Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Great and Terrible Beauty

Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Publication Date: March 2005
Pages: 403

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?

I know what you're thinking - you don't like historical fiction so why on Earth did you pick this book up?

Do you want to guess why? My book club.

I wasn't able to make the last meeting of the book club so imagine my delight when I get an e-mail telling me the next book we will be discussing is Libba Bray's "A Great and Terrible Beauty". After reading "The Book Thief" I was quite wary to crack open this book but, brace yourselves, I actually liked this novel.

You read that right. I actually enjoyed a historical book. Now mind you, it wasn't fantastic . . . but it was good.

After reading the first chapter, the book drew me in but when Chapter #2 was over I was yawning with boredom. And so the pattern continued: interesting, boring, fascinating, dull until I hit the climax of the book which pulled me in for good.

I liked how the main character, Gemma, was able to see the future and how it didn't end at just that. There was more to Gemma's ability then you would read in a normal book. Libba Bray connected everything like a connect-the-dots puzzle. However, Gemma only had maybe two visions in the entire book which I thought was very disappointing.

I also liked how this book had more then one genre. It had fantasy, romance and historical fiction in it. The sequel to this book - "Rebel's Angel" - is at the top of my TBR list. I am hoping that it will exceed the B- rating I am giving this book.


Senfaye said...

Great Review!!!!!!!

-Senfaye :)

Iryna said...

Awww. Thanks!

Jen said...

^_^ Great review. BTW the sequels pretty good too.

Iryna said...

Thanks for commenting Jen! I'll take your word for it about the sequel. :)