Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 403
My Rating: 3/5

Gemma Doyle is at the tender age of sixteen, living in India for most of her life. She hates it there, she wants to go back to England where everything is civilized. On her birthday, she and her mother got into a fight. The last thing Gemma told her was that she hated her... before her mysterious death.

Gemma visioned her mother being engulfed by a black thing, she doesn't know what it is nor why she was seeing such event in her mind. She laters on finds out that she has great power.

She enters Spence, a finishing school where all girls learn to become fine wives for their future husbands. She meets a few girls where her secret will be sacrificed for their friendship. What would become of Gemma and why does she have these powers?

This book disappointed me as much as Twilight. I heard so many great things about it that I decided to look into it. I'm rather picky so it might have just been me. I found the characters a bit anooying, especially Gemma. She thinks she knows everything when she doesn't. A lot of people might enjoy it though so if you want something that takes place in another time period but a mix of fantasy, mystery, and slight romance, this book would be good for you. I was slightly loving the ending. Let's just say the characters got what they deserved, neh?

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Steph said...

For disappointment, you sure gave it a high rating :)

These are one of my favorite YA series ever, the reason being, simply put, that I loved the strong female characters. Gemma is headstrong and stubborn, which can annoy some people, but I thought it as stark realism. Here she is in a time where girls are treated as dainty little things with no will, ambitions or proper thoughts and she has all this power she can't control. Her mom's just died, her father's found God in the bottom of a bottle (or is it opium he's addicted to? I can't recall) and her brother's nothing short of an ass.

And then you add Felicity and Pippa (not to mention Ann) in, with Ms Night-whatever, and with Rakshana, all trying to subdue her power, and ... well, a girl's gonna be protective and cynical. She has no choice but to turn to herself and do what she thinks is best.

'Course, her choices are usually flawed. That's the beauty of it. :)

Between this and Twilight, IMO, this wins hands down. Twilight was good in an addictive kind of way - this is good by virtue. (Again, just my opinion.)


keri mikulski :) said...

I heard some great things about Libba Bray. :) Thanks for the review! :)

Diana Dang said...

@steph: Well yes it disappointed me but it wasn't terrible! Lol

Yes, from perspective what they have to live through is interesting. But it is a bit too boo-hoo for me. I extremely dislike power-hungry characters unless they are meant to be a villain.

Yes, it was a better read than Twilight indeed. That I can rant forever...

@Keri: Yes, it appeals to most people so I'm sure you might like it. ^^