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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Throwback Thursday: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Throwback Thursday is a weekly feature co-hosted by Never Too Fond of Books and The Housework Can Wait. This is a fun way to write about and review beloved books we haven't read in a while.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!
This week, my throwback is A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy

Goodreads Blurb:
A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.
Sixteen-year-old Gemma 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. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.
My Review: 
A Great and Terrible Beauty is the first book in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy. This story includes mystery, drama, humor, suspense, & romance. It has a little bit of everything, making it a story that would entertain most audiences of all ages. There were moments that Gemma's friends irritated me. Actually, I wouldn't really call it a friendship. They only met together to escape from lives they have no control over. I would run away too. So, it's more of an alliance I suppose. The story mixed the realities young women faced from the Victorian Era with magic and fantasy to create something thoroughly addictive. Libba Bray weaved her story in such a way that even though it's pure make believe, it felt real while you read it. I found myself escaping into this book as much as the characters escaped into their newly found world.

To learn more about Libba Bray and her books, visit her website and blog.


  1. I have heard wonderful things about this series. I was only recently introduced to Libba Bray - and I think she's absolutely fabulous.

    I will definitely be reading this one day.

  2. I haven't heard of this series, but your summary sounds great - it really does have something in there for everyone! I'll have to check it out!

    Great Throwback! Here's mine!

  3. I'd really really love to re-read this trilogy someday! Maybe in another year or tow. I like to wait until my memories of the book/s is/are really foggy, and I'm getting there! But yeah, like you I TOTALLY was entirely drawn into the story!

    Also, I just noticed you have my blog button on your blogroll. I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you, Gabby!


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