The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

The Glass Spare

A banished princess.A deadly curse.A kingdom at war.Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father wou...

Title:The Glass Spare
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Glass Spare Reviews

  • Jodi Meadows

    I absolutely loved the worldbuilding in this one, and the way things are always more complicated than they first appear.

  • Whitney Atkinson

    this sounds like shatter me 2.0. i'm in.

  • Korrina  (OwlCrate)

    Really solid fantasy read. Super interesting world building. And I absolutely adored all of the characters.

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    Aaaah I did the thing where I wait too long to review a book after reading it... it's been 3 months and I really don't remember everything I wanted to for a detailed review. SO here's the abbreviated version!

    The main thing I remember is the awesome worldbuilding. It's a kingdom with a castle, princes, gas lanterns, gears, machines, photographs, data goggles, trains, electric lights, cement mixers, gloomy stone hallways, telephones, alchemized bombs, and a whole other assortment of things that so

    Aaaah I did the thing where I wait too long to review a book after reading it... it's been 3 months and I really don't remember everything I wanted to for a detailed review. SO here's the abbreviated version!

    The main thing I remember is the awesome worldbuilding. It's a kingdom with a castle, princes, gas lanterns, gears, machines, photographs, data goggles, trains, electric lights, cement mixers, gloomy stone hallways, telephones, alchemized bombs, and a whole other assortment of things that somehow totally worked together. It was a really fascinating medieval/steampunk atmosphere!

    And as for the story, Wil is restless and has spent most of her life somewhat invisible, "fighting to prove her place as the scrawny daughter in a royal line." Everything living that she touches turns to stone and she has to battle this monster within her (while trying to avoid being someone else's puppet). After a disaster, she's essentially exiled from her kingdom and flees to find a pretty awesome adventure.

    The story dragged in a few places and mostly set up the sequel, but the writing was good and I really liked the world & characters! Her brothers and the complicated dynamics of their relationships were great. So if you like most YA fantasy books, here's anther to add to your TBR.

    .

  • Aly's Bookish Wonderland

    Oh, Wonderlings. I am so

    disappointed.

    was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, ever since someone said it was Shatter Me 2.0 with a villain love interest.

    VILLAIN. LOVE. INTEREST. Do you see, dear reader? I was ensnared. I needed it more than I needed to breathe, or so I th

    Oh, Wonderlings. I am so

    disappointed.

    was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, ever since someone said it was Shatter Me 2.0 with a villain love interest.

    VILLAIN. LOVE. INTEREST. Do you see, dear reader? I was ensnared. I needed it more than I needed to breathe, or so I thought. Unfortunately, The Glass Spare didn't live up to expectations, and I was left clutching my kindle in one hand and my heart in the other. Was this it? I kept thinking. After a month of adult fantasy, is this how my love for YA ends? In shambles, sitting on my bed on a dreary summer's morning, my head full of cotton? The question that felt like a ticking bomb in my cavernous, empty chest:

    But I suppose that's a question to be answered another time.

    is, in all its glory, an interesting premise. DeStefano does, in that magical way of hers, write an interesting story, with interesting characters and interesting world. That's where it ends:

    . That's the book summed up in one word:

    . Or two:

    . It left a lot to be desired, though.

    Introduced as a steampunk/fantasy mash-up,

    revolves around a handful of characters, and one plot. Wil, the only daughter of a king of the empire, has grown up in the shadows of her older brothers, raised instead to become the king's most reliable spy. Although she has three brothers, Wil is only close to two: the heir, Owen, and the scientist Gerdie. I lived for these interactions, Gerdie and Wil vs Owen and vice versa. DeStefano really brought to life the complicated relationship of siblings, and the close bond that comes with loving someone unconditionally.

    As the only one able to sneak in and out of the palace unnoticed, Wil is also the most reliable person Gerdie can send to pick up supplies for whatever machine or experiment he is working on. Her sense of adventure is, rivaled only by her own mother's, gave

    that whimsical tone to it.

    It's during one of these excursions that Wil is attacked by an angry vendor, and her power manifests for the first time. Whatever Wil touches, as long as it's living, will crystallize until that person, or thing, is dead. When things take a turn for the worst (as if discovering you can kill people with a single touch isn't enough to send a teenager into a flurry of panic) she is banished from her kingdom, throwing Wil into an adventure she hadn't anticipated.

    Not the adventure, per se, but the new character introduced, the love interest: Loom. Son of a rival kingdom, a banished prince himself, Loom is trying to lead a revolution. Banished for the attempted murder on his father's life, he has no allies except his ex-fiancée and her young son, but discovering Wil's power means having one weapon in his arsenal that his father does not have: the power to kill with a single touch.

    Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with Loom. There's nothing that sticks out to me as superfluous or incredibly annoying, which I guess is the problem. For an antihero/enemy love interest, Loom is utterly forgettable, making Wil and Loom's romance incredibly forgettable. I can't remember where the relationship transcended from dislike to love, and the feels-bomb didn't work out as planned, making the last 20%, you guessed it, utterly forgettable.

    The best way I can describe

    is 'meh.' Nothing really stuck out, but I liked it well enough and, besides the obvious, I really enjoyed the characters. The queen, Wil's mother, struck me as an incredibly important character. She loves her children more than she loves her husband, but it's all overshadowed by her OCD, her fretful need to tap surfaces and count under her breath, terrified that if she counts wrong, mis-taps the pattern, something terrible will befall her children. Particularly Owen, who spends a lot of time, as the heir, traveling the world and making connections. The queen is the only character I really felt for, and I wish we saw more of her.

    The princes, individually, were also very interesting. Owen as the good son, the clever heir: he had the charisma, the personality, the good hair. Gerdie, and his ever working brain, who Wil and Owen love and protect fiercely. The sudden explosions caused by his experiment added a good dose of comic relief to the novel. Even the other brother, whose name I forget, is interesting: he's mean, jealous of his brothers' and sister's friendship, but is also a tortured soul in his own right.

    Overall, interesting (there's that word again!) premise, but didn't quite live up to its promise.

  • Crazy4Books

    Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

    After giving up on a few books in a row I was so relieved when this gripped me almost right away. This story follows a banished princess on a quest to find a marveler who can remove her curse while avoiding the war thats brewing. I loved the concept of turning people into gemstones with a touch. Gemstones have always been a fascination of mine. 

    The main character Wil was caring and resourceful. I liked how she was able to take care of herself. I could relate to her wander

    Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

    After giving up on a few books in a row I was so relieved when this gripped me almost right away. This story follows a banished princess on a quest to find a marveler who can remove her curse while avoiding the war thats brewing. I loved the concept of turning people into gemstones with a touch. Gemstones have always been a fascination of mine. 

    The main character Wil was caring and resourceful. I liked how she was able to take care of herself. I could relate to her wanderlust, but I thought it was kind of weird how she just knew things about her powers without any explanation. Besides Wils power we dont see much magic. We did get to see more alchemy stuff which I really liked, but more magic would have been nice.

    The romance wasnt my favorite since I rarely enjoy romances that develops between captor and captive, but I did like the romantic interest as a character. I feel like being drawn together by destiny, or a curse in this case, is kind of a cop out. Thankfully the romance wasnt too instalovey. It grew a bit slower than that. I wasnt totally invested in it, but I didnt hate it either which is unusual for a captor/captive romance.

    I loved the sibling relationships between Wil, Gerdie and Owen. Their dynamic was heartwarming. I would have liked to see more of what was going on with her brother Gerdie. We get his point of view for a bit and than we dont see him for the rest of the story. I also want to know whats going on with Baren and those ghosts. I felt like it should have just been told in first person if those things werent going to get resolved.

    There wasnt much of an explanation for the Kings motivations. I wish I knew why more land/money/power was important to them. Her genius of a brother Gerdie uses braces after a childhood illness left his legs too weak to walk. Her mother counts compulsively when stressed. These different elements added some wonderful diversity to the story. I also loved Zay and seeing her with her little 2 year old boy since I have one of my own.

    The world was probably this book strongest point. I thought it was refreshing to read about a fantasy setting with some technology. The data goggles and different machinery added a unique spin on the world building. I also enjoyed getting to explore different continents. The world was vividly depicted. I could smell the different fragrances, picture her brothers smoky lab after he blew it up in another one of his experiments and hear the rushing river. 

    Despite my issues and being able to predict some of the plot this book kept my attention from start to finish. It wasnt fast pace, but I was still intrigued enough to keep picking it up. I enjoyed the writing and the way this book was set up makes me think the sequel is going to be even better. I'll definitely be continuing on with the series when the next book comes out.

    *received for honest review consideration*

  • Emily May

    I am so tired of these

    .

    has an interesting premise - a spin on the King Midas myth, where the protagonist turns everything and everyone she touches into precious gemstones - but it is bogged down by slow pacing and a

    I am so tired of these

    .

    has an interesting premise - a spin on the King Midas myth, where the protagonist turns everything and everyone she touches into precious gemstones - but it is bogged down by slow pacing and a

    that does nothing to help us warm to the

    .

    Amidst some very vague world-building that includes a strange mix of traditional fantasy and new technology (e.g. “data goggles”), I uncovered that we have a generic North Isles-South Isles set-up and that the protagonist, Wil, is the fourth child and only daughter of the King of the Northern Isles. Then, one day, Wil defends herself against an attacker and discovers a secret power - the Midas touch - with disastrous consequences.

    Her father forces her to leave the kingdom and tells her family she is dead. At this point,

    . I didn’t care enough about Wil to pity her predicament, and her search for Pahn in hopes he would rid her of her curse failed to generate any excitement. Perhaps it was the distant style of narration that made me feel so disconnected and everything seem so... bland.

    Then Wil finds herself a beautiful boy. Of course.

    The rest of the story almost entirely consists of Wil travelling around with Loom. Neither character is, in my opinion, interesting at all.

    , and yet Loom’s initial description already marks him as the love interest. I couldn’t even tell you when it moved from reluctant partnership to romantic feelings - it was like one minute Wil was uninterested, the next minute they were kissing.

    I hate giving one-star ratings and often try to find something positive to justify bumping it up to two. But, looking back over this novel, I just can’t find anything positive to say. I never cared about a single character; the world-building is vague and uninteresting; the writing felt cold and impersonal; the love story lacked any spark, any excitement to make me want them to be together. Getting myself to keep turning pages until the end was a chore.

    Though not a cliffhanger ending, the wrap-up of

    clearly necessitates a sequel. Personally, there’s nothing I want to come back for.

    |

    |

    |

    |

  • Lauren DeStefano

    I learned I had OCD from watching Maury. At least, I think it was Maury. The mid-90s was the age of daytime talk shows, and now they have all blurred into my memory. What I do remember is this: I was eleven years old, and suddenly my entire world made sense.

    I’ve heard that mental illness is often genetic. However, this wasn’t the case for me. I was raised as an only child, and whenever I tried to articulate what I was feeling to my parents, I got the distinct impression that I was starting to so

    I learned I had OCD from watching Maury. At least, I think it was Maury. The mid-90s was the age of daytime talk shows, and now they have all blurred into my memory. What I do remember is this: I was eleven years old, and suddenly my entire world made sense.

    I’ve heard that mental illness is often genetic. However, this wasn’t the case for me. I was raised as an only child, and whenever I tried to articulate what I was feeling to my parents, I got the distinct impression that I was starting to sound insane, and that if I kept talking this way, I would be sent away. I thought I would decline and decline until any capacity for joy was gone from my mind.

    I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t anxious about things that hadn’t happened. I can’t remember a day when I didn’t believe I was going to die in some rare and violent way. When I was six, my parents were impressed that I had stopped asking for McDonalds as an after school treat, but the truth is that I believed all food that wasn’t vacuum sealed was poisoned or crawling with toxic germs.

    The numbers didn’t begin until I was in fifth grade. I’m not sure how exactly it started, but it had something to do with my bedroom window. One day, for no discernable reason, something told me that I had not closed the window properly. So I closed it again. But this time, when the window locked into the frame, something about the sound it made was not right. So I did it again. An itch manifested in my mind. Closing a window was no longer about closing a window. There was something bigger than me, and it was sitting on my shoulders, and it followed me even after I had walked away from the window.

    Bit by bit, the entire world changed and morphed around this new Thing that followed me everywhere I went. This thing that taunted me mercilessly. It had no body, so I was its body. My hands were made to tap the walls and the tables and the windows a certain number of times. And if I didn’t do it right (which I never did), I would have to do it again, until someone entered the room and my embarrassment won out over my fear, or I was too tired to remember this sequence I had now performed over a dozen times.

    By the time I was twelve, I no longer remembered what a warm shower felt like. The bathroom tile had a chaotic pattern of little shapes that went in all directions, and I had to make sure my feet aligned with them in a certain way, and if they didn’t, I had to do it again. And then again. The water was always cold by the time I set foot beneath it. Washing my hair was its own particular kind of hell.

    Coincidentally, this was at the dawn of puberty, when I could blame the amount of time it took to shower and then get dressed on the fact that I was becoming a teenager. I pretended that I had suddenly become obsessed with fashion, that I had tried on a hundred different shirts and that’s why I nearly missed the bus. The truth is that it had taken me all morning just to get both arms into the sleeve of one shirt, because this monster on my back was telling me that if I got it wrong, my house would catch fire and we’d all die in the flames.

    It wasn’t the kind of thing I talked about. Not in 1996. And especially not since my family was the religious sort, and I had been taught that this sort of thing only happened to people who had yet to atone for some great sin. I knew somehow that this wasn’t that. I knew somehow that no one was going to understand. And I assumed I was the only person in the world to have contracted such a bizarre creature that had managed to zap me entirely of my will.

    Then an episode of Maury (I think) featured sufferers of OCD. Mind you, this was long before the internet was a thing in my house. I had no way to contact this young woman who couldn’t get out of bed unless the numbers on the clock were even. I had no way to say that I understood, that we shared this monster. I felt at once like I was not alone and the most alone I’d ever been.

    Even knowing this, I didn’t tell my parents. I didn’t think that they would understand. Instead, I told myself that I would be better. I knew what I had and it was just a matter of not doing it. This sounds excellent in theory but not so much when put into practice.

    OCD latches on to its host. It locks around their brain like fingers in clay. The clay hardens, and there’s a kind of permanence. Alone with this monster of mine, I began to observe it the same way it had observed me. I took notice of when it seemed to scream for my attention versus when it left me alone. It wanted my attention most of the time, but it got bored enough with me when I was writing my little stories in my notebook. It also seemed to leave me alone when I was blasting music from my Walkman. I guess it wasn’t a big fan of Jewel.

    For a while at least, I was able to tell stories of people who Were Not Me. I wasn’t present, and therefore nothing that plagued me was present.

    There were times, over the years, in which I tried to put what I was experiencing into my writing. It just never seemed to make sense on the page. Conclusion? Write about other things. Feel better for a while. Repeat.

    By my late teens and early twenties, the OCD had calmed considerably. I credit this on the stability of my life at that time. Things were a bit more predictable. A bit safer. And the monster, as a result, had quieted. But it was still present every day, in some small way that was imperceptible unless one knew where to look.

    When I wrote my first book, Wither, I was twenty four and life was a bit tumultuous. It was my escape, as ever, from myself. I enjoyed writing it and will forever be grateful for the things it has brought me. In the years to follow, I have told more stories and they have all meant something different and special to me.

    When I wrote THE GLASS SPARE, however, I was in the worst state of my life to date. It was as though I woke up one morning and had become a magnet for all the little Things I’d managed to avoid over the years. The monster was back and it had grown some muscles. It knew I was bigger and stronger than I’d been when I was twelve, so it had grown bigger and stronger to match me, wit for wit.

    I spent four months in my bed. I barely slept, and when I did, I dreamed of panic attacks and woke up to panic attacks. A relative brought me groceries, sometimes leaving them on the porch because my anxiety was such that I could not face another human being unless I had just taken a dose of my anxiety medication. I wasn’t sure if I had lost myself completely, or it I was the most myself I had ever been. I’m still not sure, because anxiety is so braided into every fiber of me, if someone were to reach in and pull it out, I would collapse into a heap of skin and bones with little sentience remaining.

    This time, I could not separate myself from my writing. My story was not about a girl with mental illness. It was about a girl who woke up one morning to discover that everything she touched would turn to stone. “This is not a metaphor,” I told myself. “Metaphors are a cliché.” Eventually I came to terms with it being a metaphor. Whatever you want to call it, there is a very real chance that writing this story saved my life. It gave me a place to put all of those things poking at me, trying to make me break. And when that monster reached for me, I grabbed it by the neck and slammed it into the page.

    Writing this story was not a cure. I still have OCD. I still have anxiety. Sometimes I hyperventilate and speed past the highway entrance and circle the block so I can work up my nerves. Sometimes I sit in my car and cry because I can’t work up the courage to leave the driveway. Sometimes there’s triumph and sometimes there’s failure.

    But every day, there’s a place to put it.

    Even though THE GLASS SPARE emerged from a dark time for me, and even though my memories of writing it are sometimes too horrible to address, I did not want to write a story wherein the truth was a burden. It is not, traditionally speaking, a story about mental illness, and quite possibly, only I would see the accidental metaphor. Wil turns all living things to stone with a touch, and as she gets stronger, whatever is causing it gets stronger too. Her mother counts and taps things in threes and fives. Her brother loses himself in the logic of Why Things Happen as a means of coping with what he can’t control.

    I wanted to write a fantasy where readers could fall in love, and cry, and celebrate, and mourn. I wanted to write a story that was honest. A story where what I struggle with doesn’t disappear, but rather, it manifests into something that makes sense to me, and will maybe make sense to someone else out there. I’ve got this monster on my back, and I needed somewhere to put it.

  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    4.5 Stars!

    I've been meaning to try this author for awhile now and even though I have many of her books in my TBR pile, I decided this story would be the one I would start with first.

    I'm so very glad that I did. I opened this expecting cliches galore and a little bit of the same old same old that the YA market has been flooded with and instead I found a read that was not only engaging but easy to pick up and hard to put down. I quickly became not only interested in the story line and what the cha

    4.5 Stars!

    I've been meaning to try this author for awhile now and even though I have many of her books in my TBR pile, I decided this story would be the one I would start with first.

    I'm so very glad that I did. I opened this expecting cliches galore and a little bit of the same old same old that the YA market has been flooded with and instead I found a read that was not only engaging but easy to pick up and hard to put down. I quickly became not only interested in the story line and what the characters had to reveal but I becamecaught up in it. It quickly captured my attention and I found myself even thinking about parts of it while I had to step away from it to do other things.

    It was sad in so many ways that I wasn't expecting, I would even go as far as to say emotionally charged at times.

    Needless to say, this took me by surprise with how much I really enjoyed it. I couldn't seem to get enough of it and it didn't take me long to read through it and be left wanting more by the end. I'm truly excited about this series and can't wait for more.

    *ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

    Awesome Owlcrate Box! Link under picture will take you to my close-ups and explanation ♥


Books Finder is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.