Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

The basics

Title: Beautiful Creatures

Author: and

Series: Caster Chronicles #1

- Beautiful Creatures (2009)
- Beautiful Darkness (2010)
- Beautiful Chaos (2011)
- Beautiful Redemption (2012)

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

Read a full summary of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl below. If you can’t remember what happened in Beautiful Creatures and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in Beautiful Creatures?

  • Ethan has a dream about falling into a hole with a girl. He wakes up suddenly but is able to recall that she smells like rosemary and lemon.
  • Ethan notices that his sheets are dirty and covered in mud. He has been having these dreams and experiences for a while, it seems.
  • Ethan has breakfast and then heads to school with his friend Link. On the way they spot a car that looks like a hearse. They decide to stop at the shop before school and they arrive late and get detention.
  • Link tells Ethan there’s a new girl in their class. Everyone gossips about her. Her family own the hearse.
  • Ethan tries to talk to his grandmother about his father, who has been very distant since Ethan’s mother died a few months ago.
  • The new girl’s name is Lena, and she is Mr Ravenwood’s niece. Ravenwood is a bit weird, so everyone thinks Lena is weird too. A girl called Emily kicks Lena’s things around and Ethan returns them.
  • Ethan has a daydream while he’s in class. It’s the same dream about the girl and the falling.
  • Ethan realises that Lena smells of rosemary and lemon. Gasp!
  • Ethan borrows Link’s car and starts driving. Lena stands in front of it and Ethan finally realises that she’s the girl from his dreams. She doesn’t seem to know about the dreams when Ethan tries to explain.
  • Ethan drives Lena home. Lena tells Ethan that she used to live with her grandmother but she has been left with her uncle for a while.
  • Emily continues to pick on Lena. A window in the classroom shatters and Lena leaves the room. The girls start saying Lena broke the window and wants to kill them.
  • Ethan follows Lena out. He knocks on her door and enters the house. A dog appears and Ehtan runs off. He finds Lena in the garden and they have a chat about what’s been going on. Lena says she doesn’t understand why weird things are happening.
  • Lena and Ethan hold hands and they have a joint vision while touching a locket about a girl called Genevieve in the American Civil War. Genevieve runs to Greenbriar to save it from being burnt down.
  • The locket is inscribed with “Greenbriar – February 11, 1865”. Lena’s birthday is 11th February so she thinks this is weird. There are also initials ECW and GKD on the back of the locket.
  • Ethan’s grandmother tells him off for skipping school. He shows her the locket and she tells him to bury it back where he found it.
  • Ethan goes to see his aunts and they tell him a bit about Greenbriar and how it was a plantation that was burnt down. They tell him that Mr Ravenwood and his brother are illegitimate and their father abused them. They say the handkerchief that Ethan found belonged to their great great grandmother, and the locket probably belonged to Ethan Carter Wate (Ethan’s great something uncle).
  • Apparently Ethan Carter Wate was kicked out of the family at one point. They don’t know what GKD means.
  • Ethan has another vision about Ethan Carter Wate and Genevieve. Ethan Carter Wate tells her that he deserted from the army because he doesn’t want to fight for the South. They agree to get married. Genevieve’s mother and sister are in the house when it is burnt down.
  • Present Ethan is able to speak to Lena telepathically. She wants him to stop looking into the past.
  • His grandmother tells him to stay away from Lena.
  • Link tells Ethan that the mothers around town are concerned about the broken window and they want to get rid of Lena.
  • Link’s mother finds Ethan and Lena talking in her car. She says they’re going to try to get Lena transferred to another school.
  • Mr Ravenwood invites Ethan in for dinner. Ethan shows Macon the locket, and the lights go out. Macon freaks out and leaves the room.
  • Ethan sees a portrait on the wall which shows a woman wearing the locket. Lena doesn’t know who the woman is.
  • Lena tells Ethan that her family are casters and have witchy powers. They talk for hours until sunrise.
  • Ethan finally asks Lena out and they go to the cinema. Ethan is late for their date and Lena becomes annoyed. They argue over the locket again, and then they touch it and have another vision.
  • Genevieve is running to find her mother and sister. A solider finds her. Ethan Carter Wate is shot and killed.
  • A girl called Ridley arrives and tells Ethan she is Lena’s cousin. She says there’s a family gathering happening and she came to find him. She takes him to Ravenwood.
  • Macon is angry that Ethan has been brought to his home. He and Ridley talk about Lena being a Natural and “going dark”. Ethan blacks out when he sees Ridley use her poers.
  • Lena explains that she can’t control her own powers yet. She says Ridley went dark about a year ago. The other people in the family go either light or dark when they turn sixteen. Lena thinks her parents went dark like Ridley. Lena has 122 days until she turns sixteen too.
  • Ethan and Lena kiss.
  • Ethan sees his grandmother sneaking out and he follows her. She goes to the graveyard and speaks to Macon about keeping Ethan and Lena apart. Ethan hears them talk about casters and a scary dark caster. They both want to protect mortals and other casters. They hope Lena doesn’t go dark.
  • Amma gives Macon a charm to protect Lena.
  • Ethan tells Lena about what he overheard. He tries to show Lena another vision but the charm stops them from entering it.
  • Ethan looks into his dad’s study and finds Amma there. She warns him against entering.
  • Ethan and Lena meet at the library and speak to Marion, who knows stuff about ethan’s family and Genevieve. There’s a copy of the portait from the manor, and Marion says it’s of Genevieve.
  • Ethan shows Marion the locket and they enter a vision. They see Genevieve asking Ivy for the Book of Moons. They cast a spell to bind death to life. Ivy warns that this is dangerous and Genevieve doesn’t care.
  • Marion explains that she’s a record keeper and is entirely neutral in this whole thing.
  • On Halloween, Mrs Lincoln (Link’s mother) knocks on the door. The door keeps trying to shut itself. She tries to get in but can’t.
  • Ethan feels Lena screaming in pain and goes to her house to find her. He finds the family torturing her. He is able to break the spell by touching her.
  • The family say that Sarafine is coming for Lena.
  • Ethan’s grandmother invites Lena over for Thanksgiving, and Amma warns Lena that her mother, Sarafine, is coming.
  • Marian tells Ethan that his mother used to be a keeper. They have another vision and see Genevieve’s eye colour has changed completely. Ethan briefly came back from the dead but swiftly died again. Genevieve went dark to try to save him.
  • Marian says the book has been lost for hundreds of years. The book is what chooses the darkness.
  • Ethan goes to visit his aunts again and they discuss the book. They think it’s possibly buried with Genevieve.
  • There’s a party for Del, and the kids spot Genevieve’s ghost standing by her grave. They dig to find the book. It’s there. Ethan swaps the book for the locket, but the ghost doesn’t want the locket.
  • Lena and Ethan read through the book.
  • Ethan and Lena attend the Winter Formal together. Ridley goes as Link’s date. Ridley ruins the evening and Ethan takes Lena home.
  • The school is about to expel Lena, but Macon and Marian intervene. The director agrees to look into things further.
  • Lena breaks up with Ethan because the pressure in the run up to her birthday is too much.
  • Marian gives Ethan his mother’s books.
  • Ethan enters his father’s study and finds his mother’s things inside. His dad has been keeping all her stuff in there.
  • There’s a message from Ethan’s mother in one of the books which tells Lena to claim herself. Ehtan starts researching what this means.
  • Macon reveals that he’s an incubus and has been feeding on Ethan’s dreams.
  • Link and Ridley throw a birthday party for Lena. Lena hides in her room. Ethan gives her a necklace as a gift. Lena sneaks off to the party without Macon’s knowledge.
  • Link tells Ethan his dad is on the roof of the museum. Ethan goes over there but is stopped by Ridley, who is trying to distract him.
  • Ethan heads back to Lena. Sarafine has arrived and is possessing Mrs Lincoln’s body. Sarafine tells Lena she needs to make a choice between light and dark, and in doing so she will end up killing the opposite side. Macon confirms this is true.
  • Hunting, Macon’s brother, arrives and drains the blood from Macon. Ethan is locked out of the house. He asks Marian for help, and she’s able to lead them through the tunnels to enter the manor that way.
  • Lena tells Ethan she’s on top of the crypt, except it’s actually Sarafine messing with him. Sarafine stabs Ethan. Lena freezes time and hits people with lightning.
  • The moon disappears. Lena therefore can’t be claimed.
  • Lena casts a spell to save Ethan in exchange for Macon’s life. No one tells Ethan what happened.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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