Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

So many years ago, I picked up this book, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, at a library book sale. It sounded wonderful; the back of the book described it as "a vividly drawn portrait of the Victorian age, when girls were groomed for lives as rich men's wives...and the story of a girl who saw another way." It told of a young girl named Gemma with recent tragedy in her life and who had begun experiencing strange visions of other worlds. The problem is that you can't judge a book by its cover. And I mean that literally as the cover was my favorite part of this book.

I hate to sound mean about a book, but this one was just not very good at all. It was a great and terrible bore. So why did I read it? That's an excellent question. I have had no trouble whatsoever discontinuing a read I'm not enjoying. I've even been especially brutal during this last few months as I've made my way up Mount TBR, but for some reason, I kept at this one. I think it might be because it wasn't awful, it just wasn't good. If it had been awful I would have thrown it out right away, but I just kept hoping it was going to get better. It never did. Finally, I just skimmed the last one hundred pages, hoping for something to catch my attention or to just read enough of the resolution to feel satisfied that I had tried. The story had such potential, but the execution was sorely lacking.

This book is the first in a trilogy and sadly I can't recommend it. If I've gotten this wrong, I'm happy to hear why you think so. 

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