My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: April 16th, 2015
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Point of View: First Person (Sasha)
Genres & Themes: MM Romance, LGBTQ, Abuse, Rape, High School, Young Adult, New Adult
At seventeen, Sasha is a little lost and a lot lonely. He craves friendship and love, but although he’s outwardly confident, his self-destructive tendencies cause problems, and he pushes people away. Making sculptures out of the broken glass he collects is the only thing that brings him any peace, but it’s not enough and everyday he feels himself dying a little more inside. Until he meets Thomas.
Thomas is shy but sure of himself in a way Sasha can’t understand. He makes it his mission to prove to Sasha that he is worthy of love, and doesn’t give up even when Sasha hurts him. Little by little Sasha begins to trust Thomas. And when Sasha is forced to confront his past he realises accepting the love Thomas gives him is the only way to push back the darkness.
I’m not sure how to feel about this book. I don’t know if to be transfixed by it or if it left me feeling a kind of lost I’ve never know before. I’m fluctuating the same way my rating is—somewhere between 3.98 and 4.0.
“We were glass. So fragile. All it took was a little knock and we would shatter.”
Glass is something interesting. You can’t really do much force with it for fear of breaking it, and once you do it can never be the same. The saying, “you can piece it back together, but the breaks are still seen,” is there for a reason. Humans are sometimes like that, some are strong, and resilient and some are easily bent, but like glass we have the power to make something new, of ourselves of our lives.
The Glass House is riddled with glass metaphors and I was loving it. I loved the way Suki Fleet wrote Sasha’s story. How glass became a saving form for Sasha.
This story deals was more than a kid who’s lonely, and the guy who was there to show him that there isn’t only the fragility in glass. It’s about how a kid choses to deal when a parent lets you down, when you feel abandoned and alone, when you’ve been let down by the cruelty of human beings. It’s about how obsession can be a form of coping, about surviving, and living. It’s about the beauty in breaking glass.
“Because I could see now that having the truth out there was better than having it destroying me from the inside like it had been.”
Before Thomas comes along, Sasha’s living in a glass house, seeing everyone but keeping them all at a distance. Even his sister, Corinne, who he’s gone to live with after Sasha’s mother left without even a note to Paris, doesn’t really know who he is. Nobody does, that way he doesn’t get hurt by anyone, but mostly, he doesn’t hurt them.
But Thomas has other plans, he wants to know Sasha. The real him, not the one intent on hurting him at every turn. Not the one who punishes himself by taking nude pictures for anyone who asks, not the one who can’t say no, because he’s had the word taken from him.
There’s so much character development in Glass House that it knocked me over when I had finished reading it. Once you finish Sasha’s journey and you travel back in time, the growth is astounding. Where there was once a boy who was not only lost to the world but to himself, is then changed by a guy who doesn’t fear his past anymore. Who survived and recognizes that, who won’t continue to hurt himself or others. Especially Thomas. Who loves and can love.
What I found beautiful was that he confronted his mother who had abandoned him. Book usually have the kids reconciling when a mother disappears and leaves their child behind and although that’s beautiful and forgiving, what about having the parent realize that they’ve made a grave mistake? That you can’t expect everything to be forgiven? That a book worth writing.
“I couldn’t believe he still had the same one. That it wasn’t as fucking broken as I was. That it was there, clean and shining in the fucking sunlight, like some poor kid hadn’t lost his innocence inside it.”
Rape in books is usually not well-dealt. But I think that Suki Fleet did something that most writers don’t—that you can’t get over it with a relationship. That a relationship doesn’t ‘cure’ you. Whilst reading Thomas and Sasha’s romantic relationship I thought something was missing, and when Sasha finally accepted himself, it all clicked. He had to heal, mentally, for it all to fall together. To not fear standing up for himself, to have the strength to face love.
Such a beautiful character growth, and just over development.
“Because we are not brittle like glass, but more like the light that shines through it, bright and unending, without hierarchy or reason. We are not sculptures, still and unyielding—we are alive and unfinished.”