I listened to A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray on audio book on my trip this last week. I rationed myself to the first 5 cd's on the way to Louisiana and the last 5 on the way back, which worked pretty well as i managed to listen to them for all of Alabama and most of Mississippi each way. Throw in 3 Beethoven symphonies and a Tchaikovsky cd i am never in the car long enough to listen to fully and the drive pretty much flew by for once. The fact that i went 80 the whole way probably helped too!
So to the book. I liked it but there were a few random flaws that caught my ear. I am not sure if it was the reader or bad editing but the names Doyle (the main character's last name) and Dowd (the last name of the girl who's diary the character reads) were mixed up a couple times. There were a couple places where the story reads something like "several days passed quickly" then a character refers to something that happened yesterday in the story but really several days before due to that line. i wasn't listening to an abridged version so not sure about that either.
But those are nitpicky things. I enjoyed it but i really think it could have been 75 pages shorter. There is a lot of action beginning and ending but there are some boggy places in the middle. I liked Gemma. I really felt for her situation and mental states, being in some of them myself. The reader did a great job differentiating the characters. i can't imagine how difficult it has to be to make 9 Victorian teenage girl's voices sound different from each other.
i give this one 5/7 and have recommended it to my little sister. she's thirteen and LOVES the Twilight series that i have yet to start. i am moving that up to next on my list to read for the YA challenge. I have also ordered the next book in this series from the library on audio.