Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
Published: July 2005
Hardcover: 416 pages
Reading Level: YA
My copy: Received as a trade on swaptree.com
My rating: 4 out of 5 wicked stars
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?
A Great and Terrible Beauty is the first in a trilogy by Libba Bray. The book starts off in India where the spoiled main character, Gemma, is constantly complaining to her mother about wanting to live back in London. Gemma soon gets a wake up call in the form of a vision that shows her mother dying, and it turns out to be true. She is shipped off to London and boarding school, and it isn't all that she wished it would be. She continues to have the visions and is torn between wanting to believe the stranger that shows up telling her to avoid them at all cost...and the glorious spirit world. Throw in some peer pressure and you have a disaster waiting to happen.
I really enjoyed it this book, it flowed nicely and I wasn't lost or over-burdened with useless facts. Gemma started out a spoiled brat, and still had the tendency to be that in various parts of the book, which got old. There were times when you could see that she was turning into the character that you wanted her to be, and I hope to see more of that in the following 2 books of the trilogy. Overall, I would recommend this book to those looking for some fun, teenage drama with other-worldly flair.