Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Sort of "Dead Poet's Society", mixed with "Harry Potter", and a tiny bit of "A Little Princess" "A Great and Terrible Beauty" is an entertaining and intense mystery. The story begins in India with Gemma, a 16 year old, who wants to be sent to London for schooling. She finds herself there about 1 year later with these thoughts. "My mother had wanted me to stay in India. I had wanted to come to London, and now that I'm here, I couldn't be more miserable." Throughout the story she finds three other girls to befriend and share her innermost feelings with, things that she has kept from everyone. This is a coming of age tale, cute and insightful. Although I truly enjoyed this book, I cannot fully recommend it, since there are a couple of scandalous scenes, which, some might find offensive. Here are a few quotes from Gemma as she learns more about herself:

"But forgiveness…I’ll hold on to that fragile slice of hope and keep it close, remembering that in each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We’ve got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there is a lot of grey to work with. No one can live in the light all the time."

"I changed the world; the world changed me.
Everything you do comes back to you. When you affect a situation, you are also affected."

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