Wednesday, May 23, 2012

REVIEW: A Great Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1) Title: A Great Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
1st Published: December 9th 2003
Genre: Fiction
Trilogy: The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #1
Finished Reading: May 22, 2012
First Sentence: June 21, 1895 // Bombay, India // "Please tell me that's not going to be part of my birthday dinner this evening." (excerpt)

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

The reason I picked up this book was because many BookTubers would recommend it and say it was a good book and how right they were! This book was an excellent read I just enjoyed it.

Libba Bray did a great job in getting the voices of the girls. I could literally hear each girl's individual voice and I just love how she told the story made it feel like modern classic literature because there were scenes in the books where they were talking like they did back in those times, but each character had a mindset like girls today think. I utterly enjoyed this book! I really don't know what to say then it was fantastic! Read it! :D

• It was kind of slow paced at times, but that didn't really bother me.

• Strong female character(s).

“There are no safe choices. Only other choices.” ― Libba Bray, A Great and Terrible Beauty

I would recommend this for... anyone who enjoys books about strong female characters, the victorian era, and just an overall great story line.

My Rating: ★★★★★
Overall (Goodreads) Rating: 3.76 Stars
( o u t . o f . f i v e . stars)

[ Check out @ Goodreads ]


  1. I picked up this book on a whim because the premise seemed interesting. A Great and Terrible Beauty is one of the most beautiful historical and gothic novels I have read in a while. The story enthralled me from beginning to end. Sixteen-year-old Gemma Doyle is different from the other girls at the London boarding school she lives in after her mother's tragic and strange death in India. In addition to not having the conformist mentality that girls of her class and station are trained to have, Gemma has a deep, dark problem that she does not know how to control.

    1. I agree it is a very great read! :D Sorry, for not replying before... your comment went into my spam. >_<;; Anyways, glad you enjoyed the book!! :P


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