A Great and Terrible Beauty
The premise of this book interested me — a group of Victorian girls at boarding school find a mysterious diary and the ability to open a portal into the spiritual realm where magic allows them whatever their hearts desire. All isn’t as it seems, and throughout the book are hints that this power is dangerous, though it’s very hard to tell who’s telling the truth and what exactly is so dangerous about the realms. The characters are interesting and remind me of a powerful high school clique where each one compensates for her own fears and insecurities by selfishly taking it out on others. Their flaws made them seem more real and believable to me, but the plot of the story itself didn’t live up to my expectations. It didn’t seem like anything really *happened* until the last few chapters, and when it did, it was so fast-paced and complicated that it made it difficult to understand what was really going on.
I probably will not be reading the other books in the series; I’m not really sure where they story can go from here, and didn’t enjoy it enough to invest my time in reading a sequel.