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Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle #2)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  67,346 Ratings  ·  2,899 Reviews
Ah, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy, spending time with her friends in the city, attending ritzy balls, and on a somber note, tending to her ailing father. As she prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, a handsome young man, Lord Denby, has set his sights on Gemma, or so it seems. Yet amidst the distractions of London, Gemma’s vis ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Ember (first published August 23rd 2005)
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Elias I haven't read this series yet, but Libba Bray is a terrific author and everyone says that Rebel Angels is much better than AGATB.
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Teen Historical Fiction
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Maddie Dix
Mar 22, 2008 Maddie Dix rated it it was amazing
Beth F.
So I emailed a friend today and explained that the only way I could think of to describe this series was to imagine tossing Mean Girls & The Craft (both of the cheesy teen movie persuasion) into a blender with the whole Harry Potter English boarding school concept just to see what comes out. And what results is an addicting, fast-paced story that is difficult to put down.

I’m actually a bit shocked by how engrossing this story has become. Libba Bray wields literary red herrings quite masterf
Trina (Between Chapters)
Series review video:

Edit: It's only a few weeks since I read this but I have since finished the series and am lowering my rating of this book from 2 stars to 1 star because the things I found to be problematic were never redeemed and I cannot overlook them.

Original review:
There were more things I didn't like than I liked, which causes it to fall just below a middle of the road rating.

TL;DR - Predictable, run of the mill historical fiction with occasional
Moira Russell
Feb 28, 2013 Moira Russell rated it it was ok
I loved the GR reviewer's crack that this series was like a mashup of The Craft + Mean Girls in Harry Potter. My take on it just as I was settling into the second book was "Picnic at Hanging Rock on acid." In this one, the Magickal Rules are still just about as bad as the Magickal Geography, there are several entirely unbelievable visits to Bedlam, an OPIUM DEN, a suitor offering absinthe at a get the idea. But the adolescent female characters are all well-drawn and I love how their ...more
Jul 22, 2008 Jenny rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I love the entire series. I found them first in seventh grade, but the third one hadn't come out yet. I was scanning my middle school library's shelves, when I noticed an interesting cover near one of my favorite book series. I read the back and I thought the plot was interesting. So I decided to give it a chance and read it. I thought they were great. I mean, I really didn't consider them as some of my favorite books. Eventually, I went on with my life and sort of forgot about ...more
Jan 02, 2016 Pinky rated it it was amazing
I was really scared of how this book would turn out because I loved the first book in the series. And I didn't want any of the characters to die or anything. But I had to pick this book up because I wanted to know what happens next. And I am so glad that I picked it up.

“Sometimes we seek that which we are not yet ready to find.”

This book continues off after A Great and Terrible Beauty, it is the second book in the series. If you haven't heard about it, it's pretty much about a girl named Ge
Sep 02, 2008 Summer rated it it was amazing
OMG. Okay. I have to get The Sweet Far Thing. Like. now. Blast... it's only in hardcover... I don't know what to do. My brain isn't working.

So far I love this series way too much to be healthy. You know you've got me hooked when I start going all delusional and forget that there is this thing called reality, and that I shouldn't be sitting in bed with my eyes closed trying to picture a door of light.

But more than just the fantastical element... I really enjoyed how much more we learned about th
Feb 13, 2009 (G)Emma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 13, 2013 Kassidy rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Loved it!! *4.5*

At first I was kind of on the fence about it, but the last 100 pages were awesome, and totally captivated me.

-The depth of the relationships between Gemma, Felicity, and Ann. I enjoyed seeing Felicity grow and show a more vulnerable side.
-The change in Gemma. I felt she really matured and stepped up to the plate in the end and I feel more connected to her than I did in the first book.
-The love interests. Now she has Simon and Kartik. I went back and forth on who I was root
Jan 27, 2015 Caitlyn rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-reads, hahaha-why
I have a strict rating policy: if I did not finish a book, I won't give it a rating because how is that even fair to the author or the book?
This is one of those rare cases where that policy doesn't apply (for multiple reasons).

I trudged through A Great and Terrible Beauty, and I mean trudged, and at the end of it I had a few main concerns. The characters were so FLAT and boring. I just didn't bring myself to care about a single one of them. The writing was dreadfully lackluster, I didn't care i
Dec 03, 2009 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed "Rebel Angels" just as much as I did its predecessor - "A Great and Terrible Beauty."

In this book Bray continues exploring constraints of Victorian society, and their suffocating effects on young women's lives. This time we go beyond the borders of the finishing school - Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are in London for their Christmas holidays. We accompany them to opera, ball, and various social events. To add to already dark Gothic atmosphere of the story, we visit an insane asylum and an
Mar 24, 2009 Kei rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who hated Twilight for its anti-feminism
Recommended to Kei by: People who hated Twilight for its alleged anti-feminism
Find the bloody Temple and bind the stupid magic already! All of the contrived riddles and guessing games, near death experiences, etc., just didn't do it for me because this story has been drawn-out with other filler stories just to make the book unnecessarily thick. Oooh 548 pages...why not go for an even 600? Just add another meaningless event, like Simon tells Gemma more juicy gossip or take her on a shoplifting spree.

This one wasn't as enthralling as the first book in the trilogy (A Great
Jun 29, 2010 Stray rated it liked it
Recommends it for: who read the 1st
Shelves: zzz-2010, in-english
Book Name: Rebel Angels
Author/s: Libba Bray
Language English
Original Title:Rebel Angels
Publisher, year: Simon and Schuster, 2007
Page total:548
Date Read: june 27-28
Genre/s: YA, fantasy, paranormal, historical fiction
First line of Book:"Herein lies the faithful and true account of my last sixty days, by Kartik, brother of Amar, loyal son of the Rakshana, and of the strange visitation I received that has left me wary on this cold English night."
Review: This is a relatively good sequel to A GREAT AND
Jul 13, 2009 kaitlyn rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
May 27, 2008 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya, 2007
I think the story is getting even more interesting, and also a bit sad. It didn't take me long to read it either! Truly, these are such fun books, and the world behind the door of light is getting more and more interesting. In this sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty, set two months after, a new, mysterious teacher has arrived at Spence, three ghostly girls are trying to give Gemma a message, and Kartik tells Gemma she must find the Temple and bind the magic that she let loose when she broke t ...more
Megan (YABookers)
I really loved Rebel Angels, much more than A Great and Terrible Beauty. It was magical, enchanting and truly captivating. I really love Gemma, and I think she is pretty damn awesome. She is intelligent, brave and curious and I think she had some great character development. The same can be said with Ann and Felicity, and while I sometimes dislike them, I have to admire they are pretty great characters. Pippa was a character which really surprised me in Rebel Angels and I can't wait to read more ...more
Feb 28, 2016 Pau rated it really liked it
Solid 4. Good job, book.

EDIT (Lengthier review now.)

I started this book. Put it down as it seemed pointless and I wasn't up for sitting through more school room antics. One night, my insomnia kicked in and I remembered that reading helped somewhat. That night I breezed through the entire book. After the last past, I put it down and felt thoroughly satisfied.

Gemma and the Powerpuff girls come back at the same place, but at Christmas time. That bit was boring. Thankfully, the story does not take p
lauren kellie
Rebel Angels did a lot more for me than its precursor, A Great and Terrible Beauty. This I'm mainly going to attribute to the London setting, which I loved probably too much.
Libba's Victorian London was dark and interesting, and you got to see a lot of it, which I really appreciated. Her London society I found a little wobbly and lacking at certain points, but it still gave the story an enjoyable twist.

One thing I do like about this series is that it addresses certain issues that are never reall
Jun 10, 2014 snowplum rated it liked it
I liked this book less than book 1, A Great and Terrible Beauty, probably because it felt as though the author decided to add a few heaping spoonfuls of More Social Issues to a book that didn't need them. Book 1's take on feminism and ways that teenage girls suck toward each other and themselves was a bit heavy-handed and artless, but certainly in line with general expectations of the genre. And therein, perhaps, lies the problem. I think we may have a case of an author who decided she wanted to ...more
Jul 01, 2009 Julie rated it liked it
After reading the first book it was good enough to keep reading the other books although I didn't love it. I really liked the second book, but after the whole series was finished I was rather disappointed. I thought the story was compelling, but if you're looking for a book appropriate for you teenage girls I didn't think this was it. There are far too many points of view that conflicted with my beliefs. I really wanted to like these books, but after the insertion on homosexuality (hinted at in ...more
Why do I like Rebel Angels so much more than A Great And Terrible Beauty?

That's easy: Balls.

Not THOSE kinds of balls. These kinds:

Maybe because all those par-tays made the pace of the novel seem faster and the story more compelling. But, also, we get to see Gemma interact with her family and the snooty-high-society all around her. This makes for some excellent characterization of both the major and secondary characters.

Would this series have been able to sustain itself without a love-triangle?
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
Re-read! :) On to the final book and all the feels and to hope that it ends differently this time around. o_O
Jan 27, 2011 Lowed rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2011
I'm surprised she did not see it coming! If you have read my review of the first book, you'd see at how I might be inconsistent with it. With a really good prose [this time], this is an excellent follow up of the first book.

It's good seeing the development of the characters, although I still think they are a hateful bunch. But it was still nice enough to make me want to read the last book in the series.!
Alice Lippart
Oct 17, 2015 Alice Lippart rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
A fascinating and exciting sequel.
Jan 31, 2008 Tapestrymlp rated it it was amazing
In this is sequel to Libba Bray's excellent YA fantasy novel, A Great and Terrible Beauty, Gemma, Felicity and Anne venture to London over the Christmas holidays. Gemma finds a new love interest among the peerage and Felicity and Anne undertake a daring deception about Anne's social status. Amid the social whirl they continue to venture into the magical land of the realms, seeking to escape the strictures of their lives. But Circe's agents are closing in, hunting Gemma and a way to claim the mag ...more
Jan 02, 2008 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked A Great and Terrible Beauty
Shelves: 2007-08
548 pages (counts as two books)
My opinions on this book changed with almost every chapter. When I first started, I was somewhat disappointed. What I liked so much about the first book in the series, A Great and Terrible Beauty, was how realistic the dialogue and narration was for the time period. I felt like the voice of the main character, Gemma, was believable for the 1800s. It seemed to me that Gemma lost some of her credibility in the second book. She had more of a modern "teenagery" tone (
Jan 01, 2011 Priscilla rated it it was amazing
Check out my video review:
Feb 23, 2014 Benjaminoftomes rated it it was amazing
finished this book after many days of putting it off! i did enjoy this book!
Mar 25, 2012 Safae rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 100, english
if i had thought that a great and terrible beauty was a wonderful book ..this one was much better..during the book we fall again through Gemma's world, the writer taking us years ago to the 1896, when we can enjoy the beauty, elegance, and charm of that era as much as being confronted with the lies lying just beneath the surface of such a terrible society.
I enjoyed reading about the different customs , the cruelty of that world, and the terrible outcomes of such a small things that we take for g
Dec 06, 2011 Kamaria rated it it was amazing
Have you read the first one yet-A Great and Terrible Beauty? If you havent, I just cyber smacked your face!! If you have, we would be great friends. Libba Bray has done the impossible and made the second book even greater than the first!!!! In this continuation of the story, Gemma has come to terms with her mothers final death, and Pippa's. Or so she thinks. Gemma thinks shes learned most everything there is to know about the realms, and the magic of the Order. Then she finds out that by her set ...more
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2016 Reading Chal...: Rebel Angels by Libba Bray 3 24 May 02, 2015 12:07PM  
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Reading Addicts: Rebel Angels Buddy Read 24 11 Nov 04, 2014 03:17AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Rebel Angels by Libba Bray - start. Feb 28 2014 47 21 Mar 05, 2014 04:34AM  
Libba Bray "Rebel Angels" Review 1 13 Nov 05, 2012 08:41PM  
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What is it about writing an author bio that gives me that deer-in-headlights feeling? It's not exactly like I'm going to say "I was born in Alabama…" and somebody's going to jump up and snarl, "Oh yeah? Prove it!" At least I hope not.

I think what gets me feeling itchy is all that emphasis on the facts of a life, while all the juicy, relevant, human oddity stuff gets left on the cutting room floor.
More about Libba Bray...

Other Books in the Series

Gemma Doyle (3 books)
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)
  • The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3)

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“Sometimes we seek that which we are not yet ready to find.” 624 likes
“What if evil doesn't really exist? What if evil is something dreamed up by man, and there is nothing to struggle against except out own limitations? The constant battle between our will, our desires, and our choices?” 610 likes
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