Cover Image: House of Glass Hearts

House of Glass Hearts

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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
Was this review helpful?
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
Was this review helpful?
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.”
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
This was an incredibly intriguing read with the most amazing magical realism arc!! I would tell everyone to read it!!
Was this review helpful?
Maera and her ammi 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.
Was this review helpful?
2.5 stars.

I wanted to like this book so much more. A beautiful cover, an intriguing premise, and a diverse cast of characters...I was very much looking forward to it. Unfortunately, I didn't get what I had expected. Instead, this felt like two very different pieces of literature wedged together.

There are two POVs and a dual timeline that weave together to create the full narrative. The first POV is in the present with a folklore background, a fantasy feel, and a writing style that I would place in the middle grade range. The second POV is in the past, is heavily historical fiction with a touch of fantasy, and is written in a way that borders between YA and adult. This odd dichotomy made for a book that felt awkward.

The first POV was the one that caused me the most issues. I love middle grade reads, so the age level feel wasn't a problem for me. Instead, the writing here didn't feel as carefully crafted and often felt like it jumped around without giving transitions or anchoring the story. The characters were a bit gauzy and didn't really get enough development. They were also stated to be teenaged characters, but acted more like the middle grade set. The fantasy element was interesting and I loved the folklore inclusion, but these pieces lost a bit of their logic and just didn't work for me.

The second POV I loved. Seriously. If this book had been written as a historical fiction with some fantasy elements and followed the second POV storyline for a longer period of time with the same writing style throughout it would have been at least a 4-star read for me. These sections felt much more genuine. There was a solid atmosphere, better characters, and a great emotional component. There still were gaps in the logic and a lack of full explanation when it came to the fantastical elements, but I definitely felt more interested in these pieces and had much more of a connection with the characters. A full fleshing out of this plot line would have been magical.

There is definitely a good sense of imagination to the narrative. There is some great storytelling talent there and I think with some work on the writing and consistency to the feel of the narrative, there could be some great works from this author in the future. Unfortunately, this debut piece just didn't shine as much as I had hoped.

* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *
Was this review helpful?
While this wasn't as issue either the story per se, the formatting for this arc was near impossible to read. It would load and unload repeatedly, switch between pages wthout prompting, and if closed temporarily, wouldn't hold the spot that you left off and would instead struggle to load from ththe beginning again.
The story I found kind of boring, I didn't connect with any of the characters.
Was this review helpful?
I really do not have enough or the right words to explain how this book makes me feel. It was interesting for me to read a book set in my homeland and for it to be written by a Pakistani author as well. That’s already bonus points from me. It’s a thriller and those are weakness! The book is a little difficult to get into because of the writing style but the plot is very well developed and intriguing and has to hope that you just need to find out more. It’s fantastic and honestly you don’t see things coming!
Was this review helpful?
House of Glass Hearts by Leila Siddiqui was a good book, but it did not meet my expectations. Adore the South Asian representation.
Was this review helpful?
I am not sure how I felt about this story. I requested for this based off the blurb and setting but it fell short for me. I loved the creativity and plot of the story but I felt that the writing didn’t flow very well.

This story starts off with Maera and her family staying at their grandfather’s house in Karachi while visiting, but Asad, her older brother suddenly vanished one night with no clues on his disappearance. This left Maera and her mother very heartbroken as they returned back to the US. When Maera’s grandfather passed away ten years later, his greenhouse mysteriously appeared in her backyard which brings up painful memories for Maera. Together with her cousin Jimmy, her best friend Sara and her neighbour Rob, they decide to solve Asad’s mystery once and for all using a diary left behind by her grandfather. What awaits them in the greenhouse?

This was told in alternate timelines between Maera’s present and her grandfather’s past, switching between colonial India and the historical horrors during the Indian partition in 1947. The story is mixed with history and magical realism packed in a young adult fiction. I definitely loved the history part of the story which was pretty eye opening for me and I also love the magical entity in this! Ever heard of a churail? It is very similar to a Pontianak in the Malay folklore!

I preferred the historical narrative much more! it was well written and it really sucked me into the setting. The present timeline pales in comparison unfortunately. There wasn’t much character development and it seems that Maera’s trauma is downplayed. Even though the plot was good, there are also many loopholes which left me confused.

The plot is there but the writing can be improved. Thank you Netgalley and Yali Books for the arc.
Was this review helpful?
so i read this a while ago
but completely forgot about netgalley
BUT IT WAS JUST SO COOL and creative
and also the cover is just stunning
Was this review helpful?