A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray

200px-LibbabraybeautyWhen Gemma Doyle’s mother dies, she’s sent from India to an all-girl boarding school in England. There, she has to cope not only with being the strange new girl in a very catty society, but with terrible prophetic visions and a spirit-beast bent on capturing her power.

Okay, so remember the movie The Craft? This is sort of like that, with a Dead-Poets-Society-twist. There are four girls in the magic circle: beautiful rich Pippa, charismatic power-hungry Felicity, plain poor Ann, and awkward-but-outspoken Gemma. They’re an odd circle, brought together only through a series of manipulations, and perhaps not all of them are entirely trustworthy. Actually, I’m not sure why Gemma ever trusted either Pippa or Felicity, especially the latter. I kind of thought Felicity was a snake the whole time. I won’t say whether or not she ends up being a snake.

There are plenty of reasons why I ought to turn up my nose at this book. The characters didn’t feel particularly real, and I didn’t really connect with them on a personal level. The historical background didn’t feel thoroughly researched. I’m not sure I could really believe in or get a feel for the bad spirit. But despite all that, I really enjoyed the book. It was fast, easy entertainment, which helped cheer me up from the two other books I was slogging through. I love supernatural stuff – it’s one of my weaknesses from childhood – so this was perfect for me. Hey, I have to read some fluff, too, right? I’m looking forward to the next installment, which I’m sure is going to be just as non-literary as this one, and probably just as fun.

If they haven’t already, this would make an excellent movie.


About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
This entry was posted in 2009, Prose, Young Adult and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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