A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1)

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A Great and Captivating Novel
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Krissy

This is one of the best books i have ever read. it is interesting from the startand you just can't put the book down. the books captures the time period and the things teenage girls had to deal with. the book is excellent and, by far, one of the best gothics i have ever read.
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A Must Read for all teen girls
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Kris

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray captures all who read it. Beauty is about a young teen, Gemma, who is relentless and curious. This novel started in India, where Gemma was in the market place with her mother, once again arguing over whether or not she should be allowed to go to London for schooling. Her last words to her mother were "I don't care if you come home at all." I, for one, can completely relate to this feeling of resent. Little did Gemma know, though, that her words would be true and her mother would not return home later that day. Since her mother's death, Gemma received her wish and was sent to Spence Academy to become a lady. There the headmistress does little to make her feel welcome, and her only comfort is her roommate, Ann, who is knowledgeable and always absorbed in reading. After proving her worth, she becomes acquaintances with Felicity and Pippa, and eventually they even become friendly. With them, she discovers a great and terrible power that Kartik, the mysterious man she met in the marketplace, tries to warn her to control.

Bray weaves a story of danger, suspense, magic, mystery, and desire. She sets it over 100 years in the past, in India and London. She creates the heroine, Gemma, and truly releases her eccentric and stubborn spirit. Then she adds three friends, one with brains, one with beauty, and one with leadership into this already capturing mix. On top of this all, she puts in a dash of magic and romance for the final blend. All these ingredients together create a most wonderful story to read, impossible to put down once started. Though some parts may be slightly confusing, such as distinguishing Pippa from Felicity, they do not take away from the story at all. I would give A Great and Terrible Beauty 5 out of 5 stars. I cannot wait until the next book in the trilogy.

Reprinted here with author's permission.
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A Great Beauty
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Val

Gemma Doyle has lived most of her life in India with her mother but she really wants to visit England the place shes only heard about in her grandmothers letters.Her mother dies and she is sent to a finishing school called Spencer Academy in England. It is there were she befriends the popular girls and learns dangerous secrets she wishes that she'd never heard. She falls into the temptation of peer pressure, love and the utter pleasure that comes with power. Thequestion is what will happen when she learns the consequences of her choices? This book was incredible it has a strong sense of scenery and a great plot!
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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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It may be titled Great and Terrible, but that's no way to describe it!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Sandra

What can I really say about this book, except WOW? As you can tell, I completely loved this book. Libba Bray was able to capture the essence of a Victorian finishing school while simultaneously speaking of wonders beyond the imagination. I loved the mystery and intrigued which surrounded the east wing of Spence. She also was able to aptly touch on issues such as the gaps between wealth and poverty, which she personified as Felicity and Ann, respectively. Not only did that add another dimension to A Great and Terrible Beauty, but it also showed that Bray was conscious of such problems' existences in the world. All in all, I would absolutely recommend this novel to anyone who likes mystery, boarding schools, and a wealth of new and strange creatures. I can't wait for her sequel, Rebel Angels.
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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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A Great and AWSOME book
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
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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A Tantalizing Tale
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Fiona Flamingo


With an intriguing title, A Great and Terrible Beauty captures the reader within its pages instantly. However, as the chapters progress, you will realise that the book with attention-grabbing title, is also in possession of a swiftly-moving plot, sharply etched characters, historic setting, gripping style combined with a supernatural twist.

So, what exactly is A Great and Terrible Beauty about?


Gemma Doyle isnt your ordinary sixteen year old of the 1800s. For one thing she lived all her life in India. Secondly, she isnt refined and elegant like the other young ladies of her age. Thirdly, she has the gift of visions; foggy photographs of the future. This is how the story unfolds, an argument with her mother concerning moving to London, a temper tantrum, stalking stranger and cruel and blood-curdling dream and&the death of her mother. However, it was no ordinary death-it was suicide.


Gemmas wishes are granted, she travels to London to become Spence Academys newest student. Strange, mysterious events evolve there as her visions grow more vivid, a diary is discovered, the realms are opened and ultimately, a sacrifice is made.


A Great and Terrible Beauty is a thick, transfixing fantasy with a different twist that most would enjoy. Although, interestingly written, I feel the novel lacks in originality. Some of the ideas seem used and dont hold the same appeal as unique idea. Still, I liked the usage of the different time period, which gives the story an extra edge.


Nonetheless, A Great and Terrible Beauty was a thoroughly satisfying read. I recommend it to girls who enjoy supernaturalistic fantasies with hints of romance and mystery.
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Absolutely wonderful!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Sara E.

A friend of mine who learned I liked Twilight, recommended I read this book. I went into it thinking it was about vampires, but as I read the first chapter I realized that probably wasn't the case. (I was too dumb to read the book jacket, I guess...lol) At first, I thought it didn't have any supernatural elements whatsoever. I was wrong. This book, part of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, is the most lovely book I've read in a long time. (Did I just say lovely?) It's creative and original, and I love the victorian time period it's set in.

This is the story of a young girl, Gemma Doyle, discovering who she is and the secrets her mother kept. And a place called the Realms, where many different creatures live and the dead go before they pass on to the other side. This is also a story of friendship, love, and death.
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A great and terrible mystery...
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Lilli Partyka

Upon turning 16, Gemma Doyle, the books protagonist, encounters a life-changing event. Haunted by this event for months after, Gemma escapes to England to live with her father and brother and is ultimately shipped to a prestigious finishing school called "Spence Academy for Young Ladies".

There she becomes an outcast, her differences setting her apart and making her a target of the other girls. Soon, however, she befriends the lovely, and troublesome student Felicity, the beautiful and jealous Pippa, and the plain and homely Ann.
Together the form a strong alliance and friendship away from the constraints of the "real" world.

You see, Gemma has magic. She is one of the Order - a group of female magicians with magical power and control. At one time, they were allied with the Rakshana - a strong male warrior group, but are now at odds with this power. The Rakshana, fearing the visions Gemma has been witness to, begin to search her down and try to contain the horrible events they feel are to happen.

Gemma, however, refuses to comply and delves deeper into the mysterious magic that is her destiny. Eventually she finds herself falling for Kartik, one of the members of the Rakshana. Brutally honest, cold, handsome, and unique, she finds him appealing, dangerous, and too much to handle.

But all the while she questions, what exactly is in the old east wing of the school? What is this magic capable of?
What is real? What is a lie? What does she really know? What is love?

This novel is one of magic, self-discovery, excitement, and fantasy. It truly leads the reader to understand the burden of emotion, dedication, personal moral, and the "right" thing. It is, indeed, a great and terrible beauty.
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