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Book #14 of 2011
Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: 2003
Grade: B+
Comments: In the late 1800s, after her mother’s mysterious death, Gemma is sent back to England from India and enrolled at an all girls prep school which is intended to turn them into proper young ladies, suitable for marriage. The ordinary boarding school tale rapidly turns strange as Gemma tries to uncover more about her mother and her death by reading through her journals. She discovers a mystical world and she and her new friends enter it and discover just how much they don’t know. This first book in a trilogy marries fantasy, romance and historical fiction, in one lovely book.

I picked this one up years ago because I loved the cover, despite my reluctance to read historical novels. I learned of the supernatural element later, which didn’t really entice me to pick it up. I finally gave this one a try and was pleasantly surprised. The characters are very strong, and I was surprised at how attached I became to them, particularly the ones that started the book in a much less positive light. I was slightly more interested in what happened in the real world rather than the shadow world, but I’m intrigued to find out what happens next.

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