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Monday, August 3, 2009

A Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray 4 of 5 stars.

Gemma Doyle isn't like other girls. Girls with impeccable manners, who speak when spoken to, who remember their station, and who lie back and think of England when it's required of them.
No, sixteen-year-old Gemma is an island unto herself, sent to the Spence Academy in London after tragedy strikes her family in India. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and pron to vision of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma finds a chilly reception. But she's not completely alone... she's being followed by a mysterious young man, who warns her to close her mind against the visions.
For it's at Spence that Gemma's power to attract the supernatural unfolds; there she becomes entangled with the school's most powerful girls and discovers her mother's connection to a shadowy group call the Order. It's there that destiny waits... if only she can believe it.

A Great and Terrible Beauty was a surprisingly dark story. There were moments of humour, but they did little to lighten the plot. Gemma is a strong, stuborn, and daring character. Her friends at the Academy all have their own personalities, they see themselves as being similar because they all feel unwanted, and trapped within the role they were born to. They all have dreams, but feel they must push them aside for the duty of a woman. The story also has a very strong message to it. That temptation challenges all of us, and that no matter how strong you think you are power can corrupt your mind; can change you into a whole different person. You can loose yourself to it, no matter what you thought before hand.


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