Even Stevens’s #CBR5 review #18 – A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray


My feelings about A Great and Terrible Beauty can be summed up by the following fact: When I double checked my Goodreads list to see what I had read after The Eternity Cure, I completely forgot that I had even read this book.  It was a total fluff book that had potential to be very interesting and just fell flat with an unremarkable protagonist and a forgettable story.

Gemma Doyle finally gets her wish to leave India and move to her native land, England, and attend boarding school. But this opportunity came at a great cost – Gemma witnessed her mother’s death and was subsequently shipped off to live with her grandmother. Gemma goes to boarding school and is immediately confronted by the requisite group of mean girls, with its tall, blonde, and beautiful leader (totally not making that up), Felicity. After the mean girls are thwarted in an attempt to prank Gemma (the only truly enjoyable scene in the book), she becomes friends with two of the girls, Felicity and Pippa. Gemma also brings her roommate, Ann, into the group for God only knows what reason. If you looked up wet blanket in the dictionary, I’m fairly certain Ann’s picture would be there. I haven’t read a more lifeless yet completely annoying and tiresome character in quite some time and there were several times I was rooting for someone to slap her just to liven things up.

Anyways, the girls start dabbling in magic, some bad shit goes down, blah blah blah far-fetched contrivances and predictable plot twists. I just couldn’t with this book.  Like I said: plenty of promise in the premise and setup, total letdown in the execution. It’s not even a bad book per say, just… blah. I mentioned in passing in my last review that some series feel like rehashed material and this is one of them.  I also read Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, and that fell short for me as well, although I enjoyed it much more than this one. I’m not even curious enough about the girls’ fates to pick up the next installment and I think perhaps this author is just not for me.

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