Study Guide

A Great and Terrible Beauty Supernatural

By Libba Bray

Supernatural

It's no secret that A Great and Terrible Beauty is full of weird, magical stuff, and the kind of magic Gemma and her friends discover changes appearances, helps them manipulate time and space, and gives them access into other worlds. The coolest thing about all this, though, is that the supernatural bits of this book are what both help the girls escape and find out who they are. And self-discovery is pretty darn magical in its own right.

Questions About Supernatural

  1. How does magic play a role in Gemma's story of growing up? Does it complicate or simplify her life? 
  2. How does the supernatural bring Gemma and Kartik closer together? How does it come between them? 
  3. Do magic and the realms affect Gemma's relationship with her mother? How? Is it a positive or negative thing? Why? 
  4. What impact does Gemma's new gift of foresight have on her self-esteem and confidence?

Chew on This

Through the supernatural, Gemma realizes her natural (regular) gifts and worth—and without it, she may have sunk into a pit of despair.

Magic is a form of power that everyone wants, so it must be kept a secret. Putting on a cape and tights and flying around the city saving people is not realistic, even in a novel.