Aug 23, 2011

Books for Lolitas: A Great and Terrible Beauty

This book feels like a good follow up to the previous two reviews. It's not a childhood classic and it deals more with true magic, but it has the same underlying flavor to it and recalled both of the other books as I was reading it.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

The basic story is that of a girl raised in India sent away to boarding school after her mother's death. There, she is not overly welcomed but finds a place and friendship through powers she discovers and shares. It's an interesting story with well rounded and interesting characters and beautiful writing.

Which is why I am utterly at a loss as to why I didn't love it. It's such an absolute perfect mix, as it crafted for me specially as a more mature fantasy filled version of loved stories, that by all rights I should be positively gushing about it. It's certainly more solid than other books I've posted with a rave review, and my general disinterest in no way comes from an inability to connect to the characters and voice of the piece. It's an anomaly that's rather troubling.

It likely boils down to timing, I suppose. I ready the book near the end of my last semester of college, when I was also planning a wedding and a move and trying to feel around for work. Needless to say, it was a busy and stressful time What little down time for reading I had came in moments that could only be justified as times I should remain awake by being to short for a decent nap. It's an environment that could easily rob most books of emotional impact. So that I felt strongly enough to complete the story and liked it despite a lack of connection speaks, I think, rather highly of this story.

I do intend soon to read the sequels, once I've worked through a few of the books that have waited much too long in the pile. And I do recommend this book (though I can't speak yet for the series as a whole) because the atmosphere is perfect and the story is very good. But perhaps it would be best read during calm times rather than exams and wedding planning.

1 comment:

  1. I had a really similar reaction to that book, actually. I read it thinking, "yeah this has a lot of element I like in a story and the characters are good, but, meh." I think there is something missing, but I really can't put my finger on it at all.