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Do NOT read this series if you feel like you hate the whole world Because these three girls Gemma, Felicity and Ann will make you want to bang your head against a wall But please do read it if the combination of silly and serious intrigues you and you feel like losing yourself in a deeply fascinating world building. I loved the GR reviewer s crack that this series was like a mashup of The Craft Mean Girls in Harry Potter My take on it just as I was settling into the second book was Picnic at Hanging Rock on acid In this one, the Magickal Rules are still just about as bad as the Magickal Geography, there are several entirely unbelievable visits to Bedlam, an OPIUM DEN, a suitor offering absinthe at a ball.you get the idea But the adolescent female characters are all well drawn and I love how their major relationships are with each other, and how the power dynamics in each relationship shift and change, sometimes from day to day Libba Bray can certainly write well, at times, at the sentence style level, altho my god SHE NEEDS AN EDITOR And, as someone else pointed out, a Britpicker And serious help with plotting If you love that kind of thought out to the last detail intricate puzzle plotting JK Rowling sells, this is just going to make you frustrated This series depends much on atmosphere and language, which is fitting, as its main theme is illusion.More serious unhappiness with this book can only be expressed with big juicy SPOILERS view spoiler Miss Moore is evil nooooo hide spoiler So I emailed a friend today and explained that the only way I could think of to describe this series was to imagine tossing Mean Girls The Craft both of the cheesy teen movie persuasion into a blender with the whole Harry Potter English boarding school concept just to see what comes out And what results is an addicting, fast paced story that is difficult to put down I m actually a bit shocked by how engrossing this story has become Libba Bray wields literary red herrings quite masterfully and I was guessing and gasping right up until the very end. WrensReads Review I need everyone to read this series It touches on so many topics and it s just such a pretty tale.There will be spoilers from the first book, but no spoilers for this current book.One of the four has passed away from the real world Felicity, Ann and Gemma are all dealing with the death of their dear friend Pippa in their own ways Mostly everyone blames Gemma, including Gemma herself, even though no one forced Pippa to eat from the realms They have not been back from the realms since Stage right Enter Indian boy Katrik who is basically in but not fully in the Rakshana and most definetly has feelings for strong headed, red headed, hot headed Gemma Back to the point, he tells her that she must go back and bind the magic she let loose in the realms before someone with not such great intentions uses it.So when the girls go back they this is not a spoiler, it is in the description of the book are beyond excited to see that Pippa is still there and as beautiful as ever It is only Gemma, though, that notices the hunger in her eyes when no one else is looking or the strange way she talks about certain topics Her mother told her that a spirit must cross over or else it will become corrupted but certainly not their Pippa.The character growth is a little stagnant, but the learning the background of a character is very active You learn about why Felicity has to be in control at all times You learn about Ann being absolutely stuck where she is in her social status and how little she can do about it You see how Pippa feels left out of everything and even less accepted by her dear friend Felicity you ll learn about them in the last book You see the struggle Katrik has with decision involving his dear club Rakshana and his wanted beloved Gemma.I love the idea of this whole magic system They even hint that other worlds are connect to the realms So all the creatures that you see in the realms are from different worlds It kind of reminds me of the place between the world in The Chronicles of Narnia series Not to mention Gemma gets attention from a rich suitor of her own Side note People believe that there was an almost rape in this and I could see how that was gathered Know there is nothing that triggered for me at least and nothing graphic and nothing that actually happened And Circe comes to light and it will make your jaw just dropI love this series so much I have since I was in grade school It has helped me through a lot and has enlightened me on my own passion of writing I say give this a shot, but it isn t for everyone If you like time pieces, undefined magic, school girl drama, forbidden romance and tragedies this book is right up your alley.and beware you will cry at the end of the trilogy.WrensReads Goodreads Twitter Instagram RTC I am not sure how people don t cry at the end of all three of these books I love them so much Reread 1243 still cry from the first chapters I love this series I don t know why people aren t obsessed with it. I love this book I love the entire series I found them first in seventh grade, but the third one hadn t come out yet I was scanning my middle school library s shelves, when I noticed an interesting cover near one of my favorite book series I read the back and I thought the plot was interesting So I decided to give it a chance and read it I thought they were great I mean, I really didn t consider them as some of my favorite books Eventually, I went on with my life and sort of forgot about them Then two years later I was on the Barnes and Noble website looking for random book s prices because I needed them for a project Then I noticed The Sweet Far Thing The third one to the series After a few months my birthday came up and that s one of the things I asked for I got it, along with a few other books I read some of those books first Then I got to TSFT I could not put it down I read for two or three days On the last one I skipped a dance to finish it Although, my friends were a little upset about that I didn t care I finished it that night and I loved it The ending made me bawl and bawl I was so upset It was worth reading though It actually led me to Goodreads too I was searching something I HAD to know right after I finished it and I joined Goodreads in my quest to find it I met Emma and she explained it to me I love this book series It touched me in away no book ever has I love it with all my heart and you should read it They are now my favorite books Series review video It s only a few weeks since I read this but I have since finished the series and am lowering my rating of this book from 2 stars to 1 star because the things I found to be problematic were never redeemed and I cannot overlook them.Original review There were things I didn t like than I liked, which causes it to fall just below a middle of the road rating.TL DR Predictable, run of the mill historical fiction with occasional magical elements and fat shaming, and mishandled self harm and sexual assault But yep, I m gonna finish the series because I m addicted to audiobooks.Let s start with the good Gemma is a delightful character Her naivety is fitting of the time period, but she also has a healthy dose of spunk which keeps her connected with modern readers This book tries to tackle racism and feminism in the historic setting They are kind of lightly treated due to the time period, but still present and at times some wonderful points are made For 2005, this series was probably really great And now the bad If I d read this when it was published I probably would have enjoyed it quite a bit, but I don t think that the suspense of the plot or the magical elements stand up to other books in this genre today It definitely does nothing to set itself apart from any run of the mill historical romance Yes, there s a fantasy element here, but when Gemma was in the real world just living her life like 70% of the book this felt like any duke debutante fiction I read approximately 896,437 historical romance novels when I was younger and the reason I don t read those any is because after reading that many they are all SO predictable This book was no exception to that In terms of the fantasy element and the mystery of the plot, too much time was spent pointing fingers and not actually acting on leads, but going to dances instead For almost 600 pages Gemma thinks she has everything all figured out she doesn t so she does very little, causing the plot to creep by at a snail s pace But hey, at least there is a lot of shopping and kissing and FAT SHAMING Ann to pass the time Gemma constantly ignores all the good advice she s given, and ignores her gut instincts to go do something COMPLETELY STUPID Every other character Gemma, don t stray off the path Gemma I know I shouldn t stray off the path and my gut twists, but wow that patch of woods looks ever so inviting so tralala Gemma friends Well this was a terrible idea and now we re all going to die Repeat 4 times.It was infuriating to read about these girls constantly being warned about the magic but instead of trying to do anything about it, they just want to play around, go for picnics in the realms and use the magic to be beautiful.And lastly, let s talk about the truly problematic The treatment of the character Ann was absolutely appalling in both how her friends treat her and how she is written Ann is poor, overweight, and ugly The 3 cardinal sins in London society Oh, the horror She spends just about every moment of her time on the page bemoaning the fact that she isn t beautiful AND SO DO HER FRIENDS Gemma is much kinder to Ann than Felicity is, but even Gemma isn t immune to taking jabs at Ann Felicity frequently makes comments about how Ann eats too much, even though Gemma gets away with wanting an extra dessert because her figure is thinner The worst for me was a scene where Ann was insulting herself and Felicity tells her to stop doing that to herself because how is anyone else ever going to accept Ann if she can t accept herself But then Felicity is back to dogging on Ann s weight and looks in the next scene Good lord if I have to hear one time about how the waist of that dress needed to be let out 500 miles I will strangle this fictional b.And the problem is, Ann is written to deserve this Every ounce of her dialogue oozes with stupidity And let s not even talk about the voice acting in the audiobook Sigh She s always the last to catch on Because of course, on top of being ugly, she has to be stupid too and therefore the reader is supposed to roll their eyes, look down on her, and believe she deserves this treatment Because haha, fat ol Ann is always ruining things Now let s discuss Ann s self harm This isn t relevant to the plot, so I don t consider it a spoiler In book 1, Gemma discovers that Ann cuts her arms She has explicitly said that she does this because of the way she s treated by everyone, but after she joins the friend group we re led to believe Ann is fixed Well now in book 2, Gemma discovers Ann has been cutting herself again, even though she currently seemed happy and had everything going for her Gemma says promise me you ll stop that And Ann halfheartedly promises Her cutting is never brought up again.The problem here is that TWICE it is assumed that Ann is magically fixed First by gaining friends, and then by this promise Gemma never again checks in with Ann, and never does anything to prevent the bullying that Ann has explicitly said is a trigger for her This is brushed aside and seems present only to give us all yet another reason to go poor pitiful Ann, look how damaged she is Note I do not think self harm equals being damaged, I am saying this is how the book presents it, and this portrayal is why I m taking issue And finally Are we just never going to talk about how Gemma was sexually assaulted She is drunk, verbally saying No I want to go home, and internally distressed while her boyfriend kisses and undresses her He does not stop until she has a vision in the middle of this, screams, and passes out And the next day everything is fine between them Cool Maybe this is a product of it s time There wasn t as much light shined on sexual assault 10 years ago when this was written, but that doesn t excuse it Reading this made me uncomfortable and angry.Am I going to read the final book Yes, because I m holding out for Ann to RISE FROM ASHES AND PROVE THEM ALL WRONG Or murder everyone Either, or. I was really scared of how this book would turn out because I loved the first book in the series And I didn t want any of the characters to die or anything But I had to pick this book up because I wanted to know what happens next And I am so glad that I picked it upSometimes we seek that which we are not yet ready to findThis book continues off after A Great and Terrible Beauty, it is the second book in the series If you haven t heard about it, it s pretty much about a girl named Gemma who moves from India after a terrible incident She goes back to London and joins a school called Spence which is an academy for girls After the terrible incident in India, Gemma has been having weird visions and Spence is a school with a lot of mysteries She feels as though everything is connected and wants to find answers to all her questions Follow bold Gemma who fights through her emotions to get to where she wants to beAnd for a moment, I understand that I have friends on this lonely path that sometimes your place is not something you find, but something you have when you need itThe pace was much faster in this book compared to the first book in my opinion I felt like it is close to fast pace but not fast pace I don t know, I am weird okay Anyway the writing was really nice and we follow the story in a smooth manner It was nice to have many different settings and there was so much adventure in this book I loved how there was a prologue at the beginning of the book that keeps the reader on the edge of their seatDo you think they missed him terribly when he fell Did God cry over his lost angel, I wonderThe characters were better than the first book, you can see that MOST of them had grown I felt like Felicity was the exact same, whiny, annoying and jealous character that she always was I don t understand why you would be friends with someone who is like her Ann is starting to get on my nerves too, she doesn t want to work towards her goals, he wants a prince to save her from her misery LIKE NO YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD, YOU ARE NOT CINDERELLA Simon was nice but I wasn t a huge fan of him, he kinda creeps me out I don t know why, but I just didn t really like him Gemma was much stronger in this book but she treated Kartik like trash I felt so bad for Kartik and he is super nice, we learn about him in this book But when Gemme treated him so horribly I was so shocked WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT GEMMA When I was reading, I started talking to myself and I am like there might be a major plot twist but everything leads up to one character So it must be a character that we like but who would that be And when the plot twist hits me, I was surprised because I was wrong and my predictions and I was glad that I was wrong Me when the plot twist hit meAll things are possibleI highly recommend this book if you have already read the first book in the series, it was really good You won t regret it, there is much adventure in this book and also a little bit of mystery It was a book that built up the suspense and I enjoyed it I can t wait to pick up the next book in this series and see where the story takes me next *Download Book ⇦ Rebel Angels ☠ 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 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 ExplainThe 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 FriendshipBut 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 Loved it 4.5 At first I was kind of on the fence about it, but the last 100 pages were awesome, and totally captivated me.Loved The depth of the relationships between Gemma, Felicity, and Ann I enjoyed seeing Felicity grow and show a vulnerable side The change in Gemma I felt she really matured and stepped up to the plate in the end and I feel connected to her than I did in the first book The love interests Now she has Simon and Kartik I went back and forth on who I was rooting for, but I think in the end I have to go with Kartik The mystery and thriller aspects The twists surprised me and I definitely could not predict how it was going to end It definitely got creepy at some parts and I loved all the new creatures introduced The focus on Gemma s life outside of the realms Her relationships with her father and brother were great I love Historical Fiction and this book had a lot of those elements, especially with the setting being in London It gave a fresh and exciting environment.Why I didn t give it 5 stars I just felt that I got a little bored in the beginning middle I can t quite say what it was, but I was not enthralled with it I loved certain aspects but as a whole, I just was not thoroughly into it The huge plot twist really threw me back into the story and the ending was fantastic I can t decide which book is better Ah but the second is great Gemma has the same fire, the character development is as good as it was in the first New characters are dark My favorite newie Nell Hawkins Oh and my thoughts on Simon Middleton, handsome, but I m still praying for a romantic relationship between Gemma and Kartik, fire, tension, and mystery, who can t love that All I can say is that Felicity s, Gemma s and Ann s journey for the temple is a great one As good as the first, with a darker edge And I need to get my hands on The Sweet Far Thing IMMEDIATELY