When 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.