A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Reading Level: Young adult
Genre(s): Historical fiction, fantasy
Pages: 432 (paperback)
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
My Rating: 5/5
Gemma, 16, 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.
I loved every minute of this book; the writing is amazing. I love Libba's writing style.
The characters and character development, the plot, the descriptions, the Victorian backdrop, it was all epic.
There were a few plot twists in here that made my jaw drop. I was like O_O
I really, really liked Gemma. She's a highly likable female character. Her friends, Pippa, Ann, and Felicity were excellent characters as well. In the beginning Felicity and Pippa were very insolent, but throughout the book you start to really like them and feel bad for them. Ann was really introverted in the beginning but once she became friends with Gemma, Pippa, and Felicity she really broke out of her shell.
I loved the world Libba created. The book played like a movie in my head because of the excellent descriptions. I believe this book is actually going to be a movie. :D
So, yeah. Excellent book, excellent writing. 5/5 stars most definitely. I can't wait to read Rebel Angels which is sitting on my bookshelf now.