Great and Terrible Beauty

Libba Bray
It's 1895, and after the death 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 being 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?

Reviews

Reviewed: 2016-06-02
I have recently seen some shockingly bad reviews for this book but i would just like to say that this book was AMAZING finish it and read the rest of the series. that is all.
Reviewed: 2015-10-11
If I could, I would say 2.85 stars.

I had been wanting to read a book situated on the Victorian period with a little twist to make it interesting, in this case: magic and paranormal thingies. This is not a deep and meaningful book; this is just silly and entertaining reading.

This is the story of Gemma Doyle. Gemmaâs first vision came to her the same day she lost her mother. She blames herself. At Spence Academy, a finishing school for young ladies, she will keep unraveling her hidden powers and sheâll learn how to let her mom go. An unexpected friendship will bond her to a group of young girls, which will give each other the courage to think independently from what they are being told to.

I didnât quite get to liking Gemma Doyle. She has a particular sharp tongue and agile mind (for that time), but most of her actions are selfish and not quite thought through. She keeps getting into situations where she asks herself âHow could this happen?â and I just feel like shouting: you get it coming girl!! Of course, the plot would never move on if she wouldnât commit any silly mistakes.

The bonding of these young girls was really unexpected for me. I, personally, would never trust ANY of those girls (not even Ann).Surprisingly, that didnât bother me. That actually taught me how people are more complex than being inherited bad or good, just because theyâre mean to you or not. Great lesson there!

As for the romantic interest, if it can be called a romantic interest, Kartikâs character is really underdeveloped. Heâs just a young man whose only way of communication is based on empty threats. What is to love about that? And yet, the interest is there. It was the sexual exploration phase what really added something for me, much more than other YAs, cause that was actually a really taboo subject in that period.

My main complaint about this book is that it seems to be thought completely to be part of a trilogy. The characters are too slightly developed, and all the magic world building is quite shallow.

I always feel like immediately keep reading the following books on a series. Even when the first book is not that good, I need to close all the loose ends. Oddly, itâs different with this one. I canât help but feeling it will only get worse. We will see.
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@j8s7
@j8s7 completed #greatandterrible... on 2009-01-01