Tuesday, January 26, 2010



List of reviewed books by the name of the authors:
Alice Sebold: The Lovely Bones
Alex Sanchez: Rainbow Boys
Alyson Noel: Evermore
Anna Godbersen: The Luxe
Anna Godbersen: Splendor
Anni Rice: Interview With The Vampire
Anthony Capella: The Various Flavors of Coffee
Anthology: Zombie vs Unicorns
Barbara Erskine: Daughters of Fire
Caleb Carr: The Alienist
Catherine Fisher: Incarceron
Catherine Fisher: Sapphique
Carrie Ryan: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Cecil Castelluci: Boy Proof
Carol Hughes: Dirty Magic
Cassandra Clare: City of Bones
Cherie Priest: Boneshaker
Chris Crutcher: Deadline
Chris Wooding: The Haunting of Alaizable Cray
Cristina Lopez Barrio: The Garden of Everlasting Spring
Gail Carriger: Soulless
Garret Freymann-Weyr Rating: My Heartbeat
Gayle Forman: If I Stay
Guillaume Musso: The Paper Girl
Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett: Havemercy
Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett: Shadow Magic
James Dashner: The Maze Runner
James St. James: Freak Show
Jay Asher: Thirteen Reasons Why
Jeanne DuPrau: The City of Ember
Jenny Davidson: The Explosionist
Jodi Picoult: House Rules
Joe Haldeman: The Forever War
John Boyne: The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
Justine Larbalestier: Liar
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl: Beautiful Creatures
Kathleen Winter: Annabel
Khaled Hosseini: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Kristin Cashore: Graceling
Lauren Oliver: Before I Fall
Libba Bray: A Great And Terrible Beauty
Libba Bray: Going Bovine
Lisa Mantchev: Eyes Like Stars

Lisa Mantchev: Perchance to Dreams
Lisa Mantchev: So Silver Bright
Lois Lowry: The Giver
Malorie Blackman: Noughts and Crosses
Malorie Blackman: Knife Edge
Malorie Blackman: Checkmate
Malorie Blackman: Double Cross
Markus Zusak: The Book Thief
Melissa de la Cruz: Blue Bloods
Melissa de la Cruz: Masquerade
Melissa de la Cruz: Revelations
Melissa de la Cruz: The Van Alen Legacy
M.T. Anderson: Feed
Neal Shusterman: Unwind
Neil Gaiman: The Graveyard Book
Nicholas Sparks: Dear John
Patrick Ross: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Pat Schmatz: Mousetraps
P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast: Marked
Phillipa Ballantine: Geist
Poppy Z. Brite: The Value of X
Sarwat Chadda: Devil's Kiss
Scott Westerfield: The Secret Hour - Midnighters
Scott Westerfield: Touching Darkness - Midnighters
Scott Westerfield: Blue Noon - Midnighters

Scott Westerfield: Leviathan
Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins: Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins: Mockingjay
Valerie Frankel: Fringe Girl

Books gone Movies
Dear John
Pretty Little Liars

Sunday, January 24, 2010


In a futuristic America, technology and electronics have been merged with the human mind and body, allowing people to have access to the 'Feednet', a computer network to which Americans are connected to by an implanted chip called 'Feed'. Life is not as it used to be; Corporations are free to monitor the citizen's thoughts, that are also interrupted with constant pop-up adds, and the environment has changed drastically since before the overflow of technology to the point that you now need an artificial sun to shine over your house.

While on the moon during the Sping break with his friends, Titus meets Violet, a strange girl that needs to 'live a bit', having been home schooled all her life. They invites her to party with them, and during the party, their feeds are hacked by a member of the anti-feed organization, and Titus and his friends find themselves in the hospital. From there starts Titus' friendship with Violet, and the collision of their different point of view on life.

Violet is the kind of girl who worries about technology's effect on the environment and society and she therefore tries to inform Titus about the world's desperate situation. Having been brought up by parents who never used the implanted feeds, and having gotten hers at an advanced age, Violet tries to resist to the corporation's influence and manipulation. Titus, on the other side, is a boy like any other, who has never tried to properly understand the way the world works.

After having left the hospital, everyone ends up being fine except for Violet, whose feed becomes dysfunctional causing paralysis to her body and the lost of her most basic functions. Having no money for her feed's reparation, Violet fears the worst and turns to Titus. In the short time she has left, she tries to do everything. One of the things she wishes to do is also to enlighten Titus on America's present situation and to what end it is nearing. Yet, will she succeeded in making him see the truth before it is too late?

Beryl's Review:

This book presents things raw. Anderson doesn't waste pages for explanations. Things are as they are, and they don't need to be explained, and it's up to the reader to follow the flow of the story. This particular trait had me confused at first, but it was a very refreshing not to have to stop to read a detailed study of this futuristic America. I just loved how the story went on through out the entire book without halt.

Violet's and Titus' relationship is just so amazingly realistic. This is no lovely and cheesy romance, and you see how flawed it is while still being true at the same time. What makes it even more great is Titus' and Violet's distinctive personalities that collide, resulting of most of those flaws. But then again, isn't it true that the difference between two people is what brings them closer?

This book offers great criticisms on our own world through a tragic story, and is obviously meant to make people think about the planet's future. It is no fantasy. It is a compelling and real look on the future and of what might happen if we don't watch out, featuring characters, just as Violet who fight for the preservation of awareness, opinions and history of the past, and Titus, who are lost in technology's and electronics' influence and who have their opinions and decisions controlled by someone else than themselves.

I literately flied through this book. It was a quick and deep read, dramatic and tragic, seen through eyes that see a society on the brim of collapse. A must read for teens. Warning of coarse language.

Feed by M.T. Anderson
Rating: 9/10

Aithen's Review:

I cannot agree less with Beryl : Feed was meg big, Unit.

But please permit me to give you my own opinion on this great book.

The opening was good. It had me hooked: the way the kids talked, their lifestyle, their vacations on the moon. The moon. Yes, they are having fun on Earth’s natural satellite. It drew me in instantly, shutting me off from the outside world. I only put the book down once, and because I had duties to perform. After that, I completely spaced out from the world and read.

The storyline is incredible. About halfway through, I thought it was amazing. Three-quarters through, it had me bawling and I still thought it was amazing. And until the end, I didn’t stop thinking about how amazing it was. Is was an extremely pessimistic vision of our future, maybe too pessimistic. Each tiny revelation about the America of our future hurt me deep down inside. I felt like I had to do something. The story itself was great. Original, different from most end-of-the-world scenarios I’ve already read. Even if sometimes the plot was rather predictable, it was easily pulled off.

Titus and his friends seemed like the superficial dorks anyone would be if they were bombarded with publicities as permanently as the teens are. Constantly searching for the latest trends, trying their best to be cool, looking at all the neat soaps. They sound completely idiotic, like anyone that has an encyclopaedia encrypted in their brain. Since they have everything they’ll ever want to know already fed directly to their brain, there is no need to learn to read, or write, or even speak like someone half-intelligent. Violet is so different, thanks to her education. I don’t know if I would’ve been able to bear the normal teen’s gibberish during the whole book, thankfully Violet was like an island of sanity for me.

The concept isn’t new, of course. Humankind going steadily towards its death, all the while being manipulated by big corporative companies has been done more than once. But the way it was created, the problems with the feed, the lesions, the heart-breaking mess it was and the utter stupidity of the main character made it very different.

The whole book is just one big cliff-hanger. So often, information isn’t given at all, since the Titus himself doesn’t have much knowledge about the outside world. This kind of made me mad, since I am the kind of person who loves to know everything. I couldn’t wait to know what happened, and as I previously said, it was impossible for me to put the book down, even for an instant.

My overall appreciation? It was so sad. So pretty. So incredibly scary.
Titus was a jerk in the end, probably too much so for my liking. Then again, that was how he was raised, so at least it was a logical reaction.
I cried a little in the end. A lot, actually. I felt broken on the inside. I was bawling my broken heart out. For the world lost, for the dying people, for everything.
I loved the book, even though it hurt so much to read it. So many dark predictions about our future. The extreme darkness of the overall tone might wake us up to the truths we need to see: our world is slowly dying because of us and our greed for money, fame, popularity, things, useless things, heaps of things, mountains of useless things.
Not my favourite book (I’m too much of a happy bunny to fully appreciate such pessimism), but definitely one of the best books I’ve read so far.

Also : stupid capitalist society. To the extreme, capitalism definitely kills.


Feed by M. T. Anderson
Rating : 8,8

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

1940s, Berlin. World War 2 is raging around Nazi Germany, yet Bruno, 8 years old, sees nothing wrong with it. His parents, especially his father, an important officer who knows Hitler personally, speak very fondly of the war and Germany’s strength. When his father is transferred to a strange place near a large village enclosed by barbed wire , Out-With’s (Auschwitz), Bruno is not too pleased. His luxurious Berlin mansion has been replaced by a smaller sized house. He no longer sees his friends, and his sister seems even meaner than before.

One morning, he decides to go exploring. One of Bruno’s favored activities is to pretend he is a renown explorer, discovering new places. He starts with the garden, then, against his father’s recommendations, continues toward the wire fence. He follows it for some time, seeing no one on its grey, dull grounds. Then, he meets Schmuel, a scrawny, skeleton-like boy on the other side of the fence.

I found the beginning of the book rather slow paced, and it took me some time before getting hooked. Luckily, this period was rather short and once I got into it, I couldn’t set the novel down. I finished it the same evening.

This has to be one of the best, most adorable, yet one of the saddest books I have ever read. The friendship between Bruno and Schmuel is typical of children that age: their friendship isn’t unconditional, and more than once, Bruno selfishly eats the food he had brought for his (starving) friend on the other side of the metal fence. Bruno seems his age: he doesn’t see what is happening on Schmuel’s side of the fence, he idolizes his father, he mocks his older sister. He doesn’t understand the war, and doesn’t understand why his friend was brought to such a dull place on the other side of the fence. Often, his childish, yet insightful remarks made me reflect on the horrible war that devastated Europe, and the legitimacy of the motives behind it.

Bruno’s character, even if he is very wealthy, isn’t the stereotypical rich-kid papa’s boy Nazi youth soldier. In fact, he has no idea about what is going on in his country, or what his father does, or why some people are behind the fence. Schmuel, even if he is as young as Bruno, has lived so much more, and his cautious, saddened nature is very different from his friend’s attitude. The two, even if contrasting, have a unique friendship. As Bruno brings food to his hungered friend, sometimes eating pieces along the way, he discovers he no longer remembers his Berlin friend’s names. Now, his only friend is a boy he shouldn’t even have met in the first place.

Adorable characters in such a ruthless setting, the powerful tale of friendship and the sad, sad, sad ending made this book marvellous. Finally a war story not centered on the war itself, fleeing the war, death of close people! I simply fell in love with it. Bruno and Schmuel will always have a special place in my heart.

Finally, the title is related to the fact that everyone, on the other side of the barbed wire, seems to wear the same clothing: grey and white striped pyjamas.

The Boy in Striped Pyjamas is a very touching book about friendship and misunderstandings. By the end of the book, I was bawling my eyeballs out. And I’m not even an overly sensitive person.

The Boy in Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
Rating : 9/10

Thursday, January 21, 2010

City of Bones

Witnessing a murder by three teenagers at the Pandemonium Club in New York city, and then seeing the body disappear in thin air, Clary Fray discovers the existent of Shadowhunters, a tribe of warriors fighting to rid the earth of demons. They wield dangerous weapons, are covered in tattoos, and only Clary seems to see them.

Things couldn't get any bizarre when her mother strangely disappears and Clary is attacked by a demon, only to be saved by the enchanting but arrogant Jace. Why are demons suddenly starting to attack Clary? Why have they attacked her mother, and why does Clary have the sight? It's the answers to those questions that Clary seeks, and she can only follow Jace to the Institute, where Hodge, the instructor, takes care of the Shadowhunter's training.

Not only does Clary discover that her world is populated by fantastical creatures that she has never been able to see, but also strange secrets about her mother's past. Then come the rumors about Valentine's comeback, a powerful and evil Shadowhunter thought dead who seeks the Mortal Cup, a cup that can turn humans into Shadowhunters, in order to create his army.

Clary soon realizes how the recent events are all connected, and how it is up to her to retrieve the mortal cup with the help of Jace, her friend Simon, and the other Shadowhunters.

I was thoroughly disappointed with this book's plot. It turned out to be the common, fantasy, let's-save-the-world type of book, and turned out to have a lot of cliche elements.

First of all, I didn't like how it was instant, or more or less instant, love between Clary and Jace who was pretty much like Clary's 'fantasies coming to life.' I couldn't either bring myself to love Clary who turned out to be the simple mundane who surprisingly truly holds amazing powers. and is meant to save the world. She was really flat to me. I didn't fall for Jace either, who is the highly respected and talented and beautiful and amazing and oh so lovable pretty boy. He has his own faults, yes, but not enough to compensate with all his attributes. Other characters like Simon, Magnus Bane and Alec, in my opinion, actually came out good. Of course, that's only my opinion.

I liked the story's setting, with all the different races hiding from humans and the warlocks' taste for partying. The book draws attention to a large variety of creatures, that will surely appeal to many. It made me think of Harry Potter, a bit too much actually, but in a still original and new way. Kudos for the crazy Magnus Bane who deserves two thumbs up.

Valentine came out to be our evil overlord next door, but the one thing I liked about him is that he doesn't do what he does because he feels like it. He has his reasons and his goals that push him to act like he does, and let's say that when he reveals he's Darth Vader reborn, being Jace's Father, I cracked a smirk.

The book is enjoyable to read, with action and heavy twists and drama but a mediocre writing. The storyline isn't amazing, but for people like me who are very allergic to cliche, it was bearable. The romance in this book will set girls fangirling and boys might find an interest in the action and fighting. For readers who desire books with complicated and deeper plots, I say you might be disappointed with this, just like I was.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Rating: 7,2/10

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Forever War

When first contact is made with a extraterrestrial intelligent species in the form of the kidnapping of a colonizing ship, Man replies by starting a millennium-long war with this new species he didn’t even know about a few years ago. The colonies on other worlds are now guarded, and not by any other soldier: the finest elite have been chosen, all with IQ higher than 150 and with exceptionnal bodies.

Private William Mandela, son of two hippies and pursuing a degree in physics when he is recruited, is one of the first foot-soldiers to really see what these Tauran people really look like in an offensive against one of their colony planets. Traveling at near-light speed and voyaging through collapsars, stars who serve as portals between each other, Private Mandela comes home to a mother and brother twenty years older than when he left them because of time dilation.

Mandela goes back to fight the enemy, only aging a few months at a time as earth ages decades. Coming back to a world he no longer knows and is more and more foreign to him, he quickly climbs up in the military hierarchy with his loved one, Marygay Potter.

The rather unappealing cover of this book at first frustrated me (I had the earliest version of the book in my grasp, a picture of the horrible monochrome cover can be found here.)

Because of its rather old age (1974 is old for me) and the bland cover artwork, I was expecting a hardly digestible piece of science fiction. But I learned never to judge a book by its cover, for in the first few sentences of this novel I was hooked. With witty comments and just enough vulgarity, the writing style amazes me. It is so much better than I ever would have expected. In fact, I want to go back for more by this excellent science fiction author.

Of course, man against alien is a big subject in science fiction. I understand that such a war has been done, done again, and done once too much, but the way this book treats the story makes it much better than most. Spaced over 1143 years, earth time, it rapidly shows the evolution of mankind in spite of Mandela’s seemingly perpetual youth, and his major adaptation difficulties. Hence, he returns to the army every time he has shore leave, in order to run away from this society that has alienated him. It is interesting how mankind evolved in order to control the blooming population, and how it is contained.

The characters of this book all have their own personality, even though they are developed very little (other than Mandela, of course). Sadly, some of them are even quite cliché. The beautiful, soft-hearted biologist and loving, loyal girlfriend, known here under the name of Marygay Potter, is quite a recognizable stereotype. But other characters, such as Charles, another veteran, make up for it from their more unconventional self. Android from waist up, Charles doesn’t pity his condition or cry over his fate continually. Luckily, even though some characters fall into categories, there is no Mary-Sue alert to be rang here. None is invulnerable (both Marygay and William are wounded in an important battle) and come out unhurt from battle, none are seducers. None of that. They are as realistic as real people.

As I said earlier, the story itself can seem, at first, quite unoriginal. But the approach, through a 1143 year conflict, is very original. The evolution of mankind, too, is different from other approaches. No end of the world scenarios, no starving populations, no environmental catastrophe. Man seems to get along with his planet quite well, thank you very much. And the final solution, to the absolute, perfect man, is, while predicable when considering the setting, rather innovative.

There are no major cliff hangers, anywhere in the book, if not the evolution of man and of the war. It all goes on very smoothly, nicely, and chapters are concluded. This may be a weaker point. To make up for this, though, the pace is quick, and the author doesn’t linger on small details. It is a very straight-forward book, with no detours to visit a random mailman’s great uncle’s cat’s best friend’s master’s cousin-in-law.

Overall, I think this was an excellent book. Well written, well structured, with characters easy to love. It did have quite complicated physic notions, though, making it difficult to understand sometimes, when there are no explanations to help the reader. It is also filled with army slang and terms, which also make it hardly understandable at times. It’s a quick read, and one that will not be forgotten. It is definitely one of my favourite books of all time; right up there with classics such as Asimov’s I, Robot and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Then again, I guess I should issue a warning: have an open mind when you pick up this book, and please don’t tell me the word f*ck bothers you.


The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Rating : 8/10

Devil's Kiss

Bilqis SanGreal is not a normal fifteen-year-old girl. She's part of the Knights Templar, a warrior, someone who carries a sword as naturally as a pen. She is among those who continue the order's ancient battle against the Unholy, and the thirst of battle runs in her blood, even if she may not know it yet.

School is a load of trouble for Billi. She is short on excuses for her bruises and wounds from her squire training, and her father's cold personality is too much to handle and not helping at all. Her mother, on the other side, is dead, and so it doesn't leave Billi many people to talk to. Oh, wait, there is someone Billi can confide into; Kay, the oracle of the order, freshly arrived from his training in Jesuralem. But Bili doesn't want to speak to her childhood, friend who she thinks has come back changed, and so her life doesn't take any better course. Until she meets Mike.

Amber-eyed Mike is all attention and understanding, and he's Billi's new little light, even if her father doesn't agree. But Billi's pleasure is short-lived, for an old enemy of the order has come back, and as part of it, she must fight along and defend the King Salomon's cursed mirror. Charging will lead Bili to discovering dark secrets better kept hidden, and messing up things even more. But then again, there's no turning back.

This book's most peculiar trait is probably all the history linked to the plot, such as the use of ancient curses, famous figures and religion's myths. I was very pleased to finally find a book that talked about The Knights Templar and about warriors in general, and even more pleased when all the historical facts about this ancient order came up; Salomon's cursed mirror being an example. Devil's Kiss isn't only a fantasy book, it's history played back in modern times!

Fan of knights and headstrong characters, I found Billis's character very interesting. During the story, she reflected on her situation, choosing or not hosing to follow the path laid before her. I liked this sens of determination, but I was a bit disappointed, though, when she ran away from some battles, or couldn't bring herself back together. I would have liked to see her a bit more confident in her warrior skills. She had been training many years for the main purpose of fighting against the Unholy, or against demons as we know them. I had wanted to see a bit more of this knight composure in her, to see the character of a true Knight Templar reflected in her, but then this is only my opinion.

Devil's Kiss has a very Gothic feel to it, and I liked how angels, demons and God himself are involved in the plot, represented under different angles, adapted to our times and inspired from the old legends. The story really does go reach into history, bringing back ancient curses and myths. We see Chadda's wide historical knowledge deployed in all its might.

The storyline was good and well developed. You didn't feel as if some parts trailed or others rushed, and the book ended very well, and it actually made me want more. My wish must have been heard, for Chadda is to publish the sequel to Devil's Kiss in some time soon; Dark Goddess, and I'll be sure to review it when I get my hands on it!

Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Rating: 8/10


Gracelings are gifted people. They are gifted with eyes of two diverging colors, and with a skill in which they excels. This is why many can be found in the seven kingdoms, the people's graces varying from cooking to climbing trees. Some of those Gracelings are also requisitioned by the kings for their exceptional skills in fighting, archery and even killing... and so it is for Katsa.

Katsa is the niece of the king Randa from the Midlduns. You would think of her as a fine lady wearing finer clothes and even finer jewelry if only she didn't despise dressing up so. But then again, Katsa has been able to kill a man since she was just only a child, and pretty much everyone is afraid of crossing her one blue and one green eye. To destroy even more your mental picture of a princess in pink gowns, Katsa is used by her uncle as an assassin and a thug, getting to do all the icky jobs.

In this life of hers where she tries to spill as less blood as possible, she meets Po, another Graceling gifted with fighting, who's presence and actions will alter her life forever. What Po and Katsa don't know is that their characters are far from being compatible...

I found Graceling's world original compared to these days fantasy books, especially with the bi-colored eyes element. I thought that the fact that someone was born with a skill perfectly mastered without even training first was a bit sleazy, but I let it pass. The kingdoms' names could have been perfected though, as they were all just a remake of the words north, south, east and west.

The book started with great action, and Katsa's character came out close to be what I call badass. I had waited a long time to meet a fearless, brave and effective character, and I liked the fact that even with all her mighty qualities, Katsa wasn't indomitable. Even if she is a skilled fighter who is almost never beaten, Katsa had to battle her own self, find out her true nature, and I think it was very interesting to see her development throughout the story. Her 'anti kids and marriage' attitude sometimes made me raise an eyebrow, but not enough for it to annoy me.

I thank Cashore for taking her time to let Katsa's and Po's relationship evolve clearly and for not rushing it as some authors do, but I felt as if their love wasn't entirely true. Even if their love was physical and emotional, Katsa wasn't ready to give her relationship more because her mind was locked on the I-won't-marry-I-won't-have-kids ideology. A female character doesn't have to be independent to such a point to be a strong female protagonist. I liked Po, though, because he had the right mix of charm, humour and semi-arrogance that made him an interesting character.

The action around the middle of the book decreased, and the reading became slightly dull, especially when the protagonists traveled through the mountain pass. The storyline overall was good, but in my opinion not amazing. I found that the quest which the protagonists were pursuing ended to quickly, and I think it would have needed a bit more spice. The conclusion was satisfying though, and unpredictable.

I had certain expectations for this book, and I must say Graceling answered them, even if it had some glitches. I was looking for a book that would be enjoyable, with a well-developed but one-volume-long plot. I wasn't amazed by Graceling, but it was a reading I enjoyed.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Rating: 7,9/10

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Great And Terrible Beauty

"Gemma Doyle isn't like other girls. Girls with impeccable manners, who speak when spoken to, who remember their station, and who will lie back and think of England when it's required of them.
No, sixteen-year-old-Gemma is an island unto herself, sent to Spence Academy in London after tragedy strikers her family in India. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma finds a chilly reception. But she's not completely alone... she's been followed by a mysterious young man, who warns her to closer her mind against the visions.
For it's at Spence that Gemma's power to attract the supernatural unfolds; there she becomes entangled with the school's most powerful girls and discovers her mother's connection to a shadowy group called the Order. It's there that her destiny waits... if only she can believe in it."

But what can Gemma do, when the power of the Order, a circle of powerful sorceress, that lies within her starts to bloom? When the buried past starts to arise and when she can only be attracted by its dread and charm? She cannot escape this new power, even if she is ordered to.

What Gemma doesn't know is that who she thought were foes will become friends; the headstrong Felicity, who at Gemma's arriving took her as another pet to play with, the beautiful Pipa who follows Felicity everywhere and takes part in every of her taunts, and the submissive and shy Ann who lets herself be tormented by the other girls.

Introduced by a secret diary recalling the adventures of two members of the Order before her, Gemma will bring her friend's and hers, very distinct personalities together, and that it's with them that she will enter the Realms; a place of wonder and magic situated between the world of the mortals and the deceased.

The realms have been home to the Order since the beginning of times. It's where dreams come true, where rocks can be turned into rubies by the simple touch of your finger and where leaves can become bright butterflies. The girls relish this power, blithe to be free of their real world's corseted rules. Only Gemma's happiness is short-lived, for her mother's dark secrets are ready to catch up with her, and Circe, an ex-member of the Order, stalks our protagonist's every step, ready for anything in order to get the Realm's power back.

Ah, so when I first saw this book, I was very hesitant. The story looked very unoriginal to me, considering the load of fantasy books of the same type as this one. The cover was very delicious-looking though, and I usually always fall for the many good critiques. And so I bought it, and guess what? Libba Bray became my favorite author.

Yes, this book is about magic and twirling girls, and evil antagonists who want all the powers for themselves, but it's not in the way we know it. The story takes place during the Victorian era, in England, in a time where minds were as corseted as the ladies' waists. The first thing that pleased me in AGATB is how well this time is reflected in the book. It has an impact on very character, and you see how Gemma, Felicity, Pipa and Ann struggle to live in it: Gemma doesn't fit anywhere, Pipa's beauty is considered like an object to be sold to the most worthy, Felicity despises women's lack of authority, and Ann the lack of attention and recognition because of her status of orphan. These are the reasons they see the Realms like a place of freedom, because it's there they can be anyone they want.

Many elements of the book hold meanings and a symbolic, and I really enjoyed that. It is always good to think further in the significations of things, and Libba Bray excels in that! She is also a best selling author for a reason. Her vocabulary is so rich, her story telling so smooth and her texts entertaining. Her book is the kind of book you look forward to opening again, and which you are afraid of finishing while at the same time craving for it to unravel.

The book is very special because the friendship between Pip, Fee, Gemma and Ann are so like our friendships too. The girls have their quarrels, their mockeries and their snobbish times, their reconciliations and those little secrets we share only between our best friends. You can really relate to that, and sometimes you tell yourself 'hey, that's exactly how my friend acts!' Libba's characters are also very well developed, with their faults an benefits at the same time.

The Realms, how ever, did not seem as wonderful as they should have seemed. I felt as if the girls always did the same thing; turn rocks into rubies, leaves into butterflies, make themselves beautiful or into anyone or anything, and twirl around till exhaustion. Yes, they did visit some of the folks that live in the Realms, but I somehow enjoyed the chapters about the real world more than those about the Realms.

The book had a good ending, and things we thought to be turned out to be different, surprising. I wouldn't have minded to see a bit more of action, a bit more of fighting, but I guess you can't ask Victorian ladies to go out charging at the evil standing in their way with swords and blades.

I appreciated this book a lot. It's probably one of the best books I read, and the plot, even if it seems cliche and common at first, is very good and entertaining. I recommend it to girl s in love with the Victorian era, with fleecy dresses and girls who aren't as charming as they might look.

Now, grace, beauty and strength, ladies!

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Rating: 8,8/10

About Us


This blog has been created and is administrated by Beryl to furnish readers and the likes with honest book reviews. Working in collaboration is Aithen. The two of us are high school students who read just a bit too much.

When we review, we always give a little summary of the book first. Then we continue by giving the ups and downs of a book along with our opinions. Please note that these are our opinions. You and us might disagree on certain points about a book, but that's the whole point of reviewing a book.

We don't like giving a perfect rating, aka 10, because we don't believe that a book can be perfect in all means. Nothing is ever perfect in life, and there is always something that can be improved.

On this, we wish you a happy reading~

-The PIB Crew