Cover Image: House of Glass Hearts

House of Glass Hearts

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Member Reviews

This novel followed two storylines: one in the present, with Maera unable to understand the sudden appearance of a greenhouse in her backyard; the second in the past, following Maera's gradfather as he traversed pre-partition India before experiencing the horrors of the journey to Pakistan. Only one of these two points of view really appealed to me.

The other—Maera's—was a little too simplistic in its execution for me to enjoy it. For starters, a small section of the plot (Maera discovering and entering the greenhouse) was stretched across eight whole chapters; a significant portion of the action was condensed and rushed through near the very end. The pacing, therefore, was off. Most of the characters were two-dimensional, with only a few select personality traits to keep them going. It didn't help that Maera herself, the eyes through which the reader views the story, was too thoughtless in her actions for me to like her.

Maera's grandfather, though, gave me a whole different story that had me hooked from the get-go. He tells a story that us Pakistanis have heard from our own grandparents, a story that is familiar to many; some of our relatives experienced the partition firsthand while others heard of it from those around them. Chotu makes it personal: the reader gets to see such events unfold, and these scenes are lent authority by the author's note at the end, where Siddiqui mentions how she took parts of the plot from what her own grandmother told her. The pacing for this half of the novel is pretty well done, and the characters all given depth and motivation for their actions.

I look forward to reading future works by this author, especially if they tend towards historical fiction.
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I kinda of struggled to get through this book. Whilst the story was solid and I loved the characters it just felt a little slow. Maybe that’s because I’m not not used to this genre. I can’t speak on how accurate the representation was as I’m not part of the community.
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House of Glass Hearts follows two story-lines: The story of Haroon in 1947's India, and Maera's story in modern USA. Maera is Haroon's granddaughter, and after his death, a weird greenhouse suddenly appears in her backyard, and she's haunted by her brother Asad - who went missing when she was a child.

Just from the facts, this book could have been great. I know barely anything about the history of Pakistan OR India, which could've been truly interesting to learn about. 
Unfortunately, this book fell kind of flat.

We get two main POV's, Maera's when she's seventeen, and Haroon's from... I don't even know, maybe 12 to 17 or something like that? It was really unclear and it didn't particularly help that everyone read like 8-year-olds. We get a chapter from Maera's POV from like. Ten or something years ago, when Asad vanishes, and she still sounds exactly the same at seventeen as she did at seven. I honestly got startled whenever it was mentioned she was off for college soon because she just reads really immaturely. The same goes for Haroon to some point, even though his thoughts feel more mature just because of the setting of war he's in. In this regard, the book would have made much more sense to be Middle Grade instead of Young Adult.

The other main reason why I didn't particularly like this book was the very shallow plotline. Haroon's was very interesting, but mixed in with Maera's story, it just didn't have enough pagetime to really develop and give you a deeper feeling. Maera's story on the other hand just was eh. It didn't feel well thought out, and if we look at the last 4-5 chapters, that was just a "oh, we need scenario xy! It will cause additional drama!". But you can't throw in something that wasn't foreshadowed at all just to make stuff more interesting, and then have it resolved in a chapter flat. That's just bad storytelling.



Big thanks to NetGalley for providing this ARC!
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Maera, a Pakistani-American girl and her mother are still struggling to adjust to the mysterious disappearance of her brother. Soon she finds a magical greenhouse in her backyard after her grandfather passes, and tries to learn it's secrets and reunite her family. This was told in the perspective of Maera's grandfather from the past and her in the present. This was based on Indian history, Middle eastern culture.

I enjoyed this but at times this was really dark with the unspoken Indian/Pakistani history. What I loved the most is the magical elements of this book and how it seamlessly combines myth and real life. The ending and Maera's character felt flat for me, but nonetheless, it was a great read.
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This book was interesting, I enjoyed it.

This story takes us into the lives of Maera and her family, who experienced tragedy years before when Maera's brother, Asad, disappeared. Finally, a new tragedy, the death of Maera's grandfather, marks the beginning of a new adventure for this young girl.
We follow Maera's adventure, but also the story of her grandfather and his youth. The chapters where we follow the point of view of her grandfather are particularly interesting because they allow us to learn more about the history of Pakistan / India. For my part, I learned things I didn't know (and about which we should be more educated.)

The last chapters were incredible, I was not expecting it at all and I was really surprised! It was a pure pleasure to read them.

I recommend this book if you are a fan of history and magic. It is a quick read and the writing is very enjoyable. It offers a very good representation, and explains historical facts that makes us want to know more. Don't forget to read the author's notes at the end!!
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This tale was an interesting one, weaving history with magic in a way I hadn't anticipated. Like many other readers have already said, it taught me a bit about the history that I didn't know and gave me a refreshing insight. American history classes genuinely skip Pakistan's involvement in things, and it was interesting to see it and learn about it. There is a sprinkling of both cultural religion, as well as cultural lore and myth that we don't often see. Siddiqui did a great job of incorporating these aspects into a book in order to create an interesting and accessible story.

The way that things ramped up so quickly at the end, and the conclusion was so sudden, I felt a little shocked. I enjoyed the tale and the history, but the pacing really hindered this book. I think had the pacing been more evenly paced to a more understandable ramp up, I would have rated this book a full four to five stars. However, because it was so slow in the beginning, I have a hard time giving it more than three stars. If you can stick with the story to get through the slow pacing, this book truly is worth the read.
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Sadly not for me. Nothing wrong with it but I didn’t find that it drew me in enough to keep reading unfortunately
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House of hearts book review
Author:@leilasidd13
Publication date:30th of September 2021
Page count:627
Good read
Review:
Okay so this book gave me like Percy Jackson/Historical Fiction in one.
This book beautifully blends Indian/Pakistani history as well as mythology!
Within this book reader read the untold stories of the Indian involvement in WW2 and the fight for freedom
During this book we change POV from Meara as she is on the hunt for her long lost brother which is set in current time. We also follow Meara’s grandfather as he lives through WW2and the Indian partition set in 1940’s this builds suspense and had me wanting to know what happened next.
There was horror and devastating action scenes this book truly showed the reality of WW2 for people of this race in a lovely fitting way 
Overall would recommend as this book keep me engaged and is set around family and loss of loved ones. During reading this book it reminded me of the importance of family
Rating;
⭐⭐⭐💫
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Love the unusual setting, the interweaving of present and past but the voice was a little impersonal. It’s the first time that I read a Pakistani fantasy, so the folklore was entirely new and refreshing. I think many will enjoy discovering about that part of history with the dash of magic this book offers. But I do think this book could have benefited from another round of editing, to make the writing tighter, get more emotions in the words and bring out the personality of the characters - they didn’t really stand out from one another and I had no idea why everyone accepted to be ordered around by the heroine.
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Rate: 3.5/5

I love stories with magical realism. I have realized that the books that I have read under this genre always pairs up with grief. This book also deals with grief. 

I loved the magical realism element of this book, which was Maera's grandfather's green house from Pakistan. Which shows up in her backyard in the US. I wouldn't have guessed how it all came together, but I loved how it did. 

This story is told in two point of views, present day Maera and 1940s Haroon (the grandfather). I personally liked the grandfather's point of view, you learn so much about what happened before and after the Partition. This is what happened during the world war, how India and Pakistan came to be. I honestly didnt know much of the history of most countries, only the British, during the world wars. This book made it a point to show that the wars may have been victorious to the whites, but it had left a deep scar to a lot of the colonized countries. (Please read the author's note at the end of the book, she has also provided some resources to check out, which I will be doing soon hopefully).

I also loved how the characters dealt with their grief. They basically avoided talking about the Past until this greenhouse shows up and the way the characters dealt with the whole situation and coming to terms with what happened in the Past and their grief felt very real. 

I also loved the author's writing style. She conveyed the story really well. But I did not like certain aspects of the book. I didn't understand why the author had to mention Maera's little crush on Rob. It felt weird, specially because Maera sees Rob after ten years. And this sudden love at first sight doesn't even have anything to do with the plot.
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"House of Glass Hearts": 3⭐

(Unpaid Review: thank you to @netgalley, @leilasiddiqui and the publishers for allowing me to read this eArc copy in exchange for a review.)

I'm going to be honest: I first got this book for it's cover. Can you blame me? Look at that!! It's absolutely stunning! 😍

Now, I really enjoyed this book. So pretty and my thoughts really flew between scenes and my imagination was on edge every single time! I thought the writing was brilliant, super easy for a portuguese person to read. 

However, I didn't give this book a much more higher rating because the action only starts to get really intense by the second half of the book. I always enjoy slow-pacing but, in a fantasy, I do love a fast-paced book.

This is really good still and I would highly recommend everyone reading it! 👏
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book

The premise of this book sounded captivating however the execution wasn’t that good and the writing felt quite juvenile. I wasn’t very invested in any of the characters. They felt like they were just there to serve the purpose of the plot with no actual depth and in my opinion lacked emotions.
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It was really hard to get past the first few pages, I honestly feel off reccomneding this because it was just so slow and not my style that I ended up being unable to finish it
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thanks netgalley for a free review copy in exchange for an honest review.

i wanted to love this but it really fell short at everything but especially the writing, which felt juvenile and jarring at times. i was not invested in the story or the main character and did not care about what was happening. unfortunately barely enjoyed any of it.
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Thank you Netgalley, Yali Books, and Leila Siddiqui for sending me an e-ARC of House of Glass Hearts in exchange for an honest review.

3 stars

House of Glass Hearts by Leila Siddiqui was enjoyable. Obviously, the cover and synopsis drew me in when I was on Netgalley so I felt the need to request it. The book is really unique. The plot is original and not like other books I've read, and it's the first book I've read which alternates between two different points in time, the present and 1940s.

When Maera was 6, her older brother Asad disappeared at night when he tried entering the mysterious greenhouse in their backyard in Pakistan, which all the children were forbidden from entering. Now, 10 years later, Maera and her mother are living in Virginia. Her mother is still trying to cope and refuses to ever bring up the past. When Maera's Naana (grandfather) Haroon passes away, the green house that was in his backyard in Pakistan appears in Maera's backyard, along with a diary, belonging to Haroon during the 1940s, but her mom doesn't seem the least bit phased by it. When Maera sees a figure in the greenhouse, she teams up with her cousin, best friend, and Asad's old best friend to find Asad and discover the mysteries of the greenhouse and her Naana's past.

Honestly, for the first 3/4 of the book, I wasn't interested in Maera's chapters at all. They just didn't interest me and Maera herself annoyed me a lot. She's supposed to be 16 or 17 but talks and acts like a kid. I felt all the characters were flat and one-dimensional and I couldn't connect to anyone. I also think Maera's crush on Rob was totally unnecessary and really random. She saw him after 10 years of not seeing him and was like "Maera’s breath caught in her chest; she was shocked at how much she enjoyed feasting her eyes on this upgrade of young Bobby" and kept making a point about how much she enjoyed staring at him. It was sort of love at first sight but it didn't have anything to do with the plot and wasn't that important.

What I did enjoy was Haroon's chapters in the past. They were really interesting and intense and spread awareness of what happened to Indians during World War II and what happened to Muslims there after. I also enjoyed learning about Indian and Pakistani myths and legends. Originally, I was planning on labeling the book a 2.7 but I settled on 3 because I enjoyed the ending more than I thought I would. 

Overall, House of Glass Hearts was an intriguing and original story but not something I think I would re-read unless my taste in books changes in the future.
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2.5 stars
Spoiler Warning
This book was very different to other books I've read and unfortunately it didn't work for me at all.
I found a lot of the writing to be a bot jarring at times and to contradict itself at points. For example, There was a it at the end where Maera said that 'the only one who cares about my family is me' which I found kind of ironic as she just sacrificed her cousin to the Churail only a couple chapters before.
Also I was confused about who this was written for as the writing felt very young but the main characters were 18-19. 
I did however like the flashback to back when her Naana was a child during and just after the war. The writing during them scenes I found was quite beautiful at times.
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I want to thank netgalley for my E-ARC of “House of Glass Hearts”. This type of book is not something I would normally read but I thoroughly enjoyed it. “House of Glass Hearts” is about loss, coming to terms with grief, and some twists that you won’t see coming. The book was kind of a slow start for me, it took a lot longer to read than usual but it was definitely worth it to plow through.
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3.5 stars.

House of Glass Hearts is an interesting historical fiction with a touch of magical realism. It's a story of love, loss and healing. 

The story begins with Asad, a nine year boy walking into a forbidden greenhouse in his grandfather's backyard and then disappearing with no explanation. Ten years laters, with the grandfather's death, the same greenhouse suddenly appears in the backyard where Asad's sister and mother lives. The story is shown in the past and present. Present, as Asad's sister Maera embarks on solving the mystery of her brothers disappearance & the mysterious greenhouse. And past, the grandfathers childhood, where WWII is taking place, and Hindustan being divided into India & Pakistan with the British leaving & the chaos that comes with it. 

While I found it difficult to connect with the present part of the book which follows Maera, I enjoyed the 'past' portion of the book. It was insightful and showed the effects of the partition. 

I feel you would like this book if you enjoy magical realism, mythical creatures. If you are looking for a fast paced book this isn't for you.
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Thank you to netgalley for the chance to read this title early!

Can I just say that as a debut novel wow. 

The complex plot line kept me hooked and the in depth look at the Pakistan culture really adds to the story throughout. I would urge anyone to give this a read as it is not a book I would normally pick up but I am so glad I did! Watch out for the plot twist too! I almost lost my kindle through a window!
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House of Glass Hearts, it is Leila Siddiqui's debut novel and I can say that it was a story that I really liked 🤍. In this book they tell us the story of Maera, a Pakistani-American teenager whose life is turned upside down by the mysterious disappearance of her brother when they visited their grandfather in Pakistan. This event shapes her life forever and reduces it to two words: «The Past ”, which is where Maera's family has decided to keep everything bad and never talk about it, as if it never happened, or that is, until the death of her grandfather brings the memories and loss to the surface again, next to a mysterious greenhouse that seems to have a life of its own.

In general, the story and the way it is told I liked it a lot, it has a mixture of the two places where Maera belongs, Pakistan and the United States, and how they are interwoven in the way she presents herself, I was also delighted that the rest of the characters preserve their essence and the roots of the place where they come from and that the story had an important load of Pakistani culture and how it is reflected in the mystery that Maera decided to discover.

The House of Glass hearts is a story that unfolds around two concepts, "loss" and "past" and how these affect the characters' lives, especially when there are no answers to events that have happened. I would venture to say that it has several characteristics of magical realism.

A point that stood out in the novel are these visits to the past of Maera's grandfather, this adds depth to a character that is not physically present in the main plot but that in any case its absence continues to mark the lives of the rest of the characters.
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