Book Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.
Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order.

My Review: I didn't like it. First of all, the beginning didn't really draw me in. Next, these kinds of books are way too over done. It was your typical new-girl scenario where she hangs out with the 'unpopular' kid and is teased by the in-crowd, and then becomes part of the in-crowd. It was your typical 'four girls start a secret club' novel. Ugh.  I did like the writings style, and the main character wasn't too awful, but I couldn't overlook the plot. So I won't be picking up the second one, and I wouldn't recommend that anyone else read this book. That's really all I have to say about this book.

Well thanks for reading, and up next for review is Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst. Next post will be... a story! Yay!


  1. Yes, a lot of people love this book, but it's definitely about a girls club, which is anachronistic for the Victorian time period. That's just not going to be to everyone's tastes, and that's okay. Thanks for being honest with your opinion!


Hi! Thanks for stopping by! I LOVE comments, and I read every single one that's left, and I try to respond to them all. Thanks for being awesome!

Search this blog!