Beautiful Creatures Discussion Recap – Week 4

SPOILER WARNING: This post details 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.

Welcome to the recap! Is everyone out there still enjoying this beautiful book? I just know you are!! Fragile and I would like to give a big Thankaroo to Uhyesplease and One Pushy Fox for guest hosting this past week. They did a bang up job! Make sure you give them a special shout-out over on their Bliggity blog where this week on The Peach Grove all talkity talking about Beautiful Creatures.  Go by and give them some love.

1) We LOVE Marian the Librarian!!! Not only is she smart and sexy, she’s IN THE KNOW on the whole Caster world. She’s even an important part of it! Our Marian is Thandie Newton but we’re dying to see who she looks like in your mind. Share!

Oh Marian, you sexy librarian!! Loves it!! It looks like The Lemon Sisters were not the only one to choose Thandie Newton as their Marian. SophiaAnne had the same idea.

I love Marian too, and I think Thandie Newton to a top notch choice – I didn’t really have a mental picture of her, but that fits perfectly to me.
-SophiaAnne

And who could blame her? RAWR!! I wouldn’t mind getting my books checked out by her.

A couple of us had some different girls in mind…and by different, I mean off the wall. Well with me anyway haha! Because my first choice was a cartoon! LOL!

My Marian at first was Velma from Scooby Doo lmao!
-Greta

But since I should pic a real life person I chose Halle Berry
-Greta

Fragile on the other hand did a better job than me 😉 For one… her Marian doesn’t say “JINKEYS SCOOBY” (although with the power of speech bubbles I could so make her lmao!).

Marian is AWESOME!!! It took me a while, but I finally figured out who my Marian is: Emily Deschanel! She’s great, and she just looks smart and just a little nuts 😉
– fragilelittlehuman

It looks like most of you are still up in the air with who your Marian should be. Maybe in a week or two you’ll have a better idea and we can touch base again.

LOL I have no clue. A cross between my friend who played Marian the Librarian from the Music Man and the person in my head. I’m lame and never picture anyone when I read.
-Cutie

I love Marian too, she is awesome I love how her character is described: the crazy scientist but super beautiful and full aware of everything what’s going on
-Mrs. Vanquish

I usually do picture certain people in my head for characters but I can not place the Marian that is in my head. I will need to go look online and see if I can find a picture close to what I am picturing. I am still a little unsure of Marian. I think there may be more to her than she is letting on. I am not sure I trust her at this point. We shall have to wait and see.
-bierbeck

For some reason I can’t really picture Marian in my head.
-Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

2) Lena explains that in her family, the Duchannes women don’t know their first names before they’re claimed. Do you think the names they are given, in and of themselves, have something to do with their being chosen for Light or Dark? Who do you think chooses their name for them?

The name you are born with is not always the name you go by. I look around on the interweb and notice that not everyone goes by Mary, Sue, Stacy, or Brenda. We pick a name that suits our personality. A name that we believe reflects who we are inside. It’s something that we want people to remember us by. It is quite common in certain religions that when a person becomes a certain age that they choose a craft name to go by when they are in ritual. There is no wrong way to pick your magickal name. It can be handed to you by your high priestess, taken from your favorite myth, whispered to you in a dream… but mainly… it represents who you are and who you have become throughout your spiritual journey. In Beautiful Creatures one’s name is not chosen by who will bear it for the rest of their lives but chosen in a completely different way. Questions are zipping though my head on how this might happen. What do you think?

The Name question is difficult hue? I didn’t get it really.. I think it has all to do with the Claiming thing. So when someone goes dark he also has a different family then , something like that. The Dark ones stick to the Dark ones, so the Light ones. And they don’t talk about each other. The real name is giving or revealed as soon as you pick sites.
-Mrs. Vanquish

Hm… that’s a very interesting question! I had a few theories. One being that yes, they do have to do with “light or dark.” This theory really came to me after I finished the book that the claiming is so powerful, that the person will never be the same again and will become something new. Thus, their real name will be revealed to them. Not sure if it’s something that natural comes to them, is handed down from their parents, or if “magic” chooses for them.
-Cutie

I would think the names they are given do have some special meaning based on whether they are Light or Dark because otherwise why would they have to wait until they are claimed to get their name? I really can not say yet who would be the one naming them. I am still uncertain how the whole Claiming process works and if it is by a person, or a group of people, or just some force? I am just not sure yet
-bierbeck

I think that the name the Duchannes women start out with are their birth names, given by their parents. When they are claimed, they get a new name. They go to the Big Book O’ Caster Names, close their eyes and randomly open a page. Wherever their finger lands, that’s their name. I feel sorry for the ones that pick Harriet. I really have no idea, can’t you tell?
– Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

I’m not sure about the naming – I looked at the names of the women we do know who have been “renamed” on their claiming – Ridley was Julia, and Reece was Annabelle – and those names don’t jump out as markers in some way – although both are less common names than what they were originally known as. Perhaps whoever or whatever claims them get to choose their name for them? Or maybe they rename themselves after the claiming when they finally know who they are. Or maybe the name itself is not so significant as the act of embracing their new persona, light or dark. Not really sure about this one – it’ll be interesting to see if there is some meaning to the name Lena gets.
-SophiaAnne

I’m not sure if their names reflect their side, but I think it’s just something they KNOW once their claimed. However, Reece seems a little bitter about her name change, so maybe the names DO mean something *shrug*
– fragilelittlehuman

3) In this section, we’ve seen that while Amma obviously knows Macon Ravenswood and has interacted with him in the past, she doesn’t trust or particularly like him. Do you think Amma sees something in Macon that Ethan hasn’t because Ethan has only interacted with Macon around Lena? Do you think Macon is Light or Dark?

Macon reminds me of the Celtic god of regeneration – Bran Fendigaid (aka Bendigeitvran):

Son of Llyr and Renarddun, represented by the raven in Celtic lore. Bran is credited with prophetic powers and like a raven holds the gift of being far sighted. He is also said to watch over the bard and ovate offering guidance when needed.

Is this old man pulling the wool over our young couple’s eyes? Should we be fearing him like Amma and tread lightly around him? Or should we be absorbing everything he says because what he speaks is true?

First : I love Macon he is my favorite character!! Amma pretty much knows exactly what or who Macon is, which doesn’t mean that she will tell us or Ethan. Why? Might be too frightened ? They seem to know each other since quite some time. I think she dislikes Macon for being a Caster? Because she also doesn’t like Lena which makes not sense apart from the fact that Lena is a Caster. I guess Macon is Light although he is a bit of a Weirdo never going out and stuff, but I think he is a good Person. Did I say how much I love Macon ??? Like a lot!?!!?!
-Mrs. Vanquish

Oh Macon, I was in love with him…. I don’t know why but I was. Adored him in fact and wanted him to be with Marian. As far as the Light and Dark thing, my impressions of Macon at this point in time in the book where that Macon is hiding something, he was something more. What that more was totally escaped me, but I was pretty sure he wasn’t your average witch or wizard. As far as Ethan not “seeing” what Amma sees, I always got the impression that Ethan sensed something was up with Macon, a darkness that creeped me out, he’s just not sure what is up.
-Cutie

I think that AMMA KNOWS WAY more than Ethan does about MACON. It sounds like those 2 families have interacted a lot with each other and I’m curious if they bang heads because of what each one is. Like maybe Casters and Seers don’t get along too well with each other but when something threatens both of them (vampires/werewolves? lol) then they help each other out but they never let their guard around each other. Amma is definitely more skittish around Macon than he is around her but that might also be their personalities.

I think that MACON started out as dark. Last week RIDLEY said that they were the same (her and him) and I think down the line he learned how to control it. I’m still thinking Avatar the Last Airbender here… how maybe he can play for both sides and that’s why he’s so gung ho with Lena. Everyone is thinking that LENA is going to go dark but maybe Macon is going to take Lena under his wing and train her to become all AIRBENDERY like him.
-Greta

I am thinking Amma does not like Macon because maybe they are opposing creatures? Not sure if creatures is the right word I am looking for. Kind of like vampires and werewolves are naturally against each other in Twilight, the Casters and whatever it is that Amma is are supposed to be enemies but (again similar to Twilight) they are drawn to work together to protect the people that they love. We just have yet to find out what Amma is, or what her powers are. Just a theory. I think Macon is Light. I think he just appears strange because he is a Caster and not entirely human.
-bierbeck

Macon seems to be hiding something big and it is clear that his loyalties are to his family. I think he’s light (man I keep thinking of fried chicken and turkey with all this light and dark talk) but definitely has some dark tendencies. So I will go with grey. Amma clearly knows exactly what Macon is, whether or not he’s really a caster seems to be an issue since he has a lot of powers that other Casters don’t have.
– Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

You could have knocked me over in with a feather when Macon Ravenwood stepped out of that mist. I never would have guessed that Amma would be meeting with him, but from their conversation, they do seem to go along way back. I think Amma does probably see and know more about Macon because of this past, which seems to stretch back even before their lifetimes – she makes the comment that her family has been cleaning up his family’s messes for more than a century. So just like Marian is the Castor librarian, Amma seems to be some sort of linkage between the Mortal and Castor world as well – only she’s clearly not neutral, she has power as a Seer, and there seems to be some sort of specific tie between her and Macon. Macon comments that Ridley, being Dark, shouldn’t have been able to come into Ravenwood – so since he lives there, I’m guessing he’s light? Though he does come off as rather creepy at times.
-SophiaAnne

Amma definitely has a history with Macon, and she definitely sees more in general than Ethan does. But she also judges people unfairly, I think. Macon obviously is not all bad, if he is dark, and Amma treats Lena as if she’s already dark, even though she hasn’t be claimed. She does it all to protect Ethan, but I think she’s wrong about Macon & Lena all the same.
– fragilelittlehuman

Now that I’ve yapped uber tons I will hand the rest of the discussion over to our Fragile Girl 🙂

4) Despite Amma’s reticence to be around Macon, she still gives him a charm to protect Lena, one that she says the Greats want Lena to have. If the charm is supposed to protect Lena, what significance do you draw from the fact that it thwarts the locket’s powers? Are Amma and the Greats doing more than protecting Lena, perhaps even trying to block Lena’s powers, or is there something dark about the locket that Lena needs protecting from?

Ohhhh, I love this question!! I always thought that Amma was being sneakysneakysneaky with the bracelet, and that it was always meant to block Lena’s powers, not protect her specifically. Amma’s true goal? Protecting Ethan. Glad to see I’m not the only one that thinks so.

The locket is bad news, no doubt. And Ethan and Lena are two young adults (love that term *winks*), who can’t keep their eyes off one another and have been through more than most people their age. Ethan is desperate to find the truth, desperate to figure out his connection to Lena, while Lena is scared out of her mind and clinging to the boy who makes her feel better, loved. Amma can see things a little more clearly but her main focus and concern is Ethan. She is trying to keep him safe. If that protection were to harm or contain Lena’s powers, I don’t think Amma would have any qualms doing so.
-Cutie

There were lots of other opinions, but most centered on Amma’s main goal being Ethan’s safety, which she could only guarantee by keeping Lena safe. Crazy kids 😉

I think Amma is mainly interested in protecting Lena because of her involvement with Ethan. Amma has told him to stay away from Lena but now she nows he is not listening to her so she wants to make sure he is safe by trying to keep Lena safe. I also do think that there is definitely something Dark about the locket. I think that is why it the charm blocks it from working because the charm is supposed to ward off the Dark.
-bierbeck

I think the charm is not for blocking the powers, Macon would have known and refused to give it to her, right? Both Amma and Macon are totally afraid of this locket and would do everything to keep Ethan and Lena away from it…All Amma wants is to protect Ethan and maybe by giving this charm to Lena (to block the visions) she thinks this is helping and since Macon apparently wants the same for Lena they are on the same site. But what is also clear is that the upcoming events are related to Lena’s and Ethan’s future and that it might not be just candies and fun! And that Amma and Macon know pretty much what this is…
-Mrs. Vanquish

Like i said before I think it revolves around Genevieve. I think SHE’s DARK and I think that’s the person the Reese saw in Ridley’s face and somehow she (GENE) is going to meet up with Lena later and THAT’S what the bracelet is trying to block.
-Greta

For some reason The Greats don’t want Ethan and Lena to see Genevieve and Civil War Ethan’s whole story. The bracelet short circuits the visions when Lena is wearing it. This seems to point to the fact that it is Lena’s magic that allows them to see the visions. I don’t think Ethan could have the visions by himself.
-Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

Amma’s frightened of the locket, Macon almost completely loses it when he sees it – it’s clear that those dabbling outside the mortal world see that locket as bad news – the reaction was so immediate. But the locket itself, and the story associated with it – a love token from a mortal boy who just wanted to marry his Castor girl, seems innocent enough. Is it because of what Genevieve does next with the Book of Moons? Does she use the locket in some way that curses it? Or is it simply that the locket represents the mortal/Castor love that everyone sees is a bad idea? I’m giving Amma the benefit of the doubt for the moment and going with the theory that she at least believes that there’s something dark about the locket that Lena needs protection from, and that’s why she gives the charm to Macon. I hope I’m not wrong.
-SophiaAnne

5) Valentine’s Day bonus question: We all love a great love story. It’s why where here, right? And what is more romantic than when Ethan proclaims that despite the craziness and the danger, he can’t help falling for Lena? It’s made us wonder, despite crazy circumstances, despite possibly knowing it wasn’t the smart decision, have YOU ever gone “all in” for someone?

Okay, I must have lived a sheltered life, because, except for picking up a strange man *cough*DH*cough* on the Internet, I’ve never done anything remotely crazy for a guy. Apparently y’all are a bunch of bad boy addicts (hence the bad-boy pics) 😉

OOooOoo what a question!!! I guess I did that when I was young and a teenager. There was a boy who happened to be my “first” and he was all not really good for me to be honest. My parents saw that and wanted me to break up. But hey, I was young and had my own head! I ditched school for him ( and my mother found us… at home… together… poor Mom…) and lied to my parents just because I wanted to be with him. Looking back: I was stupid, really stupid but back then it was all exciting and I was just so heavily in Love that all, so that nothing logically get through me. Well, I figured it finally out by myself and made my parents quiet happy lol! But yes, when you are in Love you do stupid things. In Germany we say we have pink glasses on, which means that all you see are the good and fun sites.
-Mrs. Vanquish

Sure have. In fact, when I announced at 19 that I was going to get married my whole family raged against it, my grandfather disowned me, and my mother asked me why I didn’t just move in with Mr. Cutie instead of ruining my whole life. 11 years later, they have all changed their tune, and I am the luckiest… (that’s Ben Folds all the way. 🙂 ) I’d do it all over again. If I’m honest, I’m an impulsive person. I guess I always have Mrs. V’s pink glasses on. =D
-Cutie

Yes I would say I can relate to ignoring warning signs and going all in anyway, of course not to this extent. When I met my husband in college he was drunk and stoned pretty much all the time. I initially avoided him thinking he was bad news, but something drew me in anyway. I ignored my instincts to stay away and almost 15 years later we are still together.
-bierbeck

After a month of dating my husband way back in the day (Okay, 1993) he wanted to be exclusive. I said “What the hell, there isn’t much to do in this small town anyway” and we’ve been together ever since. We’ll celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary this September.
-Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

Oh, the craziness of young love. Hmm, my high school boyfriend and I has one of those crazy break-ups you have in high school, but I was just devastated and upset for weeks. So my parents decided he was “bad news” and forbade me from seeing him again. Amma and Macon are right – that’s like match to gasoline for a teenager. We had all kind of crazy schemes to sneak around and meet each other – we even had a book at the public library we’d leave each other love notes in (this was way before cell phones). It all worked out in the end, thank goodness – we’ve been married for ages now!
-SophiaAnne

I can’t answer this with a boyfriend because I’ve really only ever had 2 and if I think about it maybe I’ve only had one.
BUT!! I have gone all in with my best friend ERIKA. Her mom was completely odd. Never letting her do things that a normal kid would be allowed to do, always trying to separate us (for example: Dropping her off at school as late as possible so she wouldn’t have any free time with me before the bell ran), and just always telling her that I was a bad influence (lol! I think we both were on each other). But as much as her mom tried to break us apart we still remain friends to this day. Its been 22 years this October (yea, I know when we met haha). I would do anything for her. She’s the sister that I never had and if I had to I would do whatever it took to keep her around. She stole my heart back in 5th grade and I never asked for it back. HAHA! Our husbands have both realized (even though it took mine longer to figure this out) that when you marry one of us you get us both.
-Greta

Okay, folks, that’s it for another great week! Week 5 is fast upon us, and Sunday’s post will be a guest post by the always wonderful Heather @ Call of Duty Widow!

Don’t forget to enter Mrs. Vanquish’s Beautiful Creatures book discussion giveaway – every week you answer a discussion question is another time your name in thrown in to the hat. What is she giving away? A beautiful bracelet by Mary Tippett Designs. Check out Mary’s Etsy shop for more lovely BC-inspired items!

And, as always, a huge thank you to our wonderful commenters this week:

SophiaAnne ~ Cutie ~ Mrs. Vanquish
bierbeck ~ Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

~ by erikasbuddy on 18 February 2010.

2 Responses to “Beautiful Creatures Discussion Recap – Week 4”

  1. Awesome Recap!!! so much work !! Thank you…
    We are getting more and more into the story.. OoOooo!

  2. […] Week 4 (Recap) 10.09 A Crack in the Plaster (p 179-193) 10.09 The Greats (p 194-206) 10.10 Red Sweater (p […]

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