What I’ve Been Reading: A Great and Terrible Beauty

Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 in Children's Literature, What I've Been Reading | 0 comments

My experience with Libba Bray’s books has been up and down. I didn’t care much for Going Bovine, which got a lot of attention, but I adored Beauty Queens–sharp, funny, dead-on satire. So I’ve been meaning to get around to A Great and Terrible Beauty.

Some good stuff here, no question; I like the meld of historical fiction and fantasy, although her dialog tended to run a bit modern to my ears. And the weaving of past history into present drama is very deft. But I must say that this falls into a category I invented when I was growing up: “books where the main character does stupid things.” I dislike spending the book mentally yelling at the protagonist, “Don’t do it!” I want to identify with the character, not feel myself inclined to lecture her, or bop her over the head in hopes that it will shake up her thinking.

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