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Walking On Broken Glass

A review of Glass Heart by Amy Garvey, which is like the Willow-addicted-to-magic storyline in Buffy, without the awesomeness of Willow.

Walking On Broken Glass

BOOK REPORT for Glass Heart by Amy Garvey

Cover Story: Brown Bag It
BFF Charm: Return to Sender
Swoonworthy Scale: 3
Talky Talk: Emo
Bonus Factor: Dark Willow
Relationship Status: You Let Me Down

Cover Story: Brown Bag It

Yikes. Just LOOK at this. It's almost as bad as the cover for the previous book, Cold Kiss -- the only thing saving it is the lips being obscured. The PINK is definitely a strike against it, though. Basically, just … keep it to yourself, alright?

The Deal:

Spoilers follow for Cold Kiss, if you care!

It's been a couple of months since Wren banished her zombie boyfriend Danny back to the grave, with the help of psychic Gabriel. Since then, she and Gabriel have been inseparable, but Gabriel keeps getting weird headaches and is obviously keeping some big secrets. That's ok, though, because as Wren starts to explore her own witchy powers, she's keeping some secrets, too. She's been hanging out with some creepy-cool college kids who are into "the craft," as they call it (RED ALERT, WREN! If they call it "the craft," stay away!), and they might not be as harmless as they seem. To further cramp Wren's style, her little sister Robin has the NERVE to insist on meeting their dad -- apparently, Wren's the only one who can make this happen? -- and Wren isn't ready, so Robin begins protesting in ways only a preteen witch can. All's fair in love, until it looks like someone's about to get hurt.

BFF Charm: Return To Sender, With Apologies

Look, it's not that I don't LIKE Wren, it's just that she's not the girl I met in the last book. I don't know if it's the magic, or her sister, or stress, or what, but she's gotten SO much whinier than before. And it's not like she's got a zombie boyfriend locked up in the neighbor's garage to worry about, either! Every now and then, the old sassy Wren comes out to play, but for the most part, she spends her time angsting over her many lies in a way that would make Mia Thermopolis bash her over the head with her diary, and being a teenager over her relationship with Gabriel. Those two need to have a DTR, get a room, and get it over with. Anyway, all I'm saying is, Wren's a nice girl, and I'll be happy to hold her BFF charm in trust for a few years since she does recognize the suckitude of Wuthering Heights ("Catherine is a moron and Heathcliff is a complete asshole,") but for now, I'm going to have to ask for it back. Nicely, of course.

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

Gabriel and Wren are together, and there's no competition for his affections except their secrets. The only other male character in Wren's life, besides her once-supposed-dead dad, is Bay, of The Craft Coven, and he's just a creep. Wren and her boy have some nice makeout sessions, but nothing to set the sheets on fire, and since their relationship tension exists solely in Wren's whinefests and unnecessary lack of honesty, it's hard for me to get worked up about it. Also, she does the awful thing of constantly comparing Gabriel to Dead Danny. Girl, I know he died, and it was traumatic, and you miss him and feel guilty for reanimating him and shit, but GIRL. Do you SEE what's right in front of you? If you won't appreciate him, I know someone who will. Yeah, I'm talking about me.

Talky Talk: Emo

It's probably pretty obvious by now, but this book is a bit too emo for me. Garvey's writing style is great at evoking the manufactured crises of adolescence, but there's a reason I'm glad to be an adult. The main conflict in the book is simply people not telling other people REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF THAT'S NOT ALL THAT BIG A DEAL AND IT WOULD MAKE THINGS SO MUCH EASIER IF YOU WOULD JUST SAY SOMETHING, JESUS H. CHRIST. Whew. Can you tell I hate movies like Very Bad Things? Just call the cops! It was an accident!

Anyway, other than that, it's not too bad. There are still some snortworthy comebacks, and Wren doesn't ALWAYS take herself too seriously, and Garvey's send-up of the wannabe coven -- complete with poser Manic Pixie Dream Girl -- is pretty funny. The action picks up significantly about 75% of the way through the book, and made me wish the rest of the book had been as good as the end (i.e. more doing, less whining).

Bonus Factor: Dark Willow

Remember that story arc in Buffy, when Willow changes Amy-the-Rat back into a girl, and Willow's totally addicted to magic, and Amy-the-Rat-Girl takes her to that sketchy magic den and they abandon Dawn and Buffy gets super pissed? Yeah, that's what happens here, except instead of Robin-Dawn being all whiny, she's totally out of control with the magic and nearly blows up the house. I love Robin, when she's not acting like an 11-year-old hormonal wreck.

Casting Call:

Michelle Trachtenberg as Wren

I take back my previous casting of Lindsey Shaw as Wren, and replace her with Michelle Trachtenberg.

Olivia Thirlby as Gabriel's older sister Olivia

Relationship Status: You Let Me Down

Book. Listen. I wasn't so sure about you on our last date -- my friends tried to warn me about zombie witch books, but I didn't listen, and I was super glad. We had so much fun! You were swoon and tingly and exciting and hilarious. But what happened? Just because it's our second date does NOT mean you can let yourself go this early in the relationship. I'm disappointed in you! Where's the romance? The humor? It's not sexy and sensitive to talk about your last girlfriend -- it's just annoying. I was hoping to continue our crazy times from before, but it's not going to happen.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from HarperCollins. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Glass Heart is available now.

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.