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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, Book One) by Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, Book One) 
by Libba Bray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All Gemma wants is to get out of India and go to boarding school in England, and she can't understand why her mother refuses to let her go, even her grandmother still lives in England. When strange events on the streets of India one day lead to Gemma seeing visions, her mother's death, her father's unraveling and the family's sudden move back to England she finally gets her wish.

Spence Academy for Young Girls is not what Gemma was expecting, but maybe it is just what she needs. Her roommate is not the type of girl Gemma would have picked as a friend, but maybe there is a reason they are together. When the most beautiful and the most popular girls end up befriending Gemma, first as a joke then as a new club, they all discover secrets of Spence Academy.

Author Libba Bray takes the reader back in time, but gives us girls that fight the status quo of their time. They want more than to be seen and not heard. They are discovering more about themselves and learning right, wrong and the grey areas in between. There is power, strength and so much more in this story that these girls are just scratching the surface of, and the whole way learning so much about life and friendship.

This is a great young adult, teen read. It is even a great parent read. Even better, a teen and parent read and then talk about together! There are discussion questions in the back of the book, so it is already set up for a book club or classroom, or even parent/child discussion. I personally love to read books my kids are reading and then talk with them about those books, question them and challenge them to see more than the surface meanings of the book, find what is hidden in that second and third levels that the author want to get through.

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