3.5 stars I love the way Amy Garvey writes. In the middle of a book about girl who brings back her boyfriend from the dead and here in its sequel, the...more3.5 stars I love the way Amy Garvey writes. In the middle of a book about girl who brings back her boyfriend from the dead and here in its sequel, there is a keen sweetness of emotion that swirls through the pages in a way that thoroughly pleases my sensibilities. Those who appreciated the surprisingly thoughtful, sad rumination on first love and sudden death in Cold Kiss will likely find this sequel to be just as appealing. While it offers a more straightforward paranormal story, its sincerity and prose still elevate it well above the typical YA fare.
She sees me, and even from all the way across the room, the weight of her gaze is a tangible thing. A touch, but not a heavy one--instead, it's sort of fond, fingers against the cheek of someone you love.
After the slow, somber mood of the last book, Wren is finally beginning to find some joy in her growing supernatural abilities. From the dizzying thrill of flying to the wonder of creating a lovely snowfall, she's testing both her abilities and her own courage. The problem is, her boyfriend Gabriel is uncomfortable with her powerful gift, and his seeming rejection of who Wren is sends her running to explore the more dangerous, untested side of her abilities with Bay and Fiona (who has a cotton candy cloud of hair), an alluring, mocking pair with secrets of their own.
Here are a few descriptions and passages that I really liked:
Being with Gabriel isn't like that at all. It's a taste of the cleanest, sweetest water you can imagine, cool and pure and addictive, rushing in to fill every crack, soothe every smarting, rough place inside.
Then he looks up and sees me, and his smile stretches out, warm and slow, the truth of it right there in his strange gray eyes. Happiness is a sudden star flare, so perfect it takes my breath away...I push my hair out of my eyes and let it come. It's nearly transparent, hovering in midair--a photograph, square and old-fashioned. The rippled edges make it look as if it's been torn from a sheet of paper. It flutters to the floor, and Gabriel, Jess, and Dar smile out at me from its face, soft and blurred like a wet watercolor. It's a picture torn right out of my head.
If you don't get the picture by now, this is a very romantic book and a very romantic author. I love the way Wren appreciates the many small details that make her boyfriend precious to her, the way Gabriel knows how to pick just the perfect gift for Wren, and how absolutely appealing their relationship is. (It's not all saccharine sweetness, though, there's definite humor and a bit of bite to the dialogue, too.) I also like the secondary relationships with Wren and her parents, though Robin got on my nerves a bit with her incessant complaints.
Like its predecessor, Glass Heart is fairly light on the paranormal aspects, however, and so it doesn't feel as well-rounded as I would have hoped. Just a little more time spent on the actual supernatural events and their aftermath would have been great, as many times we're brought to the brink of what promises to be an exciting moment, only to have the too-short chapter end and then we hear the event briefly recounted at a later date. Perhaps a stronger outlining phase and adding more detailed physicality would have helped with carrying the momentum and sustaining the reader's excitement.
I also think that in trying to expand the focus of the first story, this book takes on more relationships and issues without exploring most of them with enough depth, with the exception of Wren's relationships with Gabriel and with her parents. Those are, however, done very well, and I'm still love to see what the author does next.
There's a beautiful, sensitive heart in both of Amy Garvey's young adult books thus far, and that's the most elusive quality of all to capture in a novel. Finding a clearly defined, strong structure to carry that heart to us should be a fairly easy feat to accomplish.
Recommended for fans of Cold Kiss. An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
P.S. Isn't the cover gorgeous? So icy and pretty! It's one of my favorites of this year.(less)