‘A Great and Terrible Beauty ‘ Was More Great Then Terrible

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In this debut gothic novel mysterious visions, dark family secrets and a long-lost diary thrust Gemma and her classmates back into the horrors that followed her from India. (Ages 12+)

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?

Rose-Worthy Qualities

            I loved reading about the adventurous group of girls! Gemma was an enjoyable character. She was feisty at times but mostly just kept to herself. When she starts to attend boarding school she meets Felicity, Anna, and Pippa. Gemma and Felicity have a rocky start but after several pranks and many arguments, they later begin to be friends. Felicity was like the meaner and more controlling version of Katniss Everdeen. There were times where I really liked Felicity and other times where I hated her.

            The book was mostly just Gemma and her friends messing around in the realms and Gemma trying to understand the strange things happening to her. One thing I liked seeing while reading the book was the growth of the characters while they were in the realm. You get to see their desires and the person they truly want to be, without any outside influence.

Thorny Qualities

            I liked Gemma and Katrick together but I wished they had more scenes together. Gemma begins to have a crush on Katrick but they only have a few run ins and when they do it’s usually Katrick warning Gemma.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I rate this a 4.5 out 5. I liked the characters and the plot but I wish there was more scenes with Katrick and Gemma together. I feel like they had good chemistry but I wanted to see them together more. ‘ A Great and Terrible Beauty’ is the winner of historical fiction week! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, you’ve just been reviewed.

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