Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review: Sisters of Glass - Stephanie Hemphill

Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill
Genre: YA, historical fiction, romance
Published on March 27, 2012
Published by Knopf
Pages: 160
Read From: 7.29.14 - 7.29.14

Maria is the younger daughter of an esteemed family on the island of Murano, the traditional home of Venetian glassmakers. Though she longs to be a glassblower herself, glassblowing is not for daughters - that is her brother's work. 
Maria has only one duty to perform for her family: before her father died, he insisted that she be married into nobility, even though her older sister, Giovanna, should rightfully have that role. Not only is Giovanna older, she's prettier and more graceful, and everyone loves her. 
Maria would like nothing better than to allow her beautiful sister, who is far more able and willing to attract a noble husband, to take over this responsibility for her. But they cannot circumvent their father's wishes. And when a new young glassblower arrives to help the family business and Maria finds herself drawn to him, the web of conflicting emotions grows even more tangled.


Cover Blurb: I like the colors and the simplicity of it; very charming and attention-grabbing.

What I Liked: The characters were all good, and for such a bloody short story, I felt that I got to know them rather well.

What I Disliked: Giovanna’s sudden meanness - and equally sudden good mood - struck me as strange. What caused her to turn so horribly against the sister that she’s always been close to and love? And why is she suddenly all buddy-buddy with her again? Maria falling for Luca can be spotted from a mile away, so that’s no big surprise.

Believability: I don’t know all that much about the people the Author is writing about, nor do I know much about the process of making glass, so for all I know the Author could have made it all up. I wish she had included a longer Author’s Note and gone into more detail about the facts and fictions of her story.

Writing Style: I honestly don’t know why it had to be written in verse. There was no definite rhythm to it; in fact, if you put the phrases together into normal paragraphs, they would have read the exact same. I liked the idea of it being in verse, but this didn’t work.

Content: None.

Conclusion: This is a novella, and the ending is nothing spectacular or very exciting. I liked the idea behind the story, and as a regular novel I think it would have been very good. But as it is, my reaction when I was done was, Oh. That’s nice.

Recommended Audience: If you’re looking for a very, very short read - something to occupy a couple of idle hours in a traffic jam or while waiting for a concert to start, then this would be a good choice.

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