Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Simon and Schuster (2003)
Gemma Doyle longs to go to London after hearing exciting tales from her grandmother’s letters. Despite her begging, her mother keeps her trapped in India, saying London is gray, dreary, and full of people ready to tear each other down at the slightest rumor. But when her mother is murdered on the streets of Bombay, Gemma is sent to a London boarding school and thus thrust into societal expectations, cliques, magic, and even secret societies ready to bring her down for just being a powerful young woman.
Why I Like It:
- It’s a Gothic tale in an old, dark boarding house.
- The boarding school girls are the ones I love to hate.
- There is a little bit of magic, but not enough to overwhelm the story.
- It’s very much set in Victorian London and the magic/visions are tastefully done.
- I like Gemma Doyle. Even though I’ve read that others don’t like her much.
- Why do I like it?
- Well, I don’t know. Because she’s got a dry sense of humor and I love her little witticisms.
- I read it when I was either a junior or senior in high school and I’ve read it several times since then.
- Speaking of, I want to read it again.
- I like seeing the girls being set in this time period. They actually act like people from that time period instead of the tired sage of putting a modern strong female character in period costume and traipsing about the landscape and sighing over “dull and stupid men.”
- Plus, I love the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous? The covers on the other two books are just as lovely.
- That’s why I was drawn to the books in the first place.