BOOK REC THURSDAY: Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

Hello readers!

It has been an absolutely insane week! Between working thirty-six hours in three days for a temp job, working at my day job, attending Christmas parties, and catching up on sleep, I’ve been reading but not posting! So I’m making sure this goes out before I go see THE LAST JEDI tonight!!!!!!

It’s been a long enough time that I can drop in something Libba Bray right? Because this is one of the last Book Rec Thursdays of the year and I can’t leave these ones out. These are my favorite books in the entire world. There’s always at least one beside my bed and I own multiple copies of each book. I’m probably going to reread them for my last three books of 2017, so let’s dive into the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray!

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Gemma Doyle lives with her British father and mother in India. Today is not just any day. Today is Gemma’s sixteenth birthday.  The only thing she wants for her birthday is to be sent to London to go to a school for girls and be a part of its high society, but it is the one wish her parents will not grant her. Instead, her mother is murdered. In the light of her mother’s death, Gemma finally gets her wish and her father moves in with her grandmother while she attends Spence Academy for Young Ladies. There, she discovers that she is the prophesied priestess to another world called the realms, a place where magic and evil thrive. How is Gemma supposed to save the realms, earn her station as a lady of upper-class Victorian London, survive school, and discover who she is all at the same time?

I read these books when I was about thirteen or fourteen years old and was going through the same journey as Gemma. Her inner arc is her discovery of who she is and what she wants for herself, and reading her story was incredibly powerful for me at that stage in my life. I saw a lot of myself in Gemma (probably way more than I would like to admit), and found Libba’s writing fascinating and inspiring.

Since I ate them up years ago, I have reread them countless times. They always have a place in my suitcase on long trips. My senior quote in high school was from The Sweet Far Thing. I also brought them to my senior photo shoot and took AGATB with me the first time I met Belle at Disney World. (She happened to open it to a page where Gemma was in French class and I only bawled harder.)

Libba’s writing is always amazing, but she truly shines in these books. Every other sentence is beautiful enough to frame on your wall and her characters are vibrant and strong. There is truly a character whom everyone can relate to in this trilogy, which is funny because I’ve met so many girls who identify with Felicity and none who identify with Gemma like I do.

Felicity is a rebel, a strong blonde who dreams for a different life than her abusive father would have her live. Pippa is the most beautiful, whose mother is eager to marry her off as quickly as possible. Ann is an orphaned scholarship student and Gemma’s roommate, who is destined only to be a governess for her cousins, though she has a remarkable love of singing and acting. Together with Kartik, the mysterious and intriguing Indian boy sent by the Rakshana to guide Gemma in her mission in the realms, Gemma will embark on a life-changing journey you won’t forget.

I can keep going on about this forever, but this post has to end eventually. And I’ll just end up doubling back to gushing about my love for Gemma and these books and not telling you things that will actually interest you. If you’ve read Libba’s recent book The Diviners and some of this sounds familiar, Gemma makes a cameo in Lair of Dreams! Seriously, please read these books. They will impact you more than you are prepared for. Just be ready to cry for a solid eight hours and then off and on again for the next week like I did after I finished the third book.

Available at: Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Amazon

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