A Great a Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray is told from the perspective of Gemma Doyle, and is set in 1895. Gemma is forced to leave India after the death of her mother to attend a private boarding school in London.
Lonely, guilty, and prone to visions of the future that she fears may be coming true, she also believes that Kartik, a young man, is following her. He warns her about her visions. Gemma meets Felicity, Pippa, and Ann. Together they discover the secrets of the Order. The clique finds a way to accompany Gemma to the otherworld realms of her visions. They soon discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace that they can’t control.
This book is filled with love, suspense, and fantasy. I really enjoyed the characters such as Gemma and Kartik. They were my favorite romance in the book because it was also forbidden since Kartik is Indian and Gemma is white. I didn’t really like the clique, Felicity, Pippa, and Ann, because they were typical mean girls you would encounter in high school. I would give the book a 9/10 because sometimes when I was reading some parts of the book it would be a bit confusing and I would end up getting lost. I could really connect with Gemma, every action she would do I could really relate to her. I would strongly suggest this book to all teen girls, it’s a great book to sit down and read. The book has a trilogy so if you end up liking the book you can go out and read the other two books!
–Dafne, 15, Teen Center Adviser