Bray, Libba (2003). A Great and Terrible Beauty. New York: Delacorte.
This book and the author get tons of hype from Booklist and ALA. This book was fine, and some girls will get into the series, but it's not great. As far as historical fiction, the descriptions of England, India, gypsies--all a bit cliche. It's not a read alike for The Hunger Games or Divergent crowd. There was some mixing of occult and mythology. That was odd. Plus, what was the veiled lesbian stuff? And the repressed sex? Just a bit too much.
All that criticism aside, Bray is an enjoyable writer. Anyone who suffered through the Twilight series will certainly enjoy this series more. It is far better written and the female characters are much more nuanced and independent. For the literati, it might appeal for comparisons to The Crucible, as it does contain some similar themes--jealousy, adolescent friendship, first love, coming of age.