Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
Pages: 403

Gemma Doyle Trilogy #1
My Rating: 5/5 stars
My Favourite Things about A Great and Terrible Beauty:
-The writing
-The personalities of the characters
-the gothic touch
-the era of the late 1800s
My Review:

A Great and Terrible Beauty was an amazing, gothic, elegant type of book. It’s rich and lush, thoroughly enjoyable, as well as magical. It’s perfect for reading under the covers all cozy at night, because it has such a spooky feel.

My cousin had recommended this book to me  a few years ago. I was a little reluctant at first, but then after seeing tons of great reviews, I was in need of something to read. So, I headed out to the bookstore and bought it.

Holy Cow! I am sure glad I did!

I normally don’t like books that are set in the past, specifically in the 16th to 19th century. But I absolutely enjoyed A Great and Terrible Beauty, and it has been added to my list of favorites. The author did an amazing job with describing the world and feel of the late 19th century. It was perfect, to the point that I felt like I was actually there.  Libba Bray has crafted an excellent debut.

I was drawn in from page 1, and I read for hours and hours, but then figured I should get a little sleep. But, no such luck, as I tossed and turned all night, thinking about this book.

The characters are refreshing, funny and demonstrate that girls in 19th century London aren’t that different then girls now. I can feel a strong relationship between us girls today, and the girls then. Gemma is a strong main character and she demonstrates a fiery rebellion of what was expected of girls then. She saw another way.  As for the other characters, spectacular. I enjoyed reading about them, their spats and regular conversations too. It was very strongly written how the characters developed towards each other, and how some things change about them towards the end.
Each of the four girls holds a special trait and value. They each have a certain wish, and what they wish for really reflects on their personalities. Felicity and Pippa really stood out to me. They have a certain attitude, which changes towards Gemma and Ann throughout the book, depending on the events. I found it interesting and so entertaining how they all became friends, judging by the place the four started at.

There were definetley other relationships in this book, such as Kartik and Gemma, and Gemma and her mother. I loved the few scenes between Kartik and Gemma, they were so entertaining, with, of course, that little hint of love.  Gemma and her mother, though Gemma's mother is dead, was a relationship I loved to see. There are certain parts where Gemma sees her mother again, and they really did display how strong of a relationship they had.

The magic in this book was enchanting. It had a certain feel that is hard to describe. It seemed so perfect and pretty, a brand of classic magic that you don't see as much anymore.

 The setting at Spence Academy, as well as it linking to the realms, holds the touch of the gothic,  mysterious, shivery feel. It also holds a highly entertaining perspective, and a more creative idea.  Spence Academy was linked to so much in this book, and it took the girls on their journey of self discovery and learning of the realms.

On the writing again, the 1st person perspective was written well through out the whole book. There were many surprises; some making me want to shriek out loud.

My cousin was right. I loved this book.

A Great and Terrible Beauty is amazing!


Heather Anastasiu said...

I loved this trilogy when I found it a couple years ago. Nobody does complex depth better than Libba Bray! I enjoyed looking around your site and reading your reviews!

Laurel said...

I love this trilogy so much too! Sorry I haven't replyed back soonerm though! Thanks for visiting my blog, and thanks so much for your kind comment!