Monday, November 4, 2013

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Series: Gemma Doyle, #1
Publisher: Ember
Format: Paperback
Pages: 403
Source: Borrowed from my Sister

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?

The beginning of this book was a little slow for me. I kept wanting to put it down but by about a third of the way in the story really picked up and I was glad that I had stuck with it. I ended up being pleasantly surprised by everything that happened in this book. I had attempted this one a few years ago and barely made it eight chapters in.

Once the action and the story pick up this book really draws you in. The plot is full of twists and turns that I did not see coming. I'm not going to lie, I love books that take place in boarding schools. They are intriguing and there is always some sort of mystery involved, this one didn't disappoint at all.

The supernatural elements really added to the overall mystery of the book. Were they witches? Or did they just have some magical powers? I really hope that the next two books delve deeper into this topic and explain the other realm further.

I loved the characters, well most of them anyway. Gemma was so headstrong and didn't want to just be a pretty face who took care of her husband for the rest of her life. I really connected with her. She was extremely intelligent and didn't put up with anything. I really disliked Pippa and the rest of their little clique in the beginning. They were really stuck up and did everything they could to put the other girls down. However, by the end all of the girls really took a turn and started to change for the better. Then there's Kartik. That boy is still such a mystery but I hope that I get to see more of him in the rest of the series.

As my second Libba Bray book I can definitely say that I am a fan. If you enjoy historical stories with supernatural elements then I recommend that you check this one out. It's got mystery that will have you guessing until the very end.

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