Monday 8 August 2011

A Great and Terrible Beauty - Libba Bray

Gemma is dying to go to England to take her place as a lady of society. Her mum is reluctant to let her. It's only when her mother is murdered is Gemma sent to finishing school there. Being a lady isn't as fun as it seems. Gemma feels a little out of place and the girls don't mind playing on it. This feeling isn't helped by visions and knowing that she is being watched by something. She then discovers the existence of magical realms that have something to do with her mothers death. Despite warnings she decides to explore them and takes her friends with her.

Yes, I finally lifted my YA ban. I think it's been about six months. I have been good in getting through my tbr pile this year but YA now make up at least half of it. So if I want to get through them once and for all I have to go back to them again.

Sadly I picked the wrong book to begin with. I honestly don't remember why I picked this up in the first place because even the blurb on the back sounds dull. The cover itself wouldn't normally attract me either so I can't blame that. Regardless, I found the book to be completely boring. The girls are spoiled, selfish and with no depth or redeeming qualities. Even Gemma who is supposed to stand out is as bad as the others and in the end chummed up with a crowd she didn't like just because they were popular. So what if she took Ann with her as a charity case.

The idea could have been interesting but in the end it was just as boring. Magic realms where the dark power threatening them all is actually just a girl from a generation back who let the power go to her head. There are hints at Winterlands where more power can be gained but that's all we get, hints. Then there is Kartick and the Rakshana who are warning Gemma that she must stay away from the realms. Nothing much comes of that either and we never to learn anything about Rakshana either. Two of the more interesting aspects of the book and it comes to nothing.

Maybe there will be more of those in the next two books but I am not going to get that far. Reading this one book was enough. I know there are others out there who enjoyed the book but this series just isn't for me. Thankfully it hasn't put me off reading more of my YA stash. I am sure the next one will redeem the range.


  1. I remember reading this book my sophomore year in high school. I think I liked it, but I kinda forgot the whole plot.

  2. there wasn't much of a plot. If I had read it back then I am sure I would have liked it too. I don't think much research was done into the Victorian era either. It just didn't feel right.

  3. Really? See!? This is why I come back to reread my comments. Now I have been saved from rereading the book :] I'll take your word for it. Thanks.

  4. lol, any time. I like to go back to reread comments too.