A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty

Author: Libba Bray

Rating: 3/5 stars

Release Date: December 9, 2003

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Format: Paperback Edition

Goodreads Average Rating: 3.78

Age Group: 12+

    Goodreads Summary: A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel. Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.

    Hmmm... not so fascinating after all. After reading this book, I found that the only Victorian novel that interested and the one that I loved was the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I've learned to never buy a Victorian novel ever again, because for some reason, they just don't interest me and I find that they're all the same. Same stories, same events.

   The beginning was really good. I liked the whole India story she had going on, but later on, I just got bored of the droning and droning.

    Gemma was an okay character, but in my opinion, she got a little whiny at times. She wasn't as strong as I thought that she'd eventually become.

     Hmm.. I still have mixed feelings about this book.


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