A Great and Terrible Beauty


A Great and Terrible Beauty: Libba Bray

As a kid I had such an imagination. I loved thinking up ideas for playtimes that were out of this world and not at all possible so that is probably a huge reason why I’m in love with the fantasy/supernatural genre. As I’ve said before in my Harry Potter and the Cursed Child post, I love the Harry Potter series and the imagination that’s required from the author to create the story but also from the reader for being able to see what the author sees and believe everything that is written. When I read a book I am so invested in the story that I don’t see the words, it’s just a film that’s playing in my head for me alone. It’s the best feeling to get when reading, I think, but it’s so devastating to realize that you’ve finished the book and now have to either wait for the next book to come out months later, or find a new book and get invested all over again! A Great and Terrible Beauty was a book that I loved as a kid. It’s a historical fantasy YA book (my favourites!!) that feels like a mix of Narnia with a dash of Alice and Wonderland. It’s an amazing book that is about this girl, Gemma Doyle, who starts to have visions just weeks before she goes off to an all girls’ boarding school. From there she has to figure out where she belongs in this cliquey school as well as figure out how to deal with her new abilities like having visions and having the power of travelling to other-world realms. Soon everything gets out of control and Gemma and her friends need to learn how to contain the dangerous magic they’ve been playing with so that it doesn’t cause complete destruction.

It was an amazing book and the other two books in the trilogy were just as fantastic. When I first read this book when I was about 12 years-old and there are a lot of different components to this book that I struggled to keep track of at that age; when I reread this book  a few years later (as I often do with my favourites), I had no trouble following all the rules of this magic that Gemma deals with but just as a little note that anyone who is younger and attempting this book, you may need to take your time because there are some weird rules for this book’s magic. All in all, I would highly recommend this book for anyone. I love fantasy and pairing fantasy with a historical novel makes it a winning combination.


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