Customer Reviews for

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle Trilogy #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 1235 )
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(23)

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(16)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Truly original

Really, I don't say this very often (actually, like once in a blue moon), but this book s truly a masterpiece. Completely original, and haunts you long after the last pages. Excellent for avid readers beyond their age, and even more so for those hopeless romantics and f...
Really, I don't say this very often (actually, like once in a blue moon), but this book s truly a masterpiece. Completely original, and haunts you long after the last pages. Excellent for avid readers beyond their age, and even more so for those hopeless romantics and fantasy-meets-reality lovers.

posted by C4M30.l0k1 on November 23, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

PG-13

I'm not going to lie to you: I loved this book. You can see it like a movie. It was amazing! Well written. But I put it down when sex started happening. I don't want to read about that! It's disgusting! And in full detail! For those of you who don't mind that, I recomen...
I'm not going to lie to you: I loved this book. You can see it like a movie. It was amazing! Well written. But I put it down when sex started happening. I don't want to read about that! It's disgusting! And in full detail! For those of you who don't mind that, I recomend that, but I really want to warn those who do. Chose the Right.

posted by Anonymous on March 3, 2005

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  • Posted November 23, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Truly original

    Really, I don't say this very often (actually, like once in a blue moon), but this book s truly a masterpiece. Completely original, and haunts you long after the last pages. Excellent for avid readers beyond their age, and even more so for those hopeless romantics and fantasy-meets-reality lovers.

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great and Terrible Beauty

    This book was very remarkable from beginning to end. It is good for ages 12-college age. It is about a girl with interesting visions. She is haunted by them and in the beginning, and her mother is killed, her death somehow related to them. This leaves the girl, Gemma, with many questions. Gemma is sent to a finishing school where she meets new friends. Her and her friends recreate a secret order... This book will keep your heart pumping and you won't be able to put it down (I know because I stayed in my bedroom all day finishing it. I loved this book and really hope you read it. I know you will enjoy it!
    -Female, age 13

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent for Everyone

    I've seen this series on several friends' bookshelves and finally got around to reading it myself. I wasn't disappointed; in fact, I was pleasantly surprised with this series. It has believable plot lines and ties throughout the trilogy. The characters and their developments are well-paced, believable, and appropriate for the series. The friendships are inspiring (and show the failings real life relationships can have.) Suggested for older teenagers. Honestly, a great read.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2005

    Terrible

    It would have been a good book if the author didn't feel the need to put in same sex implications. I don't see why the author felt the need to add this in. I would not recommend reading this.

    5 out of 51 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Great and Terrible Beauty Review

    WOW! Where do I begin? The writing style is...different. It's written mostly in diary type style where it's all Gemma's point of view including the narration. At first this was really weird for me to read this type of style so I was really slow at reading it, but as the novel progresses her writing style changes. Did anyone notice that? Or was that just me? I mean read the first page and then read a page that's near the end and I think you can notice it. Anyways, theirs a reason this book is a bestseller, it's because it's a really good story and it's interesting. The writing is unique and different which sets it apart from other books. It's wonderfully described and almost instantly you can imagine the characters and the places and you really feel as if your the characters and this is happening to you. Their is many quotes in the book which I adore to death and will probably almost always treasure. Such as: "In every end, there is also a beginning.", "You mind is not a cage. It's a garden. And it requires cultivating."
    It's a excellent book I'm not going to lie, it can be long in parts and be slow and their wasn't enough of the mysterious young man as I would of like their to be. Also the biography on the back of the book only got my attention because of the supernatural part, if it hadn't had said that then I probably wouldn't have read it. I think even though I enjoyed this book, and it's the start of the trilogy, I will not read the sequel of it for a while. I think these book need to be taken in small portion, I don't think I could real all three of them in a week or two weeks to be honest. Also while I was reading this book I couldn't stop thinking about another book that is kind of similar to it so that really put a damper on me reading this. I have no negative things to say about this book it's simply amazing. Yes it can be slow at times, but that's pretty much it. I enjoyed it overall and hope people who haven't read this will. Or who are thinking of reading this will. My favorite character was Gemma because me and her are both very similar.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great NOT TERRIBLE Book

    I must say, I missed a day last summer sitting on my floor, reading. I never got up to see the weather, and I just read.
    AGATB, the first of the Gemma Doyle series, enraptures from the first chapter. All the characters could be connected back to me, and it actually was a method of self discovery for me. Gemma's struggles seemed real and the story, though obviously fiction, seemed quite possible. I enjoyed reading AGATB because it made me think, and because every character had a secret. No one was innocent in this novel like in others, and I fould it refreshing. I would recommend this book to a random stranger on the street, I think it's that amazing.
    Oh, and books rarely make me cry. Every time I reread this one, I cry, because the characters grow on you.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Love this series

    Love Love Love the Libba Bray Novels! I was depressed after finishing the Harry Potters and Twlights and needed a good pick me up and she rescued me. Thank you for being original and visionary.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Absoloutly Wonderful!

    I am curently reading the second book (Rebel Angles) and so far I love the books. The first was a little bit slow in the begining, although absoloutly worth continuing to read after the first few chapters. The books are not the most well known, I only recently heard about them, but they are absoloutly wonderful. Much better then the Twilight books or other books targeted for similar types of readers.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Amazing

    This is one of my favorite books of all time! It's one of those books you will remember long after you read them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    I absolutely love the sarcasm in it. It is very original, and th

    I absolutely love the sarcasm in it. It is very original, and the sex parts add color. It is not as if anything bad happens by reading those parts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Great book

    I loved the book, but sometimes found myself wishing Emma would grow up and see the truth that was literatlly right in front of her eyes. This is a must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A good alternative to the Vampire books out there

    I really enjoyed reading A Great and Terrible Beauty. It took me a little while to get into the characters and the story but eventually I was sucked right in and enjoyed the story. It is not a romatical as the Twilight Series but it is a nice fantasy tail that is non-Vampire. And in this day and age that is hard to come by.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Unexpectedly Wonderful

    I had seen this book on the shelves of bookstores and each time i was caught by the cover. Unfortunately, that's all that caught me. the summary on the back didnt interest me enough to buy it. One day someone gave it to a friend of mine and since she didnt want to read it, and i had nothing else to read, i picked it up. Boy was i surprised! The book was incredible and definitely not what i expected. I finished it in a day or two and immediately drove the BN to pick up the second, which i read just as quickly. I waited in anticipation for the 3rd book, which was amazing too! I was so connected with the characters. i recommended it to a friend who had the same problem i had, it didnt interest her. i finally forced her to read it and she thought it was just as amazing as i did. A must read!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good gothic fun that left me thinking

    To call A Great and Terrible Beauty a "vividly drawn portait of the Victorian age" is partially true--as far as I know, many of the social and day-to-day elements are correct. Libba Bray did her research, and I appreciate her acknowledgment of sources she found helpful in the Acknowledgments page before the beginning of the story. On the other hand, the characters do not speak in a Victorian fashion. The copy of the book I read includes an interview with Bray. One of the questions reads, "Your story is rich in Victorian period detail, yet the characters feel real and immediate, as if they were alive today. How were you able to get inside the heads of girls who lived over a hundred years ago?"

    Bray answers, "Uh, well....I cheated." She then goes on to describe how she mixed elements to create the atmosphere she wanted as well as a "modernity of feeling". The girls feel as if they are alive today partly because their speech is modern, and partly because, as Libba Bray says, "girls are girls, feelings are always feelings, whether it's 1895 or 2005." Sometimes I forget that people are people, even if they are historical, and that their feelings were very much like mine. I appreciate Bray's reminder of this.

    So, moving on, I quickly got over the modern speech within a historical setting dilemma because this book is great. Gemma has an intelligent sense of humor (there are many opportunities to laugh to yourself, or with others (however you like to laugh) while reading this book), and she is a strong character as well. Her first person, present tense narration was easy to connect to.

    The plot is full of Gothic elements--a closed East Wing, gypsies, and a mysterious diary. It's good fun. The mysteries within the story are also intriguing. The real surprise, though, is how Bray manages to make the Victorian prospects of the girls scarier than the darker supernatural elements of the story. If you do read this book--which you should--I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy with a Readers Circle section at the end. This is a book that leaves one with much to think about, and the discussion questions coupled with the Q&A section with Libba Bray are interesting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it!

    A Great and Teribble Beauty is one of the best books i have ever read. It keeps you wanting more and more at the end of the book. I ofton found myself up and reading at three in the morning just to see what would happen next. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys exitement.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    LOVED IT

    By looking at it I had know idea.
    But now i'm so happy i've read this series!
    Its amazing in every way
    i love this book.
    I Love Kartik
    I hate Circe.
    this book is one of a kind.
    i hundred percent recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This book is unforgettable!

    I picked this book up in the library on Friday at noon and was done by 2 am Sunday, i could not put the book down. I must admit that I got angry at the book and almost threw it when Gemma made a choice I knew would end with a bad result but i picked it back up and started reading within seconds of putting it down. The book leaves you on the edge of your seat flipping page after page to see what will come next. I have recommended it to my best friends and recommended it to anyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Okay.

    The first part of this book was a little bit boring and slow, and confusing and unclear at times. I didn't really get into it at all until the last few chapters, when it actually starts to get interesting. I might get the next book in the series if I have nothing better to read, but I doubt that I'll be able to get through it unless it's more interesting than this one, for the most part.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing

    I truly fell in love with this book. I love the time era it is placed in. I love the way they talk and acted then. The main character also reminds me of my best friend witch coincidentally is the one who let me know about this book. The bonds made and broke and lessons learned reading this book are so great. A great book for rainy day reading or to have a discussion about it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    "can't put it down" kind of book

    a great a terrible beauty was really great. my friends recomended it to me and we loved discussing it and the characters were unique and different than characters u would read in other books. the second book was my favorite because it all comes together like a huge mystery puzzle that u couldnt wait to see the end product. at some times its a little cheezy but stll unpredictable

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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