Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1)
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Delacorte Books 2005
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Reading Challenges: Young Adult; Mount TBR; Semi-Charmed Challenge — Trilogy
How I Got It: I own it!
It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?
I am ashamed to say that this book has been on my shelves for almost two years. I wanted to read this trilogy when it was published, but I it somehow kept getting thrown back on the TBR shelf. After the move, I promptly unearthed it and placed it on my immediate TBR shelf.
The first 50 pages, I was so-so. It didn’t really strike me as amazing. It didn’t grab my attention right away. And I felt that Gemma was a petulant 16-year-old. Thankfully the story started growing on me. I began to be pulled deeper and deeper in the mystery of the Order and the other Realms. I too hated Felicity and Pippa in the beginning. But soon, I became to see their behavior was a result of their deeper insecurities. At the end, I felt for Pippa and Felicity. But I never seemed to get a handle on Ann. Hopefully, the second book gives us more. I loved Miss Moore. We better get to see more of her. I found the twists toward the end to be predictable, but not so obvious as to be annoying. A good read for an afternoon at the pool.