Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray brings the gothic novel novel to teen readers with all the intrigue, suspense, and yes, the romance, that one expects of this genre. Gemma Doyle, raised in India, is sent to a private girls’ school in England after the violent murder of her mother. Unbeknownst to her, she is accompanied by a mysterious (and highly attractive) young man who seeks her out in order to warn her against the visions that she is increasingly susceptible to. Not only does she have to deal with the loss of her family, her childhood home, and her comfortable way of life, but she has to confront the shadowy clique at her new school known as the Order. All the action takes place in the late nineteenth century, almost a must for any gothic setting, and while Gemma is portrayed as perhaps a more modern girl than is completely historically accurate, the Victorian world is believably seen through the eyes of someone in conflict with it. For anyone looking for a good book to curl up with on a dark and stormy night, this one is a winner.

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