Review Detail

4.2 106
Young Adult Fiction 28106
Good Writing horrible Plot
Overall rating
Writing Style
Reader reviewed by erica

A Great and Terrible Beauty could have been a great novel, but it's not. I like Libba Bray's style of writing... except that the reader isn't really given a character they can like and cheer for. The heroine, Gemma Doyle is self-centered and shallow, as are most of the the others characters. I personally think it's annoying that the book spends so much time making fun of the social norms and expectations of the Victorian Age while doing almost nothing to rise above it. The plot borrows so much from other novels and movies like The Secret Garden (even down to the ivory elephant and the self-absorbed young girl), Dead Poet's, and The Craft (one that has the power, but is secretive; one that desperately hungers for power; one that wishes she was pretty; and one that is just kinda there and annoying). Nothing in it is original, endearing, artistic, or interesting. I kept expecting the surprises in the book to be better than they were, and I was ultimately disappointed at the simplicity of the magic and plot. The author has talent, but this book does little to show it
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