believe things would have been much easier for Lena and Ethan if they were in college. There aren’t as many tight knit groups of people when you’re in college, unless you join a fraternity or sorority.
Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

/* fragile turns the reigns over to Greta */

And Squees upon Squees cuz I’m just so uber happy that you all little duckies lover love mine and Fragile’s vision of Ethan. But let’s take a looksy at who YOU ALL have picked as your own little fantasy swoon daydream.

I love your Ethan! It’s so funny bc just today I posted my picks for the Hunger Games and I picked WM as Peeta. Good choice for either, imo.

I had a harder time picturing Ethan, since we’re seeing everything through his eyes, rather than him. A young Josh Hartnett was probably the closest mental image I had.

OMG I know I’m such a dork, but I picture Ethan being a tall guy, well duh they said he’s a basketball player. I also see him having curly dark hair. He eats like a horse without gaining any weight. Reminds me of my hubzz..So is anyone curious to know who my ethan look-alike is? A young American Pie Jason Biggs..LOL Yes I know I’m a dork!

Oh, right from the start MY Ethan has been Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy from The Vampire Diaries).
One Pushy Fox

As for “my Ethan” i would have to say Cody Linley is my Ethan.
Ivy Lane

But it looks like the most popular Ethan swoon swoon is from a show I have never even heard of.

Ok my Ethan is kind of weird. My daughter has been watching the new Nickelodean show Big Time Rush alot lately so when I started reading this one of the boys from that show popped into my head. I do not know his name, but for those of you who have seen the show he is the one with the dark blonde hair, bushy eyebrows and big nose. He is really not that cute, its just who happened to pop into my head, I have no control.

*fragile whispers* His name is Kendall Schmidt.

…and others of you tended to agree:

But now thanks to Bierbeck, the Big Time Rush guy with the huge eyebrows is in my head.
Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

He looks pretty tasty to me – nom nom nom nom. What? You don’t like wet boy? You know you loves him. I mean JUST look at him! Glistening and beefy and ummm… hmmmmm…. yes… This is a mighty fine Ethan choice. I do believe I have found a new boy to cyber stalk *wink wink!

But ladies! Don’t hate the brows! Even if they are uber scaring looking.

Thanks to Bierbeck this guy is going to haunt my dreams with the huge caterpillar eyebrows if I picture Ethan. Those puppies are going to be the worst old man eyebrows later, they may come to life and eat a few people!
Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

Just remember… I fan girl swoon over the bushies! Do you? You knows you do 😉

Whew, so glad to get week 1 under our belts – don’t forget to check back on Sunday for our next discussion post!!

And thanks again to all our lovely commenters  this week:

SophiaAnne ~ Ruby ~ marie
bierbeck ~
Mrs. Vanquish ~ mypetpet
Heather (Call of Duty Widow) ~ Rain
One Pushy Fox ~ Ivy Lane ~ KatieDid

And here’s hoping MyTwilife gets her book soon *fingers crossed*

~ by erikasbuddy on 28 January 2010.

11 Responses to “Beautiful Creatures Discussion Recap – Week 1”

  1. […] Week 1 (Recap) Before: The Middle of Nowhere (p 1-3) 9.02 Dream On (p 4-12) 9.02 New Girl (p 13-23) 9.02 A Hole […]

  2. This week was awesome! HAHA! I totally forgot to say the name of Mr. Bushy Eyebrows haha! oops!

    Don’t listen to her MyPetPet! You know you love me haha!! Your mom was just a psycho hose beast that didn’t want to acknowledge my awesomeness! muhahahaha

    Very cool to hear everyone’s thoughts. Loves it!! Can’t wait for Sunday for our next round of Swoon Boy Squees!

  3. Oh fiddle dee dee! I didn’t have a chance to comment! However, I’m going to use this comment to do just that!

    1st, I’ll be honest, it took me about 100 pages to get into this book. That’s not a bad thing per se, but I wasn’t ready to comment yet til I kinda new were this thing was going.

    I’ve always been that type of student (yes, I put up the loser sign on myself) who always finished the book before the first discussion happened. Um, I well, I won’t say I finished it yet (I just got it a few days ago!) but I wanted to get a bit ahead first. So, I won’t be so lax on my commenting in the future!

    OK – to answer the questions….
    1. I live in the midwest, and tho I’ve lived all over the states, only a short jaunt in Alabama and a year in Virginia is all I can count, but since i was young in Alabama (all I remember is fire ants!) and lived in Northern Virginia (which isn’t _that_ south) I won’t count that….

    2. OK, the closest I can come to a school like Ethan goes is where I did my first 2 years of teacher. Population of the town less than 700. The school had about 150 kids in it. Everyone knew everyone and I was one hell of a stranger. It was complete culture shock. I could go on and on about stories, (reminding kids not to bring their deer hunting rifles to school, feeding their coon dogs between class, FFA day where the kids rode their tractors school, teacher/parent KEGGER where a parent licked me, you name it – fucking twilight zone.)

    So, anyway – Yes, I can see these people, I’m literally putting my old ‘kids’ faces onto the kids like Emily and Savannah, etc – it hits way too close to home.

    I LOVED your pic of Ethan – I can totally see that! In my head I pictured someone very similar – so HIGH FIVE on that one!

    PS – even tho I said it took me some time to get into it – I’m totally hook/line/sinker right now….Catcha on the next chappies!

  4. This is so exciting!! I love seeing what everyone else is thinking. I’m popping my discussion cherry and even though I’m a little nervous I couldn’t be more excited about it! Can’t wait until Sunday. 🙂

  5. I soooo see that guy uhhhhh ummmm Teenage lover boy… Link! Thats How I pictured Link being! Never seen that guy before but yep I will call him My Linky Link!! Soooo Kendall Schmitt is his name that I probably sooo misspelled, but I honestly have a 10 yr old daughter who still is not into Swooning Boys!! So I don’t know these things yet!!!

    HA HA HA Greta!! Yes everyone My Mom was crazy and put shit in my head!! But I did good at ignoring her!!! I mean How could I push Greta away?? I won’t work!! Even our Hubz finally gave up! HA HA HA

    Man I can’t wait to swoon over discussion this next week!! Who’s in charge of it? I’m sooo ready!!! Hurry Up already!! :):):):)

    Dang we gotta wait till Sunday! That SUCKLES………:(

    • Muhahaha!! Your mom hated my ass! She was all like “Don’t hang out w/ her. She’s creepy.” and yet she wouldn’t let you out of the house. Did that stop me? Hells no! I would just sneak into your basement. that was awesome haha!!

      Yes yes! I see Cody Linley as Linky Link too. I want to Licky Lick him 😉

      HAHA! YEAH! our dumb husbands! What were they thinking? They should have known when they mary one of us they marry the both of us. It’s like the law.

      Next week .. I’m in charge muhahahahaha!! So, uhhh… you just sit there and wait for my swesometastic post. It’s gonna make you poop rainbows!

  6. Thanks so much for this wonderful Recap!!! SooOoOO much work.

    Now that I saw all “your” Ethans: I’m so going with puhsy He is Ethan!! Perfect choice! I had another one in my head bit pushy nailed it down!

    Can’t wait for next week!

  7. Wonderful recap, girls and thank you for the pics! I may or may not have licked the screen when I saw your pic of Mr. McQueen. Is that boy even legal?? HA!

  8. i love and big time rush i love kendall , james , logan , and carlos

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