As I mentioned in a previous post, my sisters and I started a book club years ago. I have decided to do a book club post after every meeting to share our food and books with you.
First, let me give you a bit of background on the members of our book club. We have quite a variety of ages, although I’ll admit we are a very education based group. There is my older sister Gina and I. Our little sister moved out-of-state a couple of years ago so is no longer able to participate. There is our mom Sue, our Aunt Lynne, my little sister’s best friend Tina, Tina’s good friend’s mom Millie, my good friend Andie, Gina’s best friend Jen, our brother’s girlfriend Kristina, and Gina’s ex-husband’s girlfriend Liz. We have two nurses, 3 teachers, a principal, a medical coding specialist, a medical librarian. Kristina was in the Army National Guard and her discharge date happened to be the date of our last book club. I am so proud of her for serving our country.
I was the host of our last book club and I had picked “Beautiful Creatures” to read.
Since a YA fiction is often a fast read, I gave the option of reading just the first book or reading the series.
As it turned out only Tina and I made it to book 4 (both still reading it) and Kristina was on book 3, nobody else had time to read more than the first book.
Caution: From here on there may be spoilers for “Beautiful Creatures”. If you have not read the other three books there shouldn’t be anything that will ruin those plotlines for you and it should be safe to proceed.
We were pretty split down the middle of the readability of the book. I personally felt it was very hard to get through. I am generally a fast reader. While I was working I usually only had time to read right before bed but I still would finish most books within a few days to a week. (I know that doesn’t seem fast, but we’re talking less than 30 minutes a night in most cases.) This one took me a little over 2 weeks. Although we weren’t all on the same page regarding the readability, we all seemed to think it was very hard to connect to the characters. It’s not that they weren’t likeable, it was that there was just something missing that made me care about what was happening to them. If you’ve read the book and are wondering if you should continue the series, I do feel the characterization gets better as the series goes on. We also were pretty unanimous with feeling a lot of plot lines were unnecessarily drawn out. This actually (in my opinion) gets a bit worse in the second book. But all of us that read on liked the second book much better than the first.
This was not a book that warranted or inspired deep discussion. There were many quotes in the book that stood out, but still not something to inspire a deep discussion. I think the most lengthy topic we discussed was the fact that the characters don’t use cell phones and computers more. It’s obvious that this is a “modern” setting since Ethan talks about his iPod on more than one occasion. It seemed almost glaring that there weren’t more modern conveniences used in the town of Gatlin.
More than anything we seemed to discuss the casting of the movie. Oddly enough (at least in my mind because I’m a TV junkie), the majority of the ladies in our book club do not watch a lot of television. So I really surprised them when I told them that there is no Aunt Marian in the movie. They combined the characters of Amma and Aunt Marian into one character, Amma. We were all up in arms about this decision, we’ll see how that plays out on the big screen. Being one of the ladies that read more than the first book, I just do not see who this will work if they make the rest of the novels into movies.
Next book club is going to be hosted by my sister on June 9. We are reading “Eighty Days: Nelly Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World” by Matthew Goodman. If you’d also hear our thoughts on that book, tune in around that date for my review.
Have you read “Beautiful Creatures”? Seen the movie? Both? What did you think?