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Book Club Kits: Beautiful Creatures

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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Book Summary

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Discussion Questions

  • Describe the small town of Gatlin. Why does Ethan want to leave when he turns 18?

  • Why is everyone at Jackson High School so surprised when Lena Duchannes enrolls as a new student?

  • Describe Ethan’s best friend, Link. How is he different from the other students at Jackson High School?

  • Who are the Daughters of the American Revolution (the DAR)? What influence do they have in Gatlin?

  • What is so unique about Lena’s family, the Ravenwoods and the Duchannes?

  • Does Lena have a specific power? What kind of Casting can she do?

  • What happens when Ethan and Lena touch the locket that they find? What personal connections do they have to their visions?

  • Why can’t any Duchannes children decide if they will be claimed by the Light or the Dark? What happens to Casters who are claimed by the Dark?

  • What secret about Lena’s Claiming does her family keep from her? Why doesn’t her Uncle Macon want her to know the truth?

  • When Lena learns that she has to Claim herself, she is told that either choice will have consequences. What are those consequences? Is there one right choice?

  • How does Lena avoid being Claimed? Is she safe forever?

  • Will Lena finally Claim herself on her 17th birthday? Which side will she choose?

  • Why do you think that Ethan and Lena can communicate with each other through their thoughts?

  • Is the love between Ethan and Lena cursed, or is it meant to be?

  • Even though the people of Gatlin want to have her expelled, Lena is determined to stay in school and experience “normal” things like the winter formal. Are Lena’s experiences at Jackson High School “normal” teenage experiences?

  • Would things be easier for Ethan and Lena if they lived in a place that was bigger than Gatlin? What are some of the benefits of small town living? Given a choice, what type of town would you want to live in? Big or small? North or South?

The Beautiful Creatures Movie