Several miles south of Devil’s Lake, Michigan, lies a town whose charm is trumped by its name. Devil Town may be beautiful and unique, but it offers no remorse for locals who have left the city limits. Val Stevens is a local born and raised, and after an eight year hiatus, she’s come back to town to stir up some old flames. Cracked like glass from life’s quirky twists of fate, Val keeps to herself and wards off the local “Devilers”, like a bad disease. But even someone as fiery as Val, can’t deny the appeal of a friendship with an intriguing stranger, or the ghosts of her past.
With the help of Anderson Pane, Devil Town’s newest resident, Val unearths pieces of herself she has lost along the way, while chipping away at the edges of those who caused her to shatter. She quickly learns that in order to face her future, she needs to forget everything she thought she knew about her past. A task which proves to be equal parts shocking and healing.
Can Val walk among the shards of who she was in order to find out she is? In a place where secrets run deeper than the depth of Devil’s Lake itself, the answer bubbles to the surface, in a twisted turn of events, history, love, and even death.
“Sometimes the choices we make are a direct results of something bigger than us.”
Every Pane of Glass follows Val as she returns to her hometown, Devil Town, to auction off her childhood home. Devil Town carries a lot of good and bad memories for Val and they all come flooding back as soon as she returns. Val meets a newcomer to Devil Town, Anderson, and is swept up in an all-consuming romance, but when her past threatens to ruin her present she decides to put it down for good. Every Pane of Glass is told from Val’s perspective and alternates between the past and present.
What I liked most about this book was the writing. Strumbo took her time painting the picture that is Devil Town. I could immediately picture it without struggle. It’s a fascinating town with secrets, rumours, and charm. However, the way it was described told the reader about the town rather than showed it, which would have made the town itself a character.
Val is a troubled and flawed character. She has let her past affect her to the point where it has an effect on present life. From the beginning to the end, Val is constantly forced to deal with her past and she doesn’t always handle it the best way. But that’s what makes her feel genuine and real. I could relate to her and understand her thought process and decision-making, even when it wasn’t ideal.
Anderson is an interesting, yet dull character. When he was first introduced he intrigued me, but as the story progressed I found that I didn’t like him. He felt sketchy and impatient. But his flaws are what make him genuine, like Val. He feels like a real male who would respond with frustration and impatience. He’s not your typical swoon worthy book boyfriend, but that’s not what the story calls for. This story is very much Val’s story, so if Strumbo would have included a swoon worthy male the focus would have been taken off Val’s character arc and turn the book into a typical romance. I applaud and respect this decision.
What I disliked most about the book was the pace about halfway through. It felt slow and seemed as if there was nowhere for the plot to go. But once the plot picked back up, I was sucked into the story and didn’t put the book down until I finished it.
All I’ll say about the ending is that it’s what makes this book worth the read. I didn’t see it coming and I was absolutely thrilled about it. It explains everything in the story that is left open ended. I cannot get over how awesome the ending is.
Overall, Every Pane of Glass is a slow burn that explodes at the end. Step into Devil Town where secrets are buried deep, but surface when you least expect and follow along as Val tries to put to rest her past while trying to create a future.
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Holy guacamole! Hayley has done it again! Completely blown away and astounded at the storyline, characters and mysteries within!
Val is such a deeply beautiful yet wounded young woman with a bold attitude. Her past with Tyler passing, her dad abandoning and Jordan ruining was truly heartbreaking but I couldn't put this book down.
Anderson is a charming, engaging young man with a true sense of how to see the world's beauty. Whether the world has scars, lumps or bruises, Anderson finds a way to see the beauty within. A stunning and captivating character with excellent morals, I have such high admiration for him.
Jordan Brooks. Now that's a WHOLE other story. Like I did not see that ending at all! My emotional journey with Jordan was insane, completely on a roller coaster. First I hated him, thought he was a jerk then all of a sudden BOOM! I sympathized him and actually teared up a bit at the discovery of his body.
All in all, a fantastic book written by the ever talented Hayley Stumbo! So happy to have received an arc and completed it in time. Thank you Hayley, for taking me on yet another wonderful journey.
Forever supporting your work xx Jem
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
H.B. is a new to me author and to say I'm impressed would not be sufficient enough. Her writing style is seamless. Her editing almost flawless (hey, we're all human). The flow of the story sucks you in and doesn't want to let you go. Kind of like the setting of this book, Devil's Town. Like the pull Val feels from the town, I felt it toward the book every time I had to put it down. I wanted nothing more than to get sucked back in.
Val's story is told in the present tense, but the past is weaved in so eloquently the story never ceases to give you just the right amount of pieces at just the perfect time to fill in her life story. The book was full of surprises and to be honest for the majority of them I never saw them coming like I do most books. I may have said a few choice words a few times when certain parts of the story became clear. I don't want to give too much away because I think everyone should go into books blind, especially ones like this.
H.B. has quickly became an author I will look forward to reading more of. Give this one a chance if you are looking for something a bit different. It's worth it.
This was my first HB Stumbo read (I apologize for being a terrible friend) and I was pleasantly surprised by this story! I didn't know too much about it going in but I was grateful to receive and review an ARC!
The story is focused on a young woman returning to her small home town to tie up some loose ends from her past. Val Stevens left years ago and we all know that something somewhere down the line, brings us back to our past. The town sucks people in, as Stumbo writes, and Val is too familiar with the phrase, "Once a Deviler, always a Deviler."
Hoping her trip will be quick, but not having too many expectations, she meets Anderson Pane shortly after returning. While they may not have grown up together, Anderson has made this small town home in Val's absence and is happy to prove his livelihood as a Deviler to her.
As Anderson and Val grow closer, Val's past begins to creep up on her and causes some tension. A past tragedy, with some additional story lines, is revealed bringing the book to a new level of mystery and curiosity. Through thick and thin, Val and Anderson long to be together but they both need to prove to each other that their pasts aren't affecting their current state of mind- or are they?
The last 10/15% of this story was amazing!! I could not read through it fast enough... Bravo Hayley on a mysterious romantic read!
I did not see that ending! It took me a while to get into the book, it held my interest enough for me to continue reading. About halfway through I felt invested in the characters and started to connect with Val. The last 20% completely blew me away and the ending was a HUGE twist! The storyline was unique and the world that is built within is amazing. This is my first H.B. Stumbled read but will not be my last.
I thought I knew where this book was going… I was completely wrong.
I’m not even really sure where to start with this review, so let’s start with the players and see where it leads us, shall we?
Val… is someone who I found hard to warm up to. She’s hard to connect with. She’s made it her life goal to make others fear her so that they will just leave her the fuck alone. If they leave her alone, she doesn’t have to get close and she doesn’t have to worry about being hurt by other’s selfish actions. Her father is an ass. Granted he’s got his own grief over his wife’s death to deal with, but abandoning his two children for months at a time, is a dick move and it sets the standard by which she judges everyone else. Everyone leaves Val… her mother, her father, her brother, her boyfriend… I can’t blame her for starting to look out for herself and fuck the rest. About the only person who’s ever stuck by her is her uncle Jay, and he’s a bachelor who knows nothing about raising kids. I actually really liked Jay.
The only person that Val actually kind of connects with in Devil Town is Anderson Pane. He’s new to the area and is the town photographer. He meets Val when he’s hired to photograph her family home, which is up for auction. Anderson came across as very cold to me initially. Not really angry or mean, just aloof, kind of distant. It definitely wasn’t love at first sight or sparks flying everywhere, but their relationship builds gradually. But Anderson soon realizes that he’s competing for Val’s attention with her ex-boyfriend Jordan, and again, I can’t blame him for not wanting to play that game.
Then there’s Jordan… I’m really conflicted about Jordan. He’s not a good guy… he’s got a shady past with Val and he’s definitely a user and a manipulator. But…there is something that is just so sad about Jordan. I do think that he regrets how he behaved when he and Val dated. And, I truly believe that he is sorry for his actions that had such a huge impact on Val’s life. Still, he pulls more shady shit once he sees that Val is back in town and I struggled with whether I liked him or not. He’s definitely a sore spot between Val and Anderson.
You can’t even accurately call what these three fall into a love triangle. Jordan wants Val to listen to him, and he makes it clear that he’s not going away until she does. Anderson has already done the whole loving someone in love with someone else thing and he’s not dealing with that again, so he wants Val to cut ties with Jordan. And Val, she wants Anderson but can’t seem to shake Jordan and longs for the days when she was detached but isn’t quite sure she still wants to be feared. How this all culminates caught me by surprise. I didn’t see the story taking the path it did and the twists thrown in at the end worked amazingly well.
Every Pane of Glass has something for everyone.
Romance, mystery, conflict, guilt….it’s all there.
If you’re looking for something a little different, give this one a try.
Come on now……what the heck!!! This was a hard book to start. I tried several time to start it and finally I just told my self just push through. It was worth the push. It got so good and i did go to bed until 3 am cause I couldn’t not stop reading. Finished the book trying not yell at my kindle. lol I think my husband would look at me weird.
Val is struggling with her past and has come back to town that is the source of this struggle. She is ready to get rid of the house her father gave her and start to move on. That is until the one person that was in her past that broke her to pieces shows up. Anderson Pane is the local photographer and is hired to take pictures of Vals house for the auction. When they meet I was rooting for Anderson from the beginning. The reason it was hard for me to get into is that Val is really a depressed girl and really makes her just a hard character to connect to. Anderson is a great charater to connect with her and really pull her out of the funk she is in. Once you get past the first few chapters the twists start. From her heart breaking past and a father that you want to just hurt, to ex boyfriend troubles. While reading this book I really thought that it would make for a good movie. The end of the book I did not see it coming. I kinda had a few guesses but i was not prepared for the very last few pages. MIND BLOWN!!! First time reading anyting from this author and I like the style of writing. If was different from the last suspence book I have read. I am in a book hangover for sure.
This book... Oh man! The story is told with a present tense and every other chapter or so a snip-it about our main gal pal, Val's past is thrown in to give you just a tiny bit of the puzzle. I love when this is done well because it really helps draw a reader in and fill out the character. You will want to know what is going on and why Jordan (ugh!) won't just stay gone. It's definitely the type of book you will find yourself saying "just one more chapter" until 1AM when you have to get up at 5:30AM. Even the forward is beautiful in this dang book!
I always try to be honest in my reviews because nobody wants to have smoke blown at them with fancy words and praises that are empty but really... THIS BOOK! I am experiencing the worst case of book hangover known to man. I have a #TBR pile the size of a mountain and I want none of it. Every Pane of Glass is a beautifully haunting story that isn't just about getting a happy ending. Love is messy and this story really brings it out. Did I yell at the characters Val and Anderson? Almost every single stinking chapter. There were moments when I wanted to smack them upside the head and tell them to get it together and stop acting like children but that was part of the greatness of this book. They were flawed humans trying to learn to love again after two different pasts made trusting and loving others difficult.
I absolutely loved the style of writing. It had a very poetic feel to it. It read like a contemporary with a dark twist at the end. "Twisted turn of events" may be a bit of and understatement and the twist doesn't really show up until you're near the end as in 80% done! I really related to the main character Val because of some of her issues and I think the shock was just as much a shock to her as it is for the reader. If I could change anything about the book I would either put the twist near the middle of the book and give more info about it, or since it's already written and I loved the writing so much, WRITE A SEQUEL! Pretty, pretty please!!!
(I received a digital ARC free in exchange for an honest review and participation in the book tour hosted by Southern Belle Promotions.)