Archives for category: Libba Bray

Every Sunday I highlight an older book review that I’ve written. I figure this will give more exposure to books that I enjoyed reading, as well remind people about books that haven’t been in the spotlight lately.

This weeks Second Time Sunday post is:

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

This is the second book in the Gemma Doyle series. If you haven’t read them yet, you should, they’re really good. Plus I think Gemma is an amazing character.

Image: Goodreads

Every Sunday I highlight an older book review that I’ve written. I figure this will give more exposure to books that I enjoyed reading, as well remind people about books that haven’t been in the spotlight lately.

This weeks Second Time Sunday post is:

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

I’ve really enjoyed reading the first two books in this series so far (I still have to read the third). One of my favorite things about it is the Victorian time period – there’s just something that draws me to it.

Enjoy the review!

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren and Alea at Pop Culture Junkie for In My Mailbox. All links go to Summaries are from

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

Images: Goodreads

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren and Alea at Pop Culture Junkie for In My Mailbox. All links go to Summaries are from

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family.

She’s So Dead To Us by Kieren Scott

When having money is all that matters, what happens when you lose it all?

Perfect, picturesque Orchard Hill. It was the last thing Ally Ryan saw in the rear-view mirror as her mother drove them out of town and away from the shame of the scandal her father caused when his hedge fund went south and practically bankrupted all their friends — friends that liked having trust funds and new cars, and that didn’t like constant reminders that they had been swindled. So it was adios, Orchard Hill. Thanks for nothing.

Now, two years later, Ally’s mother has landed a job back at the site of their downfall. So instead of Ally’s new low-key, happy life, it’ll be back into the snake pit with the likes of Shannen Moore and Hammond Ross.

But then there’s Jake Graydon. Handsome, wealthy, bored Jake Graydon. He moved to town after Ally left and knows nothing of her scandal, but does know that he likes her. And she likes him. So off into the sunset they can go, right? Too bad Jake’s friends have a problem with his new crush since it would make Ally happy. And if anyone deserves to be unhappy, it’s Ally Ryan.

Ally was hoping to have left all the drama in the past, but some things just can’t be forgotten. Isn’t there more to life than money?

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

IT HAS BEEN A YEAR OF CHANGE since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.

The Order – the mysterious group her mother was once part of – is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence’s burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.

Images: Goodreads

2010 is already half over! I can’t believe how fast it’s going. Anyway, here’s what happened on Geeky Reads in June:

Books Reviewed: 10

Books Read: 10


2010 Library Reading Challenge books added this month: 8

2010 Library Reading Challenge total to date: 8

I think I made out pretty good this month considering how busy I was. Let’s hope I get more read in July!

Inspired by Kate at The Neverending Shelf.

Published By: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Year of Publication: 2005

Categories: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 548

Summary (from Ah, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy, spending time with her friends in the city, attending ritzy balls, and on a somber note, tending to her ailing father. As she prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, a handsome young man, Lord Denby, has set his sights on Gemma, or so it seems. Yet amidst the distractions of London, Gemma’s visions intensify–visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened, something only the realms can explain. . . .
The lure is strong, and before long, Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world of the realms that Gemma alone can bring them to. To the girls’ great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.
But all is not well in the realms–or out. The mysterious Kartik has reappeared, telling Gemma she must find the Temple and bind the magic, else great disaster will befall her. Gemma’s willing to do his intrusive bidding, despite the dangers it brings, for it means she will meet up with her mother’s greatest friend–and now her foe, Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task.

Review: I really enjoyed reading this book. In fact, I think I liked it better than the first one cause I knew more about the Realms. It was less explaining them and more about the story this time around.

I found myself liking Gemma more and more and disliking both Ann and Felicity. I think I’m drawn to Gemma because she feels like she’s different (well, she is different), and she’s trying to figure herself out and where she belongs in the world. Ann puts me off because she’s so self pitying, it just drives me crazy. And with Felicity, I’m not quite sure what it is, but I think there’s something more to her than what’s been revealed so far.

I wasn’t a very big fan of Thomas at the end of the first book, but I found myself liking him more and more throughout this book. I think I saw the more human side of him, instead of just how Gemma sees him.

Nell was such a tragic character in this book. She was doomed from the moment she was introduced to the reader. I really felt for her, and was glad the way things worked out for her in the end. I wont say anymore about her cause I don’t want to give anything away.

I thought the pacing was great, there weren’t any boring parts. I found the ball scenes a lot of fun to read about, with all the expectations of manners and etiquette. I love reading about cultures that are different from mine, and while it was weird to read about dance cards, I felt like I was right there.

I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for some fantasy and historical fiction. I already have the last book of the trilogy, The Sweet Far Thing, on hold at the library.


Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

The read-a-thon is hosted by Kate at The Neverending Shelf and the activity today is courtesy Eleni at La Femme Readers.

The challenge today is to list the top six books that you’ve read in 2010. Yeah, not so easy. I’ve looked through my past posts and here are the books I’ve chosen in no particular order (links go to my reviews):

A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris


Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren and Alea at Pop Culture Junkie for In My Mailbox. All links go to Goodreads.

Here are the books I got at the library this week:

Born Blue by Han Nolan

The Queen of Second Place by Laura Peyton Roberts

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray


Published by: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

Year of Publication: 2003

Categories: YA

Pages: 416

Summary (from A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy–jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel. Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.

Review: At first I wasn’t quite sure to think of this book. While I didn’t find the writing amazing, I was intrigued by the storyline and found myself wondering where it was going to go next.

I found the characters were a little one dimensional – I would have loved to learn more about them, especially Gemma and Ann. And I have a suspicion that Miss Moore will also be making at least one more appearance.

I found Gemma easy to like, though I didn’t like Felicity and Pippa as much. Maybe it was because I found them hard to relate to – they’re so different than me. I’m intrigued by Kartik, I want to know what’s going to happen to him and Gemma down the road (I do suspect some romance between the two of them).

I really enjoyed reading about the setting and time – what it was like to be a sixteen year old in Victorian England. I thought the beginning of the book in India was a great contrast to life in England later on. It’s so interesting to see how people lived their lives hundreds of years ago.

I will definitely be reading the next book in the trilogy, Rebel Angels.

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library.


Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren and Alea at Pop Culture Junkie for In My Mailbox.

So technically, I didn’t get anything in my mailbox, but I did make out pretty good at the library. Here are the books I borrowed:

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Queen of Babble In the Big City by Meg Cabot

Ransom My Heart by Meg Cabot

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray



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