A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1)

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Ok book

I liked the story, but the characters were a bit underdeveloped and the story was extremely slow, except for at the end where it felt like the author rushed the story.

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Underdeveloped, but good

Reader reviewed by Emily H.

I liked the story, but the
characters were a bit underdeveloped and the story was extremely slow,
except for at the end where it felt like the author rushed the story.
I understand that this is to be part of a series, but I think the author could have cut out big sections of the descriptions and focused more on character development so that the reader better understood the secondary characters.

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okay, for me

Reader reviewed by jedi145

Many people really enjoyed this book and series but it didn't do much for me. Historical fiction isn't normally what I read but I have read a few other historical paranormal books that I have enjoyed. The writing was good but the plot was confusing to me.  I like Gemma but I didn't connect to the other characters.  The plot just didn't captivate me. If you like historical fiction I'd recommend it. 

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Great characters, decent read

Reader reviewed by Lisa the Nerd

in a sentence or so: Gemma Doyle wants to go to london
like every other 16 year old. she finally gets her wish...after she has
a vision of her mom (which turns out to be real) committing suicide
while escaping a mysterious black shadow beast.

Gemma
arrives to Spence Academy in the middle of the year - which means
everyone already knows each other, she has last pick of rooms/roommate,
and is automatically the odd girl out. as if having weird visions that
she can't control doesn't make her odd enough. after some
cruel-yet-typical adolescent girl hazing, she finds her way into the
popular girl crowd at Spence. her condition upon entering the popular
clique is that they include Ann, Gemma's pudgy, boring, scholarship roommate. Gemma
and Ann, combined with Pippa (the beauty) and Felicity (the powerful
one), they start hanging out in a cave on the school grounds and take
to reading an old mysterious diary...and then start doing magic...

though it started off a bit blah for me, things started to build up pretty quickly. especially with Kartik, the mysterious potential love-interest, who tells Gemma to avoid the visions at all cost. which of coruse, she doesn't. there are dark forces out there that are trying to get at Gemma,
and she's just trying to figure it all out before it's too late. and
keep her friends safe, and her spiritual connection with her mother,
and learn how to be a proper british lady all at the same time.

since this is the first book in a trilogy,
i think a lot of the novel was set up. a lot of character development,
loose ends, and plot development. while i did genuinely enjoy the
characters and the story, overall it felt a bit blah to me. not sure if
i'll
read the next two. maybe if i can read them for free... to be fair, i
really did enjoy the wit, creative phrasing, and the feel of the book
in general. the characters and the writing were complex, but very easy
to relate to and stay in touch with throughout.

fave quote: "This is how fires start. With a spark. And I see the spark catching the wind." (375)

fix er up: just felt a bit blah to me.


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Unsure...

Reader reviewed by KitKat

Hmmm... to be frank, I don't know what to think! The story moved quickly, normally a thing I appreciate - but here, I felt as though I was missing things as the plot flashed by. Gemma was odd, and Felicity was practically bipolar; it was quite difficult to keep up with all of their multiple personalities and changing desires. The storyline was complex and confusing, and while I somewhat enjoyed the book, I won't reread or recommend it...

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shocking

Reader reviewed by sara

The reader will find out that, Gemma Doyle isnt your ordinary sixteen year old. For one she lived, in the 1800s, in India her whole life. Secondly, she is not all that refined and elegant like the other girls her age. Also she has a gift. A gift of visions; pictures of the future. An argument with her mother concerning moving to London, a temper tantrum, stalking stranger and a bad dream followed by the death of her mother, all happen to this girl along the lay out of the story. The thing though is that it wasnt a regular death it was sucide.

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A Book Many Have Enjoyed But I Didn't Quite So Much

Reader reviewed by Christy

The story is about 16 year old Gemma Doyle being forced to attend Spence Academy in London and leave her home in India. While their she becomes friends with three very different girls. Ann a plain girl who doesn't fit in with the rest. Felicity who is the most powerful girl at Spence. And Pippa who is always at Felicity's side. While there the girls some how can enter this magical realm where anything can happen. But there is also a dark side to it too. A side which is also connected to Gemma's mother and the mysteriors Kartik.
I found this book dull at times and sometimes got confused because there was so much going on all at once. But still it is an okay read through I wouldn't reccomend to many people. Also the endIng does leave you wantIng to know more.

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