The First of Three Powerhouse YA Historical Fantasy Novels by Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

This is the first in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy. Even though it’s the shortest of the three, I think it’s the strongest.

Picture this: it’s the early 1900’s. Gemma Doyle goes to Spence Academy and meets some girls. Magic and mayhem ensue.

This is such a fantastic YA portrayal of that awkward time when we’re all not sure of our bodies or where we belong in the world.

But, on the magic-side, there are so many wild and wonderful conflicts that she faces.

But it’s really Libba Bray’s writing that drew me in. She has this really amazing narrative style. The way she describes things, I could see it, feel it taste it.

In fact, when I read her books I had to stop reading them. I read them through once and I loved them so deeply and read them so fast that I was worried my own writing would be influenced by hers to the extent people might notice. (I did the same thing with Harry Potter.)

That is the highest compliment I can give Libba Bray (and J.K. Rowling). I’m so influenced by their work that I was concerned I might end up mimicking it. #justwriterproblems

This first book is one you should totally try out. I think you’ll find Gemma Doyle real and relatable. Not to mention that the situation she’s in is equally terrifying and fascinating.

This has to be one of my favorite YAF novels.

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