BOOK HOARDER’S SELECTION, is a feature of Reading In Winter, which will feature one book from my collection that I plan to read in the coming week. These are NOT review books, but books I’ve purchased or won, which have been neglected for a long time.
AUTHOR: Libba Bray
HOW LONG I’VE HAD IT: Since July — I finally decided to buy the books since I’ve been ogling them for some time.
WHY I’M READING IT: I have been wanting to read this book FOREVER. Like, since before I started blogging. I think it was the cover that drew me in — I mean, how can you not fall in love with it? I also love the mix of gothic, Gossip Girl-ness that the synopsis conjures up. I have also heard amazing things about Libba Bray, so I think I should finally read one of her works. I also think it kind of fits in with witch week, with the main character having a bit of a magical quality.
SYNOPSIS: A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy–jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.
Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.
Have you read this book?
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