Click the banner to visit the site!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Guest Review #5 - Chloe

Another guest review! This time it's my good friend Chloe from GoodReads. Let's all give her a great-big-butterfly-welcome! :D Here is her review of A Great and Terrible Beauty:

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
Release Date: Dec. 9th 2003
Pages: 403
Reading Level: Young Adult

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

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. (Goodreads)


***sort of spoiler alert***

This book was really fascinating. I loved that it was set in Victorian England but seemed modern fantasy. It had the feeling of both an old dusty book and a new age classic.

Gemma was a lovable character, and her unique views on the world were fun to read. She did not seem to fit in with the girls at Spence until magic came along and created a strong bond between her, Felicity, Pippa and Ann.

The Realms were both enchanting and disturbing, and I found myself wanting to go explore them along with the girls. The shock and surprise about who Mary Dowd really is sent my mind whirling, and when Gemma has to face up against Circe I was on the edge of my seat, trying to take it all in.

I think Libba Bray has really created a fantastic novel and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series!

5 wings


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! I love reading what you have to say, whether good or bad. (This is not an open invitation to be rude.)

This blog is an award-free zone. I simply don't have the time to pass them on. Thanks for thinking of me, though :).