Before kicking off this review, I apologize for being MIA. Life gets busy, especially during the holidays. I’m back full force, however, and have several great books to review this month!
I recently joined the Owlcrate subscription service. I love it! If you have ever considered a book subscription service, and enjoy YA, I recommend Owlcrate. My first month as a member brought me the November box that, amongst other things, had a copy of Lauren Destefano’s new book The Glass Spare. I have a rocky relationship with Destefano’s books. When her debut Wither was published, I loved it. The sequels? Not so much. (I didn’t even finish the series.) It started well but quickly fizzled out. To approach any Destefano book for me is a tricky process indeed.
The Glass Spare, in many ways, reminded me of reading Wither & Fever. The universe is fascinating. The writing is lovely. There are so many cool elements and relationships the book(s) can explore. And yet, rather than exploring those elements, the book focuses the majority of its time on a lackluster, convenient romance. After her family tragedy, and after meeting Loom, I slogged through the book. The beginning and ending are enough to make me read a sequel–to give it a second chance–but it did take me two weeks to get through this story for a reason.
I didn’t enjoy the romance. It happened quickly, for no reason really, and then that tiny twist at the end was probably supposed to make me distressed on their behalf, but instead I rolled my eyes. (If you read the book, you know what “twist” I’m talking about.) There was also a lot of irrational character decision making…
So what did I like? The main conflict: Wil Heidle is a princess who begins exuding a horrible curse that makes her turn living things to gemstones. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the plot. The political landscape of the book was plenty interesting…spys and secrets and deviousness. I’m always a sucker for a book with castles, espionage, and with royalty as the central characters.
I really like the relationships between family/siblings in this book. Between Wil and Gerdie, Wil and Owen, Wil and Baren, Wil and her parents. And that ghost subplot wasn’t explored nearly enough! I wish the latter half of the book had spent more time with Gerdie…I have so many questions.
Fortunately for me, the author heard my complaints as she was writing. Let’s just saying, without being too spoilery, that the sequel looks like it’ll spend more time on the elements of The Glass Spare I want to read. In the end, this may be a three star book with a lot of weaknesses, but I remain curious and cautiously excited for a sequel.