♥Meagan♥'s Reviews > A Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
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I think I had higher hopes for A Great and Terrible Beauty than I should have, because of Libba Bray’s recent success. It’s not that AGaTB is a bad book, because it isn’t at all. I just think that it wasn’t for me. I had a hard time relating to the girls, even though I know that’s how teenage girls act. I really liked the idea of the visions, though.

But, I was not happy that it was a “historical fiction” because it wasn’t. It was almost impossible to tell that it was supposed to be set 120 years ago because it didn’t feel like that at all. It felt like they were at a posh boarding school in New England in today’s world. The excuse for the lack of technology could easily be explained away by the fact that the school does not allow it.

I also had quite a few issues with the male leads. Felicity’s “thing” with some gypsy man was totally uncharacteristic to me and I think it was just used as a plot device. And as for Gemma and Kartik, I am thoroughly confused. I am not sure what place that “relationship” had, other than to show that teenage girls think about sex. Kartik fell very flat to me.

(view spoiler)

I found the idea of the realms very interesting and I wish more about those could have been said. I wanted to hit Gemma throughout the book because she didn’t seem to have any sense. She deliberately disobeyed her mother with the use of the magic and didn’t seem to care.
I loved what Libba Bray was trying to do here, though. I love the feminist aspects and the commentary on Victorian culture. I love the magic aspects. I wish the characters would have been more fleshed out and that it actually felt like a historical novel. You can tell that it is a first novel from her, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

All in all, I am definitely going to read the next book. (view spoiler)

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Reading Progress

07/03/2011 page 84

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