Cover Image: House of Glass Hearts

House of Glass Hearts

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

House of Glass Hearts by Leila Siddiqui is a fantastic blend of Pakistani history and fantasy. The story revolves around Maera, whose older brother Asad disappeared ten years ago. But when her grandfather dies, the greenhouse from his house magically transports itself to America, where Maera's family lives now. When she opens the greenhouse, she will have to confront monsters - both literal and metaphorical - to find out what happened to her brother. 

Here is a chilling excerpt from the opening chapter, which is a flashback:

"He stepped up to the door. "Who's in there?" he asked, his voice just above a whisper. 
The greenhouse groaned in response, and then the door opened on its own...
Asad was immediately bathed in green light. He gasped, and the toys fell from his hands. As he crawled on the ground to pick them up, a long shadow fell upon him. He shaded his eyes from the light and blinked up at the figure standing before him."

Overall, House of Glass Hearts is a heartwarming story about family, generations, immigration, and touch topics. One highlight of this book is how it is an #ownvoices book. In the Afterword, the author talks about how she is the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, and how her grandparents were immigrants from India during Partition. I think it's so important to diversify the books being published every year, and I am so happy to support this author. I also learned a lot about Partition from reading this book. Content warning: physical and sexual assault. If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of fantasy books in general, I highly recommend that you check out this book, which is available now!
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Unfortunately, this novel missed the mark for me and ended up being a DNF. The way the narrative was presented between the flashbacks and present-day ended up being done a little haphazardly and felt like the execution wasn't really there. I ended up getting bored and didn't really want to continue.
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Wow, I absolutely loved reading this twisty tale of love, loss and learning. This is definitely not the type of thing I would usually read but I thought I’d step out of my comfort zone with this one. And I was certainly not expecting this. House Of Glass Hearts is a fantastical thriller mostly set in Pakistan. What I loved most of all about this book, is the in-depth look at Pakistani culture..Thank you to the author
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Although the premise was very interesting, unfortunately it fell flat for me. I disliked the writing style and felt like necessary context was missing at times. It was also very short and as a result seemed underdeveloped. It wasn't as compelling as it could have been, and I found myself forcing myself to keep reading and finish it. That being said, it was very interesting to see this kind of story— horror/historical fiction/coming-of-age/south asian rep. I appreciated seeing such a unique story, especially from an Ownvoices author. It wasn't a bad book, but I felt like there was so much untapped potential.
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Desi mixed with magic and Jinns. Told from two perspectives, one from Maera and the other from her Grandfather during his past. In the beginning I felt like the story was very slow and I almost gave up but it finally picked up its pace and I'm glad I continued reading.
The writing style might not be for everyone but the story was unique and unlike something I read before which was quite refreshing.
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This was an easy read! I liked it overall but it isn't something I can see myself rereading.. It had a magical feel to it aswell.
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Maera, a Pakistani American, and her family deal with the disappearance of her brother, Asad, and the death of her grandfather when a mysterious greenhouse appears in their backyard. 

Two stories run throughout the novel. There's one of Maera now, and one of her grandfather when he was a kid. The beginning was a little slow, then it picked up a lot toward the end, but I had to keep going. 

In general, the storytelling was a bit flat but not bad. I'd say the characters and plot are aimed at a younger YA audience, but it's still pretty dark. A decent historical fiction book that weaves history, magic, action, and the importance of family into one. I'd recommend this book and I'm looking forward to reading more from the author.
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This was an intriguing premise. However, I found the flashbacks to be very confusing. I did not like the switching of different narrators. Thus, this was not executed well.
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this debut novel was  an interesting read. The grandfather's 'flashback' was well-written and was seamless. However, the present day narrative was a little haphazard. I had to reread a few paragraphs to realize that some occurrences had no structure. The incidents during their visits inside the glasshouse had gaps that left me unsatisfied. 

I definitely loved the concept of the story but the execution missed its mark.

Thank you #NetGalley and Yali Books for giving me the opportunity to read this.
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A tad late to the party, but okay I loved this book so much. The characters were so interesting, it just made my heart happy!! 

10/10 would read again.
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Unfortunately, this book disappointed me somewhat. I was shocked that I enjoyed Haroon's chapters in the past significantly more than Maera's in the present. Typically this is the other way around! I found Maera's chapters uninteresting and I didn't get on with the character at all. I just couldn't connect. Haroon's chapters were much more interesting to me, revealing details of the past that I was unaware of. In my opinion, the book should have focused more on this.
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This book was something unusual for me, something that I probably would not have picked up off the shelf if i'd seen it at a book store but I'm glad i got to read it on here because i truly enjoyed it.

The story kept me gripped from the start, even including the plot twist at the end which I did not expect! And I LOVED IT! I really enjoyed the Pakistani culture throughout learning more about something I did not know much about.
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I couldn’t really get into it, the writing overall confused me so I didn’t read it all the way through. Just not my cup of tea.
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What a delightful read! I enjoyed the blend of magic and historical events that occurred in The House of Glass Hearts. The characters were well developed, even the mothers who had their own backstory. My favorite character (and in my opinion the strongest female character) was Shah Jehan who embraced her flaws and imperfection and never let the men in her life take over or decide what she should do with their life. Overall, I highly recommend it despite the predictable ending…three stars. 

I receive an ARC copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Okay, I tried my best in reading this book. But I was just left confuse when I finished it. I don't know why, but I could not get over the storylines. There was so much happening at once that I really did not know what the main storylines. If it had spread out between multiple books, then this book would have been a good read, not a confusing one.
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Interesting prompts and ideas but lack of writing techniques. The characterizations also doesn't look so good either. But since it is a debut i'll accept it. All Leila needs is writing practice and she'll all good
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heart-wrenching wonderful atmospheric book that I would highly recommend to any immigrant kid. Great family dynamics, good prose, and a concept so entrancing. Grief and internal betrayal were handled well and the story was done with great respect and the magical realism was so beautifully done
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3/5 stars. Thanks to the author and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for my honest thoughts.

House of glass hearts follows Maura and her ammi who never talk about the Past, a place where they've banished their family's heartache and grief forever. They especially never mention the night Maera's older brother Asad disappeared from her naana's house in Karachi ten years ago. But when her grandfather dies and his derelict greenhouse appears in her backyard from thousands of miles away, Maera is forced to confront the horrors of her grandfather's past. To find out what happened to her brother, she must face the keepers of her family's secrets-the monsters that live inside her grandfather's mysterious house of glass.

The main plot of this book is actually amazing. The interlaced use of historical events and fantasy elements alone bewitched me. eheh, this is the reason why i wanted to read this ARC.

And the cover & the beautiful layout. Detailed, significant, yet simple. 

The characters, however, are cardboard cutouts put there only and only to fool the reader into thinking the book is not as empty as it is. And the worst part is, it fails. The content is complex and fairly done, but this unnecessary effort erases how well plotted the story is. 

The worst part of the book, the writing. This novel is so fast paced that you barely understand one thing before jumping to another major plot point. While barely keeping up with the writing, the reader is exposed to nothing about the characters. For example, someone’s going through this huge trauma, but meanwhile, I am staring at the page thinking, yeah okay and now what. There is a very limited amount of literary features and according character and emotion descriptions. 

Now that I’m done complaining about the writing, we can jump onto the AMAZING BEAUTIFUL SHOW-STOPPING quotes hidden in the narrative. Gorgeous words arranged like the rarest pearls of a necklace.

“We’re brown. We’ll never have what other people have, especially with their grandparents. I mean, we were born here, and they continued to live there. Mine don’t even speak English. It’s a struggle talking to them, and you know I have horrible Urdu.”

“She hadn’t expected the revelations to be so startling, especially the appalling realization that the heroism and glory she’d learned about had never been about her brown ancestors. India’s part in the war was reduced to a tiny blip, a footnote in her history classes. In books and movies and everything she’d ever known, the big wars were fought between good white guys and their white enemies. It was a bunch of Tom Hanks and Hardys fighting courageously, martyred as heroes, while countless brown experiences were stripped from those narratives. Now a piece of that history was hers, and she had no idea what to do with it, even as she realized that it never belonged to her anyways.”

“Our friends and neighbors, the people we thought were our friends and neighbors, are our enemies now. Whether we want it or not.”

“You’re a survivor. You would have survived. And now, you’re my good luck charm to get us to the other side of the border.”

“Are you pitying them? Don’t you remember what they do to men?”
“Maybe they deserve it. Men create wars. The world I’ve seen now is far more terrible than any churail. The only truly fearsome creatures I’ve seen are the ones I thought were my friends.”

“we can never go back. But somewhere, there is a home waiting for us.”

“Who was I becoming as I bore the weight of God’s cruelty on my shoulders?”

“Perhaps grief is a four-walled thing. Perhaps tragedy has boundaries and shapes.”
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I enjoyed reading this book. The blub attracted me to it instantly and I'm glad it did. 

The story is written from two POVs: that of Maera in the present who is in the USA who is on a desperate hunt to find her missing brother and the other of her grandfather during the 1940s India/Pakistan. This makes for an interesting contrast of narratives and instantly hooks the reader.

The plot is so unique and creative and the way the author weaves in factual horrors such as the bloodshed and political and religious turmoil during the Indian partition of 1947 with fantastical horrors is incredible. It is a twisty tale of love, grief and loss and the fantasy thrown just adds to the story.

I don't want to reveal more without giving away more details of the story. 

Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This was an incredibly intriguing read with the most amazing magical realism arc!! I would tell everyone to read it!!
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