Cover Image: House of Glass Hearts

House of Glass Hearts

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book wax heartbreaking, but in a good way. Could you confront the monster of your grandfathers past?

This book was gripping and keep you turning the pages
Was this review helpful?
✰ TITLE- House of Glass Hearts

✰ AUTHOR- Leila Siddiqui

✰ GENRE- historical fantasy

✰ OVERALL RATING- 3.5/5 stars


Switching between 2 POVs- the first in colonial India and the second in present-day America- this story follows Maera as she tries to unravel the mystery behind a brother's disappearance 10 years ago and realises that her family's past, the one they refuse to acknowledge. is closely tied to it. When her grandfather passes away and his greenhouse appears in her backyard, Maera is determined to confront the monsters living in it because they are the keepers of her family's secrets.

This book made my head spin. Literally. I loved the jumping back and forth between timelines and how the author had somehow entwined these stories until they formed sort of parallels between colonial India and present-day America. The inclusion of folk tales was incredible and I adored it.

My only critique is that the MC, Maera, acted like a child even though she was a senior in high school. She whined all the time and let me tell you, I was pissed off when it came back to her POV.
Was this review helpful?
Woah, this book was so mesmerizing, I think I read it all in like a half day... 

House of Glass Hearts is this amazing, intricate genre blending book, all with a cast a brown characters and brown history. There's two timelines to it:
1. Maera's older brother, Asad, disappeared one day during a family visit to Pakistan. He's never been found since, and the event has affected her mother deeply. But she wants to talk about The Past, to get rid of what plagues her: what really happened to her brother? And when a mysterious greenhouse and her grandfather's diary appear after his death one day, Maera realizes that maybe she'll finally get to know. 
2. Haroon is only 12, but he's living through India's biggest events: World War II and the Partition afterwards. When his father leaves for the war, he's afraid that he'll never see him again and goes on a relentless quest to find him. Along the way, he meets Shah Jahan Begum, a girl who may have a boy's name but has a spirit just as strong. When they sneak out one day, they find that the stories of churails are true after all, and Haroon's life has never been the same since, leaving him to realize that the world is crueler and darker than he thought. 

Using jnterweaving tales, magical realism, mystery, and history, House of Glass establishes the long-forgotten story of India on the global page.
Was this review helpful?
Maera, a teenage girl who is coming to terms with her missing brother, has spent her entire life haunted by the past and her Ammi's refusal to speak of it. When her Naani passes away, his diary appears in Maera’s bed and his greenhouse in the backyard, a fact which Ammi is keen to ignore. Maera must discover the secrets of her late grandfather's life in colonial India if she is to unlock the greenhouse, face the creatures lurking inside, and find out what happened to her brother. 

This was such a weird and wonderful read. It was well written with magic/ fantasy elements mixed in with historical events. I loved the switch between past and present, it was so seamless. This book caused intense emotions, on all sides of the spectrum. The trauma experienced and the generational healing required was extensive. The characters were so neatly blended into the story, they really belonged there, which isn’t always the case in YA. I will say that it felt a bit on the younger side of YA, despite Maera being a highschool senior. But it is a solid debut #OwnVoices YA novel that I would recommend and would certainly read again. 

Big thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. it was a decent book and i really enjoyed it. i am gicing the book 4/5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publication house for my copy. What a delightful read it was! I enjoyed the fantastic blend of magic and historical events. Maera represents the modern generation quite well and I imagined the fantasy elements to represent the suppressed events that have taken place before we were even born. If this is Siddiqui's debut then, I can't wait to read more of her books. It was well written, researched and clearly written with care. Will def recommend!
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely adored this book!

What I loved:
- The mystical plot. I found the idea so refreshing and different compared to a lot of fantasy YA novels. It made me really happy to also read a fantasy novel told with a South Asian background and getting to know more about how World War II affected the relations between India and Pakistan. 
- The lesson the reader learns. This is a book that shows what dwelling on the past can do to a family, how your bond with your family is meant to be cherished, especially through tough times. It also showed that loss, although painful, is sometimes for the best.
- The character development. Maera's journey from being highly naive and oblivious to the consequences of her actions - to being more understanding and willing to consider other's decisions was just beautiful. I especially loved how the bond between her and her mom grew to repair itself. The ending was satisfactory and much needed.

What I did not like:
- The only thing that stands out to me as something I did not like was Maera's behaviour at times. She had to have things her way and would ignore the warnings and advice of her friends. She even took it a bit too far sometimes and I get that she was desperate but sometimes, the MC needs to be rational, especially considering that she was a senior in high school, I'd expect her to be more logical.
Was this review helpful?
This was a well written book that i actually quite liked reading. It was YA but it seemed to be for young readers. However despite this, this is a book that was worth reading. I felt the range of intense emotions. I also loved the characters, they were very loveable - apart from a certain few - characters. 

This book is a blend of fantasy and historical fiction which i never thought I would enjoy reading but I did. Well enjoyed reading isn't really accurate, i did like reading it but it certainly dealt with trauma from historical struggles. 

Overall though 4/ 5 i would read again.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book. I thought that it was amazing how it explored the history of Pakistan and India and the terrible things that happened there. The characters were also well developed, even the mothers, who had backstories of their own. My favourite character was Shah Jehan because I thought that she was a really strong female character. She had her flaws and imperfections, but she never let the men in her life take over her or decide what she should do in life. I really liked the addition of their Naana's diary and how that was woven into the story. The story wouldn't have been the same without it. While I did predict the ending, it didn't make it any less emotional when I read it. Overall, this book was amazing and I would absolutely recommend it for some diverse OwnVoices reading.
Was this review helpful?
This book was so good. The imagery was beautiful. The fantastical, magical elements were stunning. I especially loved the shifts in perspectives from the past to the present. This was amazing.
Was this review helpful?
This is a book unlike any other book I've read before.

Maera has spent her entire life haunted by The Past and her Ammi's refusal to speak of it. Maera's thoughts are mainly plagued of her missing brother, who went missing at her naani's years ago. However, when her naani passes away, his diary shows up in her bed, and his greenhouse pops up in their garden overnight. Ammi acts as though the greenhouse has always been there but Maera knows the truth, and believes that the key to finding out what happened to her brother Asad all those years ago lies in the ominous greenhouse, that seems to want to invite her inside...

This book is a blend of fantasy and historical fiction, stirred with mystery, and peppered with romance. House of Glass Hearts is possibly my strangest read of the year, the magical realism of the monsters lurking between the pages had me questioning reality, and the thrill of unlocking the closed doors of Maera and her family had me turning the pages as fast as my eyes would allow the words to be absorbed. It's suffice to say I read this in around 4 hours. 

I think I will find it difficult to write about the plot, and the characters, as they do not seem like sole aspects of the book to be judged. Instead, they are harmoniously wrapped up in each other. The writing swaps from Maera's point of view, to the point of view of her naani, the fluidity of the switching POVs is a seamless transition, with each POV being equally exciting - a rarity in itself.

This is the kind of book that sticks in your mind long after it's been read. The horror and trauma of cultural/religious struggles in U.P. juxtaposed with the gnarly fantastical churlains are two particular features that I feel will stick with me for a long time.

To say I enjoyed this book would not be strictly true, when reading I did not feel enjoyment, I felt part of the frustrations, the mysteries, the potential love interests, and the horror. When reading House of Glass Hearts, I suggest to be prepared for a range of intense emotions - none of them enjoyment. However, this book is definitely worth picking up and reading.
Was this review helpful?
DNF - I really wish NetGalley would allow previews of books, or for there to be a specified target age range for YA books (there's a big difference between YA for 12 year olds and YA for 17 year olds). It only took a few pages to realise this is a book for very young YA readers.

5/5 for the stunning cover! Unfortunately, I am not the desired audience for this book.
Was this review helpful?