Friday, October 16, 2009

Teen review for Libba Bray's "Great and Terrible" series!

A Great and Terrible Beauty
by Libba Bray

--- Review by Adrienne

Libba Bray's bestseller starts off the gripping trilogy about the Gothic secrets and paranormal mysteries circling around 16-year old Gemma Doyle. Set in Victorian England, the novel presents a vivid description of the English Noble Class and the young, English ladies in such a restrained society. Gemma Doyle has spent sixteen years of her life in "dusty, old" India, holding only a grand vision of England from the letters of her grandmother. But as abnormal events occur in India, causing a tragic loss, Gemma is shipped off to England. That is, she's sent to Spence Academy, a preparatory school established to train young ladies for the life of a rich man's wife. But the continued mysterious visions, unfolding dark family secrets, and the discovery of a long-lost diary, filled with clues to another world besides her own, haunts Gemma and her friends with unladylike curiosity. A curiosity which may well offer them a release from the strict, male-dominated society or a series of life threatening adventures.

Touched by modern conceptions of adolescence, tied with passion and terror, the novel is filled with mystery, intrigue, adventure, love, lust and revenge. Libba Bray's compelling knowledge of the Victorian era is reflected on every page, skillfully written so as not to bore its modern readers. Teen readers are able to create a connection with her characters, even though these people are present in a time way before skinny jeans, MP3 players and texting. The plot and its twists are incredibly clever, nurtured by Bray to give a fast paced story leading to a gripping finale.

Also read Rebel Angels, the next installment, and The Sweet Far Thing, which concludes the trilogy, for a curl-up-under-the-covers experience.

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