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4.2 106
Young Adult Fiction 28189
One of the Best Books Ever!
Overall rating
Writing Style
Reader reviewed by Ria

A Great and Terrible Beauty is about a girl named Gemma. She's living in India when her 16th b-day rolls around. She begs her mother to take her to London, but her mother refuses. Then, an accident takes her mother's life and Gemma is sent to Spence boarding school. Gemma notices an Indian man following her around.
The first girl Gemma meets is Ann, her roommate, a scholarship student who the other girls don't like. Gemma is soon acquainted with the popular girls, Pippa and Felicity, who torment her until Gemma puts a stop to it.
One night, Gemma is outside when a girl appears and takes her to a place where the diary of Mary Dowd is hidden, but she doesn't start reading it immediately.
Soon, Pippa and Felicity start asking Gemma to spend time with them. And slowly, Gemma starts reading Mary Dowd's diary. One day, while going on a trip to some caves, the girls come across some drawings. The topic of the Order, a group of powerful women, comes up. Felicity and Gemma entertain the thoughts of starting their own order, which they do, inviting only Pippa and Ann.
The ritual was to read part of Mary's diary each meeting. With more and more information about the Order, Gemma realizes that she has a certain power which she doesn't know much about, and her powers are developing. After a while, Gemma figures out how to travel to the other world, where she meets her mother. Slowly, her mother teaches Gemma about her gift, and tells her that Circe is out to get her.
Gemma brings her 3 friends to the world, and soon they are obsessed with their secret. They visit daily, until Gemma finds out disconcerting information on who Circe is. It then becomes a battle between Circe and Gemma for the ultimate power.

This was one of the best books I have ever read. The story was so powerful. The suspense kept me reading until I finished. The characters were so developed that the reader felt like they really knew them, especially Gemma. The light romance kept the story from becoming too sappy. I didn't really like the ending as much. The entire book was sooo good until it came to the ending. The book was really well written. I'm sad that it's over! I definately give this book a 5 out of 5.
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