Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Main character: Gemma Doyle
Location: London
Time period: the 1880's
Genre: YA Fiction, Gothic Romance; Fantasy
Sequel to: A Great and Terrible Beauty

I know a lot of people really like this series, but I'm still not feeling the love. I think it's because I find Gemma rather irritating. She simply cannot make a decision and stick with it! (Yeah, yeah, neither can Hamlet, but that's a whole 'nother story.) For example, Gemma hears her brother (who works as a doctor at Bedlam, the insane asylum) speak of a young girl named Nell Hawkins, and decides that she has apparently been to the realms and has been driven mad. Gemma talks to her and discovers that her rantings do make some sense. The clearest things that Nell says are "Trust no one" and "Stay on the path." Does Gemma stay on the path? No! Is she wary of new people? No! She takes everything someone tells her at face value without weighing what they say against what she knows about them. She believes Kartick until someone says something that make her doubt him. She loves Simon until someone says something. The girl is exasperating!

Now you may get the idea that I think this is a bad book, and the strange thing is that I don't. If it was a badly written book, I would not have such strong feelings. If it was a badly written book, I would just roll my eyes and probably abandon it early on. No, this is a well-written book that kept me reading no matter how much I wanted to just slap Gemma. Mind you, I don't like her friends, Felicity and Ann, any better, but I want to believe that Gemma can learn something, though she's gone through two long books and so far has not figured out much. No, I am just going to have to read the third book, A Sweet Far Thing and see how things turn out for her.

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