Kristi's Reviews > A Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
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Oct 26, 08

really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-own
Read in December, 2007

Gemma isn’t your typical sixteen year old. Most girls her age have been brought up in London’s society of gossip and lavish balls, but not Gemma. She has had a most unconventional upbringing in India. Yet she yearns to be in London, and the topic is often the start of arguments between her and her mother.

Gemma’s wish becomes a reality when she has a vision of her mother’s death which comes true, and she is sent back to London and enrolled at Spence, an academy for girls. Gemma is uncertain of her visions and what they hold, but she will soon find out.

Gemma has a hard time making friends at Spence, but an unexpected twist of events land her into good graces with Felicity, the powerful leader of a spiteful clique.

Gemma discovers that her visions are more than what they seem they are in fact a doorway to other realms. She is warned to keep her visions at bay, but doesn’t understand why.

Gemma becomes friends with members of the clique and they start their own club which they call the Order. The girls from the Order soon find themselves visiting these other realms with Gemma. Only to discover that the innocence of the realm is clouded by an evil that wishes to have Gemma for itself.

The first synopsis I read of A Great and Terrible Beauty didn’t interest me at all. After hearing so many good things about the book, I decided to give it a chance. Now that I read it, I’m mad at myself for waiting so long! The storyline kept me hungry for more! The characters were believable, everyone knows someone who is like Felicity, Pippa and Ann. I loved Bray’s take on the 19th century’s society, sexuality and even the teen issues, that aren’t so different from ones we face today. And yet the supernatural element takes it to a whole other level of enjoyment.
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