Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Great and Terrible Beauty

Yeah yeah, I fell off the wagon with posting again. So let's dive right back into it. This book has been sitting on my Kindle for several years. It seemed to have everything I would love: a boarding school in England, a cast of female characters, fantasy, and some romance. But it just kept getting bumped lower and lower on my pile of books to read. This summer I was determined to read it, and I finally did! I do apologize in advance if my review is brief--it has now been over a month since I read this book, and the details are a bit foggier.

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Retrieved from Goodreads
Gemma was raised in India, but when a sudden tragedy leaves her without a stable guardian, she is shipped off to a boarding school in England. Instantly she makes enemies of the powerful clique of girls, Pippa and Felicity. But Gemma has bigger worries--whatever killed her mother wasn't natural, and it might be coming for her next. As she navigates the school, she encounters strange magic and a mystery that haunts its residents to this very day.

For all that this book had going for it, by the end I was rather meh about it. The setting in India is quickly discarded, and I'm never a fan of Mean Girl tropes with no real background. Gemma is not a particularly sympathetic character, and even when the girls group is developed out of the ashes of a feud, it doesn't seem real. A girl is hated for being overweight and poor...yay. I mean, maybe it was the times, but ick. There's also some instalove thrown in for good measure, and the magic system didn't really draw me in. What was cool was the slow fall of the main characters into the same trap as those who wielded magic before them. When it came to the end of the book, I really was on the edge of my seat, and was mostly impressed with how the climax was handled. I wouldn't put this on a shelf with my favorite books, but I think I enjoyed it enough to try the second book.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

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