Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: December 9, 2003
Cover Impressions: There appears to be a bit of a corset obsession going on with this series. There is nothing wrong with this cover, but there isn't anything exciting about it either. It seems like another pretty girl in a pretty dress cover, though I understand it may have been released closer to the beginning of that trend.
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. (Goodreads)
Throughout my time as a blogger, I have encountered this series over and over again. It tends to get lumped in with the type of romantic frou frou books that I don't particularly enjoy.
There wasn't anything that I loathed about this book, but then there wasn't anything that I really loved either. It lives in the eternal land of "Meh" So much so that it has taken me a week or two to actually sit down and write this review.
Eventually, I finished for the sake of finishing, though I didn't really enjoy it at all. I will not be checking out the next two in this series.
Age: 15 and up
Sex: Kissing, Sexual Dream
Violence: Murder of a child, Brutal killing of an animal,
Inappropriate Language: Whore, Slut, Bastard
Substance Use/Abuse: Underage Drinking