Tuesday, 2 March 2010

A Great and Terrible Beauty - Book Review

A Great and Terrible Beauty - Libba Bray

What is it about:
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?

What did I think of it:
As both my owner and Voodoo Bride love to read girlish books, I can't escape having to read them too from time to time. This book is pretty good I must confess. The story really held me in it's grip even though it's a Young Adult book and therefor there's a lot of teen drama and girls acting like morons. (I really wonder if my owner ever acted like that in her teens.)

There were times I could just kick Gemma, but all in all I must say the characters acted true to what you could expect from teenage girls (mostly) and it was refreshing that all of them had both their good and bad sides and that Gemma isn't that super special besides her strange gift. It's the first part of a trilogy, but pleasantly enough it ends in such a way that you don't feel frustrated you do not have the next book ready right away.

(I must confess we did read book two closely after reading this book and that my owner ordered book three and both her and Voodoo Bride are waiting for it impatiently.)

My one big objection to this book was that it's written in present tense, but luckily the story is so compelling that I could get over that once I got into the story.

Why should you read it:
If you like a Victorian setting, a well written and compelling story and don't mind teen drama this is your book. Best thing: if you like it, there's two more!

To list all three:
A Great and Terrible Beauty
Rebel Angels
The Sweet Far Thing

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