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A Great and Terrible Beauty

Bray, Libba (Book - 2004 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
A Great and Terrible Beauty


Item Details

After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.
Authors: Bray, Libba
Title: A great and terrible beauty
Publisher: New York, NY :, Delacorte Press,, 2004
Characteristics: 403 p. ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Libba Bray
Summary: After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.
ISBN: 0385730284
0385901615
Branch Call Number: y BRAY
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Report This Jan 30, 2014
  • JCLMelodyMK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed reading about Gemma and how she learned that she wanted to be a person in her own right making her own decisions. I enjoyed the paranormal elements.

I thought this book was about an outsider throwing over the popular girls. But it was so much more, and I'm so glad I read it. Brilliant plot and characters!

Report This Nov 21, 2013
  • LaPhenixa rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I had a really hard time getting into the present tense at times, but what really killed me was characters acting out of character in order to move the plot along. There were many times I found myself asking "why the heck would you do that!?" through gritted teeth. That being said, the characters did feel very much alive and I did enjoy the imagery. I liked also the underlining themes in the novel as well. Overall, a not entirely negative experience, but I do not think I'll be reading any sequels.

Report This Oct 07, 2013
  • JCLKinsleyR rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I devoured this series, one right after the other. The dress on the cover drew me in and the talk of dances and debuts won me over. I was surprised to enjoy the fantasy side of the other realms.

Report This Jun 17, 2013
  • ryleypaige rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

i read this book a few years ago, and feel in love with it! about to reread it and hope i love it just as much.

Report This Jun 03, 2013
  • mbssmith rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I finished this book a few days ago, and it was pretty good. I really liked the characters, but there are more than one weird deer scenes...

Report This Apr 11, 2013
  • happycanuck rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

OK - well written, supernatural elements within a good plot

Report This Dec 17, 2012
  • iluvvideo rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I picked up this book based on a recommendation in a magazine article on promising YA authors. I am not the author's intended audience, but once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down. Gemma Doyle, a young woman coming of age in India, longs for a far away life in London, that she only knows from her grandmother's letters. On an outing with her mother for her own birthday celebration, Gemma rebels against the controlled life expected of her and is separated from her Mother in the throngs at the market. She runs blindly, to escape her Mother's ire and finds herself hopelessly lost, and on her own. In a swoon she has a vision and among the many things she sees, she witnesses her Mother's murder. Coming to her senses she discovers that her vision is all too real... She is sent to London, under the guidance of her Grandmother and is enrolled in Spence, an exclusive boarding school which turns young girls into England's future wives and mothers. Among the elite young women she begins to develop her gift to enter 'the realms' and explore freedoms unknown to her elsewhere. But is this her path? Or just a convenient diversion? I can't possibly do justice to this amazing story of a young woman living in the Victorian era. The characters are drawn so well and truly emotionally complete you can't help but be drawn to them. Each, in her own way adds a strand that helps complete the story's web. This is book one of a planned trilogy. I'm looking forward to more adventures. I suggest you enter this world. You'll be glad you did.

Report This Aug 16, 2012
  • agent391 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is one of those books that's good to read in the summer. An enjoyable enough book, with plenty of shivery bits.

Report This Jul 08, 2012
  • JewelMcLatchy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

First book in a trilogy that is everything Bewitching Season and Betraying Season should have been but sadly were not. This is the story of a strong female character, secret societies and magic, with just the right touch of romance, whereas the "Season" books were more romance with less than enough magic and other content.

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Report This Aug 16, 2012
  • agent391 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

agent391 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Report This Aug 03, 2011
  • KKPGIRL rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

KKPGIRL thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Report This May 29, 2010
  • liz_z2 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

liz_z2 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Report This Dec 06, 2009
  • swishandflick rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

swishandflick thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Report This Aug 13, 2008
  • Kate Anna Burnham rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Gemma Doyle is sent to London after her mother's mysterious death. Suddenly Gemma recieves visions. Then she meets an Indian Boy named Kartik whom is from a clan called the Rakshana. He tells her to close her visions, but Gemma cannot as it's the only way to contact her mother.

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Report This Jul 16, 2010
  • BlackPhoenix rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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Report This Dec 02, 2013
  • re_discover rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"All the small, simple, conscious acts of living [are] a sudden defense against the dying we do every day" (397).

Report This Dec 02, 2013
  • re_discover rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Gemma (thought): "Let's draw the curtains and stay in, warm and safe, away from the uncertain woods" (204).

Report This Dec 02, 2013
  • re_discover rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Miss Moore: "Your mind is not a cage. It's a garden. And it requires cultivating" (128).

Report This Aug 16, 2012
  • agent391 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

What frightens you? What makes the hair on your arms rise, your palms sweat, the breath catch in your chest like a wild thing caged? Is it the dark? A fleeting memory of a bedtime story, ghosts and gobins and witches hiding in the shadows? Is it the way the wind picks up just before a storm? Or is it something deeper, something much more frightening, a monster deep inside that you've glimpsed only in pieces, the vast unknown of your own soul where secrets gather with a terrible power, the dark inside?

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