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A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty (edition 2003)

by Libba Bray

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7,110294505 (3.83)339
Title:A Great and Terrible Beauty
Authors:Libba Bray
Info:Delacorte Books for Young Readers (2003), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 403 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

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English (290)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (295)
Showing 1-5 of 290 (next | show all)
I found it a little dull, to be honest. I didn't find the characters sympathetic or believable, and the whole concept seemed slapdash. ( )
  Violetthedwarf | Oct 23, 2014 |
I found it a little dull, to be honest. I didn't find the characters sympathetic or believable, and the whole concept seemed slapdash. ( )
  Violetthedwarf | Oct 23, 2014 |
Turns out I lied - I just reread this. I didn't enjoy it as much as previously but it was still a lot of fun.

God I LOVED this but I would never read it again because I have a strong suspicion I wouldn't like it nearly so much. High drama, big magicks, awesome girls, and scary evil. Recommended for the 10-15 crowd. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |

I had heard mixed stories about this one. But the Victorian setting kind of lured me into reading it.

It wasn't to bad, it wasn't really great or beautiful. The characters felt cliché, like the kind of friends that only stick together in books/films. There was not really that much character development either. Besides that, the story itself was OK, and it did trick me into reading the second book even though I was a bit disappointed with this other world.

( )
  Floratina | Sep 25, 2014 |
Technically, I'd give this 2.5 stars. It wasn't that terrible. I wouldn't mind continuing the series at all. Though there were many aspects of the book that I kept on questioning.

Firstly, Kartik and Gemma barely know each other, yet she feels some sort of reaction o him out of no where. The literal translation of: BAM! PREGNANT.

Gemma, Felicity, Anna and whoever else I'm missing become friends like...out of no where. Felicity dares Gemma to sneak in the reverend's private wine collection. Gemma does, and leaves it on Felicity's desk as payback. As the story continues, it doesn't seem like the best situation to become best friends out of no where. So what? Gemma finds you with a gypsy, Felicity's in her debt and all. but it should just be left at that. *shrugs*

Overall, this Gemma chick annoys me so much at times. Especially when her mother told her not to take the magic out of the realms. you find out your mother dies for you in order to protect you, yet you practically throw your self in danger by removing the magic. And she warned you. She warned you Gemma yet you wanted to act stupid. So yeah, you be feeling really crappy. Okay so then she fights with her mother when she finds out she's Mary Dowd, but geez. It's better having your mother secretly being Mary Dowd, realizing her mistakes and trying to protect you then fucking spazzing out like a deranged monkey. but at elast she forgave her so that's good I suppose.

blah blah blah... irrelevant stuff happens. Pippa dies to stay with her imaginary prince charming in the realms or something. Felicity, Anna and [ is there anymore? ] basically becoming power hungry. NO ONE EVER SAID LIFE WAS EASY.

And the book ends with Gemma running.

( )
  ku. | Sep 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 290 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Libba Brayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bailey, JosephineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot...


But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.


And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance--
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

--from "The Lady of Shalott" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

For Barry and Josh
First words
June 21, 1895
Bombay, India

"Please tell me that's not going to be part of my birthday dinner this evening."
But forgiveness... I'll hold on to that fragile slice of hope and keep it close, remembering that in each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice.
I'm sorry, Gemma. But we can't live in the light all of the time. You have to take whatever light you can hold into the dark with you.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385732317, Paperback)

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left wi! th the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy. (Ages 12 up) –Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:33 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.

(summary from another edition)

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