This is the first in our new series of book to movie comparisons. We will be posting a new comparison each month comparing a book we have read to the movie version of it, including things that are alike, differences, and comparisons. Enjoy this first one of the book Beautiful Creatures.
I have had Beautiful Creatures on my to read list ever since I watched the movie. I am a usually a big fan of reading the book before seeing the movie. I have a hard time sorting out what really happened when I watch the movie first then read the book. So when my co-editor and I decide to start doing book to movie comparisons I knew it was my chance to finally read it. I was willing to give the book a chance since the first time I watched the movie it was a bit meh. Besides, it is a known fact that the book is always better than the movie… at least most of the time.
I went into the book with vim and vigor. Ethan is a teenager who is a basketball player. His mom died recently in a car accident and since that time his dad has locked himself away in his office, working all night and sleeping all day. The household is run like a tight ship by Amma, a woman who has been a second mom to Ethan since he was a child. Ethan’s life is pretty mundane. He did the same thing day after day. That all changed when Lena came to town. Lena is a Caster and has come to live with her Uncle Macon, the town recluse, at the Ravenwood Manor. Ethan’s life suddenly becomes much less mundane. In fact, it’s exciting and there is danger and adventure around every corner. By the time I was done reading the book I couldn’t wait to rewatch the movie and see if it was as good as the book was.
I excitedly began the movie. Right off the bat, something didn’t line up. Ethan was making his own breakfast and was calling his dad telling him that it was ready. In the book, Amma is the one that would wake up Ethan even after his alarm would go off and then would have a complete breakfast ready for him to inhale before he ran out the door. From there the movie just went downhill. The only character that matched in the looks category was Ethan. The rest didn’t even begin to look like they did in my mind’s eye. We didn’t even get a glimpse of Ethan’s dad. They didn’t include have his forced suicide attempt at the hands of Lena’s dark cousin, Riley. Not that it was a big event but was something that probably should have made it into the movie. They added scenes that never existed in the book, like Macon defending his niece at her trial by the school board. Also, Macon finding out that Sarafina was inside the body of Ethan’s best friends mom. They missed characters that might have been secondary but they helped Ethan be who he was. In particular, I was looking forward to seeing his elderly Southern Belle Aunts. In the book, he would go over weekly and do odd jobs for them then take them to church. The only odd job that he drew the line at doing was hanging out the rebel flag. I could go on and on about the things that I truly disliked about this movie. I honestly had to break it up into two parts, and even then I kept asking myself why I was actually finishing this movie. All in all, I am going to tell you to read the book but stay clear of the movie. If you are anything like me, you will just be disappointed.