Saturday, August 6, 2011

Author Spotlight: Libba Bray

I first discovered Libba Bray several years ago, around the time with Rebel Angels had just been released. I had bought and read Rebel Angels without realizing that it was actually the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty, so then I went out and bought that one and read it, and I was truly in love with the Gemma Doyle series and Libba's writing style. Once The Sweet Far Thing came out, I immediately went out and bought it, and from then on I was a bona fide Libba Bray fan. The Gemma Doyle trilogy is honestly one of the best historical fantasy novels I've ever read.


A Great and Terrible Beauty (Book 1)
Sixteen-year-old Gemma 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.

Rebel Angels (Book 2)
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.

The Sweet Far Thing (Book 3)
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.
Libba's next book after the Gemme Doyle trilogy was Going Bovine, a standalone novel. I haven't read Going Bovine yet, but I do own it and plan to read it soon.
Can Cameron find what he’s looking for?

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.
Libba's latest novel is a stand-alone called Beauty Queens. I read this one about a month ago, and I really enjoyed it! It's an extremely hilarious novel, I laughed out loud several times while reading it. Plus, beauty queens stranded on an island? Sounds like a fun read!

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program--or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan--or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?
Have you read any of Libba's books? What do you think of them? If you haven't, do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

3 comments:

  1. I read the first Gemma Doyle book and loved it! I really liked Beauty Queens too. Very funny, but thought-provoking too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm ashamed to say I haven't read any Libba Bray, I want to though! I've got Beauty Queens in my TBR pile, can't wait to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love Libba Bray, her style is just incredible and she has the ability to create these amazing characters that are all witty and deep and so lifelike even in their insanity. I read Going Bovine and it is EXTREMELY odd as a novel, but in a weird fantastic way. The ending was (to me) completely unexpected but appropiate. I hope you enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I love hearing from you! Please, feel free to comment to your heart's content. :)

Due to the lack of time, I am making this blog award-free. I appreciate any awards you may give me, and I give you a big resounding THANK YOU! But, unfortunately, I won't be posting about them. Thank you again for stopping by. :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...