A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1)

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106 reviews
 
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4.2
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4.1(14)
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A great read!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Julie

I read this book because a bunch of people were talking about it, and of course, I had to see what was so great about it! I finished it in a couple of days, and absolutely loved it! Gemma, a teenage girl, is sent to a Victorian Boarding school and uncovers secrets there. I thought it would be a boring book, but I was suprises by the awesomeness. :D I recommend it to anyone out there who loves a book with a eerie mood to it, along with happiness and trust. 5 stars out of 5! Loved it!
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Will Leave You Wanting More
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Manda

I stumbled upon Libba Bray while perusing the YA section at my local Bookman's.  As being one who normally chooses new books by their interesting covers, I was immediately drawn to A Great and Terrible Beauty.  It being a New York Times Bestseller didn't hurt either.  A Great and Terrible Beauty is Libba Bray's debut novel and I have to say she hit the ball out of the park.  A Great and Terrible Beauty is the story of Gemma Doyle and her dealings at a private school in London after tragedy befalls her family.  Gemma finds herself with powers beyond her control and a mysterious boy on her tail.  The mixture of magic, romance, and teen angst that fills this book will have you dying for more.  I love the voice of Gemma Doyle and the way Libba Bray makes you want to be apart of her world.  You feel a need to be a part of her normal life at Spence Academy while also in the fictional world of magic and mayhem.  When this book came to an end I was dying to move onto the sequel Rebel Angels.  Libba Bray will take you on a wild ride in A Great and Terrible Beauty and you'll be ready for more.

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A Great Beauty of a Novel
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Lea

The first novel in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, we meet Gemma. When her mother dies, she is sent off to Spence Academy, where things get interesting. She joins up with the most popular girls, but leaves the reader wondering if they are her friends. Gemma's visions haunt her, and then she finds a diary of a girl with abilities like her. Soon, Gemma and her friends Felicity, Pippa and Ann all explore the Realms, and the dangers within them...
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A Great and Terrible Beauty
Overall rating
 
1.0
Plot
 
1.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Sage

A Great and Terribe Beauty is about a girl named Gemma Doyle who's mother is murdered and sent to boarding school, Spence,  in London. When Gemma starts having visions that begin to come true a strange boy shows up begging her to close her mind to the visions. Throughout her year at Spence she learns about her mother and her entanglement in a group called the Order. It is there that her deatiny awaits her.

This book paints a portrait of the Victorian Era and has characters who keep breaking the rules of that time. It is a thrilling book that I continue to read over and over again.  
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An Enchanting Story
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Rachel Connell

Gemma Doyle is sent to Spence Academy in London when her mother is killed in her home India. Unlike all the other girls at Spence Academy she starts having visions of the future but she's been followed by a young man named Kartik who tells her to close off that part of her. She learns that her mother has a secret thats connected to a mysterious group of women named the Order and that is also connected to her and her mothers death.
This is a tantalizing trilogy that involves magic, mysterious creatures, and a time when women have only one place by a mans side. You will enjoy this novel if you like series with a magical side and girls with a passionate side.
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A Great and AWSOME book
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by sarahsue94

A Great and terrible Beauty is one of my favorite books, along with one of my favorite series.  This book always keeps you on your toes waiting for more.  The first book was probably my favorite because it was when the characters were made to who they are today,  which are very interesting, amazing people. Libba Bray is a very good author, not just because of her very creative ideas, but because she posses the knowledge of what it takes to write an excellent piece of work.  

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Visions of Beauty, Visions of Fear
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1.0
Plot
 
1.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Bookmac13

Ooooh, I love this book! It's so gripping! Right after the her mother's suicide - which Gemma frighteningly envisioned - she is sent of to Spence academy, the English boarding school Gemma had been dying to go to. But is there a reason her mother didn't want Gemma to go to that school, the one she went to as a girl? Gemma's about to find out.

Heavy with a power that Gemma is unaware of, Gemma and her friends soon learn what she is capable of doing. After discovering the beautiful magic filled realm, which Gemma and her friends escape to as often as possible, the four girls are eager to uncover all of Spence's secrets. And in doing so, Gemma discovers the secrets her mother has been keeping!

Oh, and to make matters more interesting, a handsome young Indian man keeps following Gemma, and he knows a thing or two about her power, and he isn't to happy that she's been using it.

So, yeah, I totally loved this book, it was filled with so much intrigue and suspense how could you not love it? The writing was really beautiful, and to top it off it was set in the fabulous eighteen hundreds. Unlike many historical fiction novels, you actually felt like you were reading a story from the heart of a girl in that time period, unlike a normal teen pretending to be from the past. Definitely read this, no buy it! It's really good. Seriously.
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Great characters, decent read
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
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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A Dark, Mysterious Page Turner
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Max

Gemma Doyle is sent to a boarding school in England when her mother is killed. There she meets new friends, begins to fall in love, and discovers her magical background. The realms, as they're called, is another universe, where Gemma and her friends can make things appear by imaging them. But the Winterlands, a part of the realms, is threatening to take over. The spirits of the dead are staying, and threatening to invade the human world.




A Great and Terrible Beauty was suspenseful and mysterious. It was the kind of story where you don't always understand what's happening as it's happening, and when the truth is revealed later, everything seems to snap into place. It was definitely a page turner, and I would definitely recommend it.



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Not Bad
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Iryna

Its
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, Gemmas
reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, shes 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 Spences
most powerful girlsand their foray into the spiritual worldlead to?


After
reading the first chapter, the book drew me in but when Chapter #2 was
over I was yawning with boredom. And so the pattern continued:
interesting, boring, fascinating, dull until I hit the climax of the
book which pulled me in for good.

I liked how the main
character, Gemma, was able to see the future and how it didn't end at
just that. There was more to Gemma's ability then you would read in a
normal book. Libba Bray connected everything like a connect-the-dots
puzzle. However, Gemma only had maybe two visons in the entire book
which I thought was very dissapointing.

I also liked how this
book had more then one genre. It had fantasy, romance and historical
fiction in it. The sequel to this book - "Rebel's Angel" - is at the
top of my TBR list. I am hoping that it will exceed the B+ rating I am giving this book.


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