Great and Terrible Beauty

Great and Terrible Beauty

3.78 (214,062 ratings by Goodreads)
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It's 1895, and after the death 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, Gemma's reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she's being 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 Spence's most powerful girls - and their foray into the spiritual world - lead to?
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Product details

  • 12+
  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 26.92mm | 283g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 0689875355
  • 9780689875359
  • 26,463

About Libba Bray

Libba Bray has worked as a waitress, a nanny, a publishing assistant and as an advertising copywriter. Raised in Texas on a diet of British humour, underground bands, suburban dysfunction and bad TV, she now lives in New York with her husband and young son.
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Rating details

214,062 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 32% (68,680)
4 31% (66,645)
3 24% (50,868)
2 9% (19,423)
1 4% (8,446)

Our customer reviews

In India, this book started out beautifully, just pure descriptive magic. I wish everyone just stayed their butts there. Side note: I am extremely partial to backdrops in France and/or India-so I may be a smidgeon biased. Gemma is witness to a horrific scene involving her mother-a scene, to her dismay, that she foresaw literally minutes before it occurred. She is then promptly shipped off to a boarding school in England. This is where the problems arose for me, and where the story began to grow a little stale. So much so, that I would put the book down for days on end, only to finally pick it up again and realize that ughh..maybe I shouldn't have. I think the change of scenery had a large impact on my loss of interest. England seemed so drab and void of the colour, smells, and culture that India provided in the beginning (though I have previously enjoyed stories based in England, this one was just dull to me). However, there WAS a bright light at the end of that gray tunnel. The story picked up considerably as Gemma formed a stronger bond with a few of her classmates. These secondary characters-Ann, Felicity and Pippa-also become increasingly more interesting as I became more informed of their lives, and the reasons for their reactions and interests. I think Libba Bray did a good job of making that transition easy and seamless for her readers: the fact that Gemma bumped heads with these girls initially, but then grew closer to them. I felt like it was done smartly, and not so quickly that it felt forced. The 2 redeeming things in this book for me were these: 1) The interaction between Gemma and Kartik. I waited with baited breathe for them to be in the same place at the same time, and I severely hope they have more scenes together in the next 2 books! and 2) The paranormal aspect. I think the intricacies and explanations were well thought out, and fun. I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out from here on out-I'm expecting a lot more of it in Rebel Angels. Overall, this book was extremely slow paced for me, and when it finally did pick up, the excitement was still a little too few and far between. The characters were pretty one dimensional, and I probably could have done without a few of them. I really, really wanted to like this series-I saw SO many positive reviews for it. Hopefully my feelings change for the other more
by Reeka
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