Sunday, March 29, 2009
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
A Great and Terrible Beauty is an intriguing book. I'm going to have a hard time reviewing it because I don't feel that it is over yet. It's the first book in a trilogy and so much was left open. That being said, I enjoyed it a lot.
The story begins in India where we are introduced to Gemma and her mother on Gemma's sixteenth birthday. A tragedy occurs that we only begin to understand much later in the book. Next thing the reader knows, Gemma is in London on her way to a finishing school. Gemma immediately falls victim to the popular girls and their pranks. Through a series of blackmail and secrets, the popular girls become her friends. They soon discover a dark past to the school and enter into the Realms, another dimension of sort, where Gemma can be with her mother and all their wishes come true.
Gemma is torn between visiting the Realms and staying in reality. As her friends fall deeper into the magic, she tries to pull away. Eventually they learn more about what they are doing and why. This opens the door to the second and third book, which I look forward to reading.
While this is a "young adult" book, it should appeal to any age reader who enjoys a little fantasy mixed in with their reality. I'm far from being a young adult and thoroughly enjoyed it. Ms. Bray writes with an open, easy style that is easy to get swept along in. The fact that Gemma is quite snarky and sarcastic only makes me like her more!