A Great and Terrible Beauty by: Libba Bray

Book: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Date Published: Mar 22 2005 (reprint)


It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

Why did I read this Book:

So I had scene this book a few years ago on a table at Chapters, picked it up, read the back, put it back down and moved on.  But I kept seeing it, so this summer when I went on my YA kick this book popped on my list of need to check outs.  Admittedly I did this list a bit smarter this go around.  I have only picked up the first book in a bunch of series, and that way if it doesn’t work out I am not forced to read them all.  I can move on, but feel happy that I tried them anyways.


As mentioned in Fallen review, this book came in second place to start reading.  I am on the fence about how I feel about this book.  I liked parts of it, but as a whole don’t feel it was my cup of tea.  It was written in first person present.  This is a voice that can really really really bother me.  And this once wasn’t quite to the really stage but definitely on the bother floor.

Also the magic system in it was way to vague.  It kind of felt like the book the Magician, and I can feely admit that I loathed that book with a passion.  (If I rated it anywhere above a 2 I must go back and change that – truly loathed that book).

What was the salvation for me though was the hint of the forbidden love story.  And I kind of liked the idea of a secret society at an all girls school.  But this book as a hole, just wasn’t pushing my buttons all proper like.  It just kind of fell short for me. The main character was one of those good characters, who is longing for self discovery but is not really very interesting as a person.  She had some sharp think on your feet kind of moments in the beginning of the book, and she made her mistakes too in the book.  But as a person she was kind of boring.

Final Thoughts:

This book came off as okay, but not stunning for me.  I wanted to like it more.  I’m not even sure I will pick up the rest of the books in the series. I just didn’t feel that kind of emotional investment in her story. It could be my personal pet peeves getting in my way of truly falling in love with this story, all I can really say is that it wasn’t for me.

Rating: 5/10

P.S. All out of movie reviews to I am catching up on book reviews now on friday.  I can quite a few stockpiled for you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s