Study Guide

Beautiful Creatures Death

By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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"We have to contend with both the dead and the livin' and that's no easy task." (10.9[3].93)

At least the dead only seem to bother you when you're asking for it. We wish the living wouldn't bother us on the bus when we're trying to read.

"Seeing the dead is not one of the gifts of a Caster […] One can only see the dead if the dead so will it." (12.07.99)

Genevieve's ghost allows herself to be seen by Ethan. Great. Then why can't Ethan see his mother's ghost? If she's helping him, why wouldn't she want him to see her?

The town looked lonely, and it made me sad. Somehow the magic was gone, without her. (12.19.94)

The cardboard Christmas town that belonged to Ethan's mother is a strong symbol of Ethan's fading memories of her life. How does Ethan keep his mother's memory alive, then?

"Why would you stick someone you love down in a lonely old hole in the dirt?" (12.19.138)

Ethan makes an interesting point here. Why do you think this burial ritual has persisted for millennia?

My mom was still my mom, even if she only lived in books and door locks and the smell of fried tomatoes and old paper. She lived. (12.19.249)

Even if Ethan's mother wasn't communicating with him from beyond the grave (as he thinks she is), her memory would still linger in these things that were special and personal to her. It's a common thing to hear in a eulogy, probably because it's true.

When I'm in there with her books and things, it feels like she isn't really gone. I can still smell her. (12.19.256)

Ethan's dad isn't handling his wife's death well—at all. He's become reclusive, locking himself away in his study to be near her memory. Are there other ways for a person to remember a lost loved one? Could Ethan teach his dad how to grieve, or are his coping mechanisms just as futile?

She wasn't unlocking doors for him and leaving him messages. He didn't even have that. (12.19.258)

Do you think Ethan is being too forgiving of his father? Plenty of people find outlets for healthy grief without the assistance of a friendly ghost. Not every couple needs a Demi Moore/Patrick Swayze moment in order to move on.

The town was empty, but for the first time it didn't seem deserted, and I didn't feel alone. (12.19.260)

Ethan finds closure about his mother's death when he decides that her spirit is communicating with him from beyond the grave. Do you think Ethan would be able to come to terms with his mother's death if he didn't have a ghostly helper? Also, do you think he's delusional or is this communication actually taking place?


Hmmm. It seems that with Casters around (and, of course, The Book of Moons), anything, even the reversal of death, is possible.

"Those hateful things I said, I'll never get to take them back." (2.12.26)

Guilt is never easy. Do you think Lena should punish herself for how she treated Macon?

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