The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

The Girl with Glass Feet
Standalone Novel
Written by Ali Shaw
Romance, Magical Realism, Adult
Published January 4th 2012 (org. 2009) by Picador
Add to Goodreads
★★½
Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St. Hauda’s Land. Unusual winged creatures flit around the icy bog land, albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods, and Ida Maclaird is slowly turning into glass. Ida is an outsider in these parts, a main lander who has visited the islands only once before. Yet during that one fateful visit the glass transformation began to take hold, and now she has returned in search of a cure.

Midas Crook is a young loner who has lived on the islands his entire life. When he meets Ida, something about her sad, defiant spirit pierces his emotional defenses. As Midas helps Ida come to terms with her affliction, she gradually unpicks the knots of his heart. Love must be paid in precious hours and, as the glass encroaches, time is slipping away fast. Will they find a way to stave off the spread of the glass?

On a wintery island far from the real world is a young girl. Her name is Ida, and she is running out of time. Every day that passes, glass slowly inches up her body. She only has so long to find a cure for the mystical disease she has contracted. However, her glass feet make getting around difficult which slows her search. Ida's story is wreathed in mystery and wonder. The search for a cure takes her back to St. Hauda's Land. When she meets a lone stranger in the woods, she is captivated.

This lone man is none other than Midas Crook. Midas has been shrouded in misery and bad luck ever since he was a child. Now in his twenties, he leads a solitary life, avoiding most contact with other people. He eats and breathes photography, it is his passion. So when he stumbles on an odd, shadowy girl with peculiarly large boots he is drawn to her like a moth to a flame. At first he only wishes to capture her unique image, until he learns about her glass feet. Midas is her only hope in finding the cure, and in a way, Ida is the only cure for Midas.

Kynndra's Thoughts

This book is weird. One of the weirdest that I have read. But I like weird. I search for weird. I found weird. I'll be honest, I chose to read this book because I wanted a standalone, and because I fell in love with the cover. It's probably one of my favorite covers, I love the beauty of it. I have issues processing how I really feel about this book because it's one that just kind of leaves you utterly bewildered. The magical realism was done is such a way that had me believing that the creatures and the glass feet could be real. That on some far and distant island there could very well be a herd of miniscule cattle with moth wings, or a rare and wondrous creature that could turn whatever she looked at white. It was spectacular to be able to feel that.

I'm used to reading YA fiction, so when I took a chance with Adult fiction I knew it would be a bit more stuffy than what I'm used to. And it was a bit stuffy. The topics the book dealt with included suicide, broken hearts, love and being lost. I could appreciate the story because I knew it wasn't some fluffy fantasy. It had fantasy/magical aspects to it, sure but it wasn't coated in sugar. I think the best way I can describe this book is that it was raw. It delves into the crooks and crannies of human nature without shame.

"It was just her and Midas in here, tucked away from the world. Here she could turn quietly into glass, with only love to distract her."

Ali Shaw writes incredibly well. His words are wondrous and awful where they need to be. I did find that some of the cussing used jarred the beauty of some scenes; however, it was easily forgiven. Sometimes the writing was very complex, and it took a lot of brain power to translate some bits (mostly because I read at night and slosh through tiredly, oops) but overall I adored every second of his writing. Especially when he would describe the winged cattle, I like those little guys.

What really bothered me about this book was the way the POV's lined up. One minute it would be the present in Midas POV, the next it would be Ida's past, then her in the present, then Midas in the present. Then it went on to a character I don't think was very relevant to the story (some odd man who was lowkey obsessed with Ida's mom). It took my out of the moment and I found myself slowly enjoying the book less and less. If the POV's would have been constructed in a better manner, I may have enjoyed it more. Plus, I didn't really fancy the characters - they were bland and unlikeable, maybe that was the point. I just didn't like them which makes any story hard for me to like at that point.

At the end of the day it felt like plot vomit, and as if I were reading the seizuring memories of multiple people. Also, the ending was extremely abrupt - there was no coaxing or coddling. Just wing, wham and bam. Some may think differently, I may just be used to my YA ways, but I was left feeling hollow and unsatisfied. That's not to say I wont read another work from this author, but The Girl with Glass Feet just wasn't a book for me and that's okay.

In Conclusion

The fairytale feel to it was super enjoyable, and the budding romance between Midas and Ida was nice too. But in all honestly, I expected a lot more from this book when I read the synopsis. Maybe I'm just not used to adult fiction, but I found myself almost lulled to sleep while reading. I adored the creatures - that bit was delightfully weird and imaginative. The plot was intriguing and the writing was filled with purple prose. But if you're like me and are more drawn to fast paced and lively plots then this one surely wouldn't be for you. Overall I enjoyed the world of St. Hauda's Land, but not the characters who lived on land or what happened to them which didn't make for an entirely great read.

Kynndra is currently reading Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout and wadding through life like a good Canadian turtle.


follow kynndra via  TWITTER   INSTAGRAM   TUMBLR   GOODREADS

29 comments

  1. I am fond of weird as well, but some books just make me uncomfortably weird. So much so that the story is lost to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't say this book is uncomfortably weird, but I found it to be a drag? I enjoyed the idea of it, Joy. The concept had me at the get go, but the way the story was constructed really made it unenjoyable (for me, anyway). I know a few have really enjoyed it, but it didn't sit all that well with me!

      Delete
  2. I really enjoyed this one. I read it a couple of years ago now, but I remember it being sad and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Nicole. I wish I could have but it was really brittle to me. I have to agree though, that it was quite sad and beautiful. I appreciated the writing for sure. I just didn't enjoy the manner in which it was told.

      Delete
  3. OMG I'm adding this to my TBR right now. I love the synopsis of this and wow glass? It's so amazing really! The cover also strangely matches your blog design and header really nicely haha! Already adding this to my TBR like I'm def ordering it online and picking it up at the store tomorrow. Thanks so much Kynndra. You always recommend and review the best :D

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The synopsis really excited me too, Alex. Unfortunately (in my own opinion) it didn't live quite up to what I was expecting. I hope you enjoy it though! I THOUGHT THAT TOO WHEN I SAW THE COVER, IT WAS PERFECT. Thank you so much <3

      Delete
  4. Whoa, this DOES sound really, really weird, and wow, that cover looks really appealing. I literally have no idea whether I would like it or not, but I think maybe it's something I'd like to try one day. Shame you didn't like this one as much as you could have, though. Lovely review, Kynndra. (Also, your name is GORGEOUS.:)) Ooh, how are you finding OBLIVION?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was REALLY weird, but not the weirdest I've come across. The cover is gorgeous, I enjoy it very much. I really think this books can be a hit or miss. It really depends on the individual person. Thanks so much, hun. OMG BUT OBLIVION IS INCREDIBLE. I adore it so so much, I'm reading the version with all three books and the series just makes me so happy!

      Delete
  5. I read this book a few years ago, and I did love the whimsical and magical feelings of this book. But I felt disconnected from the characters, and the ending really confused me... So in the end I didn't really enjoyed it I guess.

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also loved the whimsical and magical feelings of the book. But you're exactly right about the disconnection from the characters. It just wasn't there. The ending was... meh, I didn't like it. It wasn't an awful read, just not one I enjoyed.

      Delete
  6. The description has a real fairytale-like feeling to me. It also reminds me of Once upon a time, where a certain character is slowly turning into wood. I'm not the biggest fan of POV switches though. Sometimes it works, but this seems like a book where it didn't.

    The cover is indeed very eye-catchy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really an adult fairytale. I have yet to watch Once Upon a Time, but that sounds intriguing. I hate most POV switches too, but sometimes I find a few that are done really good. This book, in my own experience just wasn't done well in that department.

      Delete
  7. TOTALLY ADDING THIS TO MY TBR LIST ...... This book sounds so weird and so intriguing.

    Great review :)
    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bah! I hope you like this one better than I did, Apa!

      Thank you c:

      Delete
  8. As a general rule I usually don't read books with multiple pov's. I find that I can't connect to the characters as well. Sure I've read books with with two people but that's as far as I will go unless the plot is so good and the characters are compelling. I find it distracting and I forget what the heck is going on with boring weird characters. I'm sorry it didn't live up to your expectation. Some adult fiction books are hit or miss. I'm really picky with adult fic. If you like weird/magical books and you want to read adult fic, you should read Menagerie by Rachel Vincent. I just finished and holy wow that book was great!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so picky with multiple POV's too, Taylor. Two or three is my limit. Anymore and it's so difficult to juggle or connect with either of the characters or I get sick of a few of them and end up only liking one or two. OOH I will check that one out, thanks Taylor! c:

      Delete
  9. I do like weird but sorry this one didn't work for you. You should definitely try more adult fiction. I love adult and YA books alike, so I think you just need to find something a lot less strange. haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely appreciate Adult Fiction! I adore quite a few adult books actually. This one just wasn't hitting any spots for me. Thanks, Mag c:

      Delete
  10. That's a real shame that the POVs took away from your enjoyment of the book, Kynndra. I definitely see how that can do that. The weirdness would appeal to me, but it doesn't look like it would be for me anyways.
    Sorry this was disappointing, but great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Nick! Yeah, the POV swaps really made a dent in my enjoyment. The weird was all good, I enjoyed the magical aspects the story had; however, it just wasn't my thing. But that's okay!

      Delete
  11. The premise of this book sounds so ethereal and magical, I am a little disappointed to hear that it did not deliver on all fronts. I think I will face the same issues with you in regards to this book. However, I MUST recommend you Catherynne Valente as an author - she is the QUEEN of weird and yet beautiful - and also my favourite author ever. Try Deathless first for a more traditional adult fairy tale, then experience the wonders of In The Night Gardens before delving into the rest of her bibliography!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been wanting to read Deathless for so long. Thanks for the recommendation, lovely Aentee c: I will definitely be reading it soon. She sounds remarkable and wonderful!

      Delete
  12. This sounds like a very interesting book. Love the cover

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm so curious about her condition, though! I would read this story if only to find out what happens to her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read it, Marianne! You may just like it :D

      Delete
  14. This sounds kind of disappointing. Shame, the title/cover draw me in!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I do really love magical realism and as such this book is very intriguing! It's a shame you didn't like it, though.

    PS thanks for stopping by Ink, Inc.!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ooh, yeah. I just had a similar experience with POV's just not being clear at all. It went from one character and the other and I just could not figure it out. It's a cool concept but you falling asleep while reading? Not cool.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like weird too! And I love the cover, I'll have to check this out. Thanks for your review!

    ReplyDelete

© Diva Booknerd. Design by Fearne.