#57- A Great and Terrible Beauty
I have heard many friends raving about this series and while I liked the characters I felt that the opening to the book was a really slow read. I didn't get really into it until over two hundred pages in and was forcing myself to read this at night. (versus when it's difficult to get me to put down a book and actually have a social life!)
A Great and Terrible Beauty follows the story of young Gemma Doyle. She is living in India with her mother and father when on her 16th birthday tragedy strikes. Her mother is killed and she is sent to a proper boarding school to be bred into a respectable lady.
While there she meets three girls; Felicity, Pippa and Ann. While they are not quick to all get along they eventually bond over a secret cave that their teacher takes them to one day. Gemma has been getting visions and can't figure out why she keeps seeing a man from india around every corner. Is she losing her mind? Or has a mysterious figure come to tell her that there was more to her mothers death than it appears.
One night when all four girls are in the caves Gemma comes across a diary, of a girl named Mary Dowd who speaks of her magical powers. The visions she describes are so much like what Gemma has experienced that she begins to frighten. The other girls all want to try their own magic and in a fit of whiskey and giggles they all join hands and try to bring about some magic of their own. That night Gemma realizes that she is no longer an ordinary 16 year old girl and opens a magical portal to a beautiful world for she and her friends.
In this world there is dreaming and laughter and also a hidden secret. Will the girls find the secret and save themselves before its too late?
I specified above that I really did like the characters that were written in. I could see myself being friends with these girls and giggling and sharing dreams together in a boarding school in another country. That being said I just really couldnt get into the magical story line. I felt like we werent shared enough information about it until the later chapters of the book and in order to keep me interested I need to feel like i'm in on the secret even if some of the characters arent aware of all of it.
I think that if I was to read the following two books (which maybe after these 100 books I will get around to) I could really find myself getting involved with these characters and wanting to know what happens. But as for now I didnt mind putting down the book and calling it quits after reading one installment of three and thats never a good sign for a series.
So overall, go ahead and read it if you are into strong female characters and the idea of magic within our own reach. I think it was worth the time, it was just a long 400 pages.