This novel by Libba Bray is geared towards young girls; Gemma is not your average girl, she has lived her whole life in India with her British parents and has dreamed of going to London to school. On her birthday she ends up fighting with her mother and running off, only to experience a piercing vision of her mother’s murder. Her father has a breakdown after her mother’s death and Gemma is haunted by the visions. She is shipped off to Spence Boarding School for Young Ladies and is promptly outcast as “the new girl”. While Gemma struggles to make friends at Spence, she also struggles to understand her cryptic visions much to the dismay of a Gypsy messenger threatening her to close her mind to the visions… or else.
This was a neat concept for a novel — of interest to young girls into magic and different worlds. I gave this book to my cousin on recommendation so I’m glad I’ve finally got a chance to read it. I stormed right through it and would definitely recommend it for an older girl — maybe 10 – 14 years old. Sometimes I was a bit shocked about the subject matter, but young girls (even those at a boarding school for young ladies in the Victorian Era) were not naive about sexuality. My only complaint is how the idea of magic switching from being “visions” to “visiting other rhelms” was not explained.
It is interesting how there is also an “interview” in the back of the book with Libba Bray, as well as a Study Guide with questions and ideas to discuss.